HCMC Dining Guide

Sunday, August 17, 2014


After nearly 10 months away, I'm living in Saigon again. A post about why this happened is forthcoming, but I haven't had time to spend much time in front of the computer yet. Since arriving late Thursday night I have quickly inserted myself back into the old routine: tons of street food, a visit to my usual spa, plenty of beer, etc. It's been extremely easy to pick things up where they left off with my friends; at certain points it has felt like I never left. The same banter and wide-ranging conversations are there - for example on Friday I went to an American-style BBQ restaurant with several pals and we ended up having a lengthy, beer-fueled discussion on the validity of suicide as a way to combat depression. Afterwards I went to another friend's house where the Vietnamese government and its relationship with China was a common theme. In other words, it's been a great few days.

Of course the journey over here was a marathon, as always. The trans-Pacific flight was its usual Twilight Zone-esque self, where you can leave America on Wednesday morning and arrive in Japan mid-day Thursday without it ever getting dark, as the plane chased the sun west the entire time. That long flight actually wasn't too bad, as I had an empty seat next to me, although the fact that United was charging $7.99 for beer was ludicrous. To pass the time I employed my time-tested program of watching as many movies as possible, occasionally dozing off and having to rewind. This time I enjoyed the Grand Budapest Hotel, the Lego Movie, Korengal, American Hustle, and an episode of Louie.

I should have been exhausted by the time I made it to my house in Saigon, but I was so excited to be back I immediately went for food and then played some pool. I'm still adjusting to the time and have been waking up far earlier than I would prefer, but I expect that to end in the next few days. I'm back on a motorbike already, a skill that had not faded in my time away. There have been huge changes to Saigon since I left, but much is the same - the same sounds and traffic; meat grilling in front of open-front restaurants; fresh fruit and vegetables spilling out of markets; people everywhere; the heat and rain. I can't wait to see what this new stint in Vietnam brings.


  1. Hi Mike,

    it`s great to read that you are back in Saigon again. Have a great time and share your new impressions with us.

  2. So glad I kept my subscription to your blog so I could hear this great news. After a 2 month trip last year I fantasize about going back all the time--can't wait to live vicariously through you! Keep us posted :)

    1. I'm glad you kept the subscription as well! Thanks for reading.