First Impressions of Saigon

I landed in Saigon three nights ago. Here are my first impressions from two days here.

It’s HOT! I have not been living in humidity and heat for a really long time. I enjoy it, but understand why there are cultures where things will shut down for the afternoon. It makes no sense to move around in the heat.

So much energy. Despite the weather, there are people everywhere getting things done. Probably because of the heat, the streets are filled with people sitting outside, eating, drinking, working. Another reason for the energy…

Scooters! Tons and tons of scooters! Crossing the street requires one’s complete attention. I am in awe of the fact that these people do not crash into each other constantly, but there is a beautiful rhythm to the chaos when you see 100 scooters navigating a roundabout with taxis, buses, pedestrians, bicycles, and each other.

The internet is SLOW. I will post pictures later when I have more patience and time :-).

Facebook is censored here. So are some parts of WordPress. I need to use my VPN to log into these sites. Makes me think about censorship and appreciate how much access we have to things in the US.

It’s cheap to live here as an expat. We are paying $400 a month to rent a room with a bath/shower, refrigerator, small deck, AC, and laundry and cleaning service. We are totally getting ripped off and if we knew better and did more research, we could have found a place for at least 30% less. But after one night so far so good; we are in a great location.

It’s really cheap to eat here. Dinner for two including a couple of beers is $10 or less. A beer or other drink from a convenience store where you can sit outside and watch the rest of the world go by will run you between 50 and 75 cents.

More direct comparisons to Seoul/Cheonan when I am more settled here. Any observations or tips about being here greatly appreciated!




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