Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon): Chinatown

     Apparently the biggest Chinatown in Asia is located in Ho Chi Minh city and, ugh I have so many attachments to China and going here was a must. I can't even begin to start on how much I loved my time there. I was in Changchun, located in Jilin province heart is set on going back for another run around...but back into focus~ Chinatown's are my steeze. Even in Boston, forget Harvard square, the tourist spots...gimme Chinatown.
     Ani and I decided to venture out to this China town a tad lost. We went walking for a while, jumped on a bus and got off WAY before the actual Chinatown. Totally my fault, I started seeing Chinese writing everywhere, got overly excited and confidently announced that we were at the desired
     We did get to butcher our way through getting direction though. >.<#
some odd fruit! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Two bus rides in, and the smell of trash lingering in the air...ahh this is more like it. Hustle and bustle, yelling people, rotten produce lining the streets and dusty items being pawned, this was China town. We got off and after some wandering (and being the only foreigners NOT in a tour group) we stumbled upon Cho Bing Tay, a market center. Stock full of people, we entered the humid "temple" and found loads of gadgets, candies~ I'll let the photos do the talking...
Cho Binh Tay (photo taken by VeganBeats)
condiment stand, dyed spices, dried fishes...(photo taken by VeganBeats)
all types of rices, the green is younger rice, flakes to grains (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Vegan meats were everywhere! I managed to get a massive bag of dried "meats", vegan shrimp, and vegan baby squid (whaaaa) for 110,000 dong, about $5.00!
dried mushrooms, beans, veggies (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Squeezing through crowds of people, and bumping into all sorts of displays and bags, we were tired and coffee was in order. One WONDERFUL thing about Vietnam is the small stands you can find everywhere. Older men and women run these things and they serve all sorts of drinks. We found this hidden stand in an alley and plopped down asking for some ice coffees hit the spot.
yum!! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     The women was kind enough to give us some tea too! Ani and I just sat, sipping coffee and tea people watching. There was so much going on around us and we were just floating amongst it...
     After resting our legs and rejuvenating our dehydrated sweaty selves we decided to truck it back, but to walk around the produce market.
     *My favorite part about markets are the produce spots ^^*!~
baby sweet limes, passion fruit, and MASSIVE mangoes! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     The market is dirty, it smells, it reeks of rotting fish and moldy fruit, but there's something so attractive about that for me. Changchun was a dirty town, but for me, it was and is honest. American produce places are cleaned, mopped, sprayed clean...that's not real, it's a cover. I like seeing and being in the stress, the yelling, competitive marketing...wallstreet for fresh goods.
     It was so striking too, piles of garbage and then a glorious stand of tropical fruits and sweet aromas. Ahhh Asia^^*!~
rambutan anyone? (photo taken by Vegan Beats)

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