June 7, 2010

At Cho Lon

I didn't have anything specific that I wanted to do when I woke up next morning since I had already been to places I wanted to visit in past days. So I grabbed my map and went out for breakfast. Biting a bread, and sucking a mango shake, I decided to walk to Cho Lon area. Cho Lon is the China town in HCMC. Even though I knew that it was better to go there by using some transportation, I chose going there on foot as a girl who likes walking :)

I held my 1.5 liters water bottle and started walking. The farther I went from Pham Ngu Lao, the less foreigners I saw. It took only about 15 minutes or so to come to the area that I never see tourists. By the way, I do want to let you know that I really suck at the sense of location however I like walking around. I wanted to visit some temples there. Yeah, I got there somehow, but I don't know how many times I checked the map and how many times I was about to get lost, lol. Actually, when I got to the first temple, I was tired. There was no wonder. It took for 1.5 hours to get there since I didn't know the way, the temperature was around 40 and there was no wind. I was wearing a long sleeves jacket on the T-shirt, and I saw my sweat was obviously coming through the clothes and made them wet. I was also about to finish my water bottle. It was such a hot day as same as when I visited Hue!

Since I was so tired and felt maybe I would feel sick if I kept walking, I decided to take a bus going back to Ben Thanh. There was a big bus terminal in Cho Lon. I went there and asked a guy which bus to take. He told me I had to take No.1 and told me where I could take it. However, I couldn't find the bus when I walked toward the direction he showed me. So, I spoke to another guy and asked where I could take the bus. The guy told me that it was better to take a motor cycle taxi. He signed a guy beside him and told me he was the driver, and it would cost only 40,000VND (=2$). 2$!!! It might be just 2$ but 2$. It sounded expensive for me since I knew if I take a bus, it would cost only 3000VND (15¢). See how stingy I was!! I'm sure I can't avoid being overcharged or have to use something expensive that local people rarely use being a tourist there. However, I feel like trying hard in some degree not to be overcharged more than I need and want to use affordable transportation as long as it is not too uncomfortable nor dangerous. It might look stupid sometimes for othe tourists, but I believe that such an experience itself will be the pleasure of the trip.

Anyway, the guy told me to take his friend's motor cycle taxi so I could get there soon and if not, I would have to wait for more than an hour. I told him that I could wait having a lunch, but he seemed that he wanted take the taxi somehow and recommended me persistently. He also didn't speak English so much, so it was hard to let him notice that I just wanted him to tell where I could take the bus and it didn't matter for me to wait for an hour. However, he finally gave up. He noticed that I wouldn't be swayed however hard he try. Then, he told me that he would take me somewhere. I was a little bit scared and asked him where we were going, and he told me we were going to the place where I could take a bus. Thus, I was held my hand by a middle aged Vietnamese guy and was taken to the bus place, lol.

Actually, I noticed what the guy told me was a lie when I rode on the bus. It didn't take so long till the bus started. I vaguely felt that maybe Vietnamese people want to get money from tourists somehow so they try to trick us, but also can't be a really bad person as well.

Web album: A Trip to Vietnam

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