After living in Vietnam for a year, I paid home a visit. During this time, I realized a few quirky things I miss about Vietnam.
11 August 2015| Last updated on 29 June 2017
1. Buzzing motorbikes- First of all, getting around this way instead of in a car is a whole lot more enjoyable! Nothing compares to a road full of motorbikes zipping in and out of traffic, creating their own road rules.
2. Plastic tables and chairs on the streets- Most restaurants have an outside seating area that involves plastic tables and chairs. After long days of sitting in aircondition, its nice to eat outside and people-watch.
3. Daily drive-bys of banh mi and other vendors- Every street has its daily set of vendors that drive by, either speaking loudly or playing a recording that announces what they are selling; often it sounds like a song. My favorite is the sound of the massage man, who comes by in the evenings and shakes a rattle to let you know he is passing by.
4. Crowded fruit and vegetable markets- There are many markets in each district around Saigon. Whilst I was a market-goer before I moved to Vietnam, my visits increased since there are so many markets across the city where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables.
5. Motorbikes carrying large loads or accompanied with a dog or two- Every time I hit the streets, there’s something entertaining to witness! For instance, motorbikes piled with tires or a driver holding onto large rolls of material or 5 people on one motorbike. Sometimes you will even see dogs going for a ride, who are quite talented if I might add; standing on their owner’s lap, balancing their front paws on the steering wheel, or standing on top of the seat as the bike moves in traffic.
6. Ca phe da- This is a kind of Vietnamese-style coffee. The best version is the ca phe sua da; Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk. It literally tastes like chocolate. As it contains so much sugar, I try to limit myself to only having these every now and then.
7. Conversations by miming- Most conversations I have in Vietnam are usually via miming as I don’t have an extensive vocabulary in Vietnamese. By far the best mime I have met in Saigon is my 75-year-old dry cleaning lady. She is the sweetest woman and I understand her perfectly - all without using any words.
8.Floating Markets- Who doesn’t want to see a market on the water? The Mekong Delta has many beautiful floating markets every day.
9. Colorful boats- Most boats in Vietnam are painted in beautiful shades of blue, with red accents. Saigon has been referred to as ‘the Venice of Asia’, therefore you often see boats going down the river and canals.
10. Cafes on every street- The amount of cafes you will find in Saigon really is amazing. Often the best cafes are hidden in old colonial buildings.
Danica Ratte is a passionate sustainable lifestyle blogger who is intresersed in preserving ethnic weaving cultures in Vietnam. Also, if you are interested ito learn more please read her blog.