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Monday, 29 December 2008

Mui Ne for Christmas

We escaped the city for a few days and couldn't get ourselves organised in time to go anywhere outside Vietnam so Mui Ne provided the perfect answer for a couple of days doing very little.

Saw a couple of sunrises:
Mui Ne Beach, December 08

Ate a couple of fish and fish friends:
Fish and fish relations

Drank a couple of beers at the latest incarnation of Hoa Vien Brewhouse:

Hoa Vien Brewery, Mui Ne

Found a couple of ruby slippers on a yellow brick road:

Follow the yellow brick road

Good beach, good fish, good beer. The flip flops didn't fit.

Put Your Hands Up

I've been trying to capture this practice for ages and finally got it.

Put your hands up

I award myself extra bonus points for there being two sheets of glass.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

On the up

Avid readers will know that our house has four floors.

Internal strairwell

You can count them. Last night we went to the roof with a bottle of wine and plans for a chilled evening in and found this...

Chrome spiral staircase 3

Chrome spiral staircase 2

Obviously I waited for daylight to photograph it because flash, chrome and me are an untried combination and the camera was on the ground floor.

It leads to the flat space where the water pump and air conditioner units live. I don't know why it's there, I don't know when it got there and I don't know what's coming next.

I'm off on holiday for a few days and slightly fear returning.

Monday, 22 December 2008

The mother ship has landed

Our quiet neck of the woods has been attracting little businesses for a while now. Corner stores, noodle shops and recently a couple of nice little cafes have arrived but nothing prepared me for the completion of Mori Cafe. It's a neon wonderland complete with DJ and multiple floors dedicating to getting the local populace all sugared up and doing a pretty successful job of it based on my one visit so far.

Neon Wonderland

I stayed on the ground floor watching the football and didn't stray up further but I'll be there soon.

Lotte mart and a big shiny cafe opening in the same week! How much excitement can I take?

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Inside Lotte Mart, Saigon

It opened! 33,400 square meters of shopping in District 7 less than ten minutes from where I stay. Of course I had to visit but I couldn't shake off the feeling that it was wrong to be excited, still a little guilt seasons pleasure.

It's a supermarket and shopping complex over three floors with a cinema, bowling and food outlets. It sells just about anything you could want from motorbike tyres to flat screen TVs and I know I've been here for a while now because I got bloody excited about it and had an absolute ball.

Alas the pictures are limited because the staff kept catching me with my camera and telling me "No pictures". They were firm and even a plaintive "But I'm going to blog it" cut no ice.

Lotte Mart Saigon Interior

I'll be back but next time I'll be a little more furtive with my photography.

Windows of Lotte Mart Saigon

Also on site is a branch of the Lotte franchised coffee outlet Angel-in-us. True to the company that brought us Lotteria "We Love Hamburger" we get a little splash of bad English with our drinks.
World Best Coffee

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

O'Brien's bar

O'Brien's Factory on Hai Ba Trung has a nice bar and the beer isn't bad either.

O'Brien's bar, Saigon

Monday, 15 December 2008

Christmas Cheer

As once again Saigon gears up to celebrate all things Santa and Baby Jesus related I find myself hanging outside places making "oooh" sounds and pointing stupidly at things. If I have a camera handy to point stupidly with I'll take a picture.

Last year the May Hotel went all out for a tin foil theme but this year not a scrap of it in sight. A mistake as far as I am concerned but still, they did provide us with a Baby Jesus in a sequined play suit nestled in a huge twinkling star.

Baby Jesus is a star


Kentucky Fried Welcome

KFC on Hai Bai Trung are gearing up for Christmas by making one of their employees dress in a Colonel Saunders outfit and hand out treats to children.

Kentucky Fried Welcome, Saigon

I've never eaten in KFC and oddly even this didn't tempt me in.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Shiny, Sparkly Things

I'm a practical shopper, I don't spend much on things unless I really need them or they're technologically perfect for my requirements. I compare prices and styles and make my mind up in a logical manner. I'm not swayed by designer labels or plush store interiors or over attentive retail staff.

Things have to be practical, I want to know I'll get good use out of them. Shoes have to be able to match a lot of outfits and not fall apart after a few wears.

Silver Shoes

Bollocks, I seem to have accidentally bought a pair of stupidly expensive silver flip flops. I can't imagine how that happened.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Street Food Images, Saigon

Dong Du, District 1, this area is a tourist hotspot and high end stores and hawkers selling fakes abound but side by side to street restaurants and temporary tables.
Dong Du Dining B&W

Banh Mi Mackerel, this brightly branded sandwich cart off Hai Bai Trung has caught my eye for a while but this is the first time I've been anywhere near it with a camera and with enough time to wait for a break in the traffic to capture it.

Fishy Banh Mi

Monday, 1 December 2008

Lotte Mart

Saigon is abuzz with excitement, ok, the Korean community is a bit excited and I am abuzz with excitement.

Lotte Mart Saigon, opening 18-12-08

HCMCs first fully modern "Western" style supermarket, except that's it's Korean so is it still Western? More reports from the wall of kim chee once it's open.

If mega-retailer investment in Vietnam is your thing there's a fairly interesting article here
and for a few more pictures of the interior taken since it opened go here

Nothing says Christmas like pumpkins

Dong Khoi is already gearing up for Christmas but initially I was confused.

Gucci Saigon at Christmas

Pumpkins? What's that all about, leftover Thanksgiving or Halloween decorations?
Still, they were popular with the "pick up the props for a photo opportunity crowd".

Pumpkins how Merry Christmas are these?

A little further along the frontage of this high end outlet and everything became clear.
Christmas in Saigon 2008
Cinderella, I should have guessed and yes, the manequins rotate.

There's a pumpkin coach too but I am going to wait to post pictures of that when I have pictures of it at night in all it's twinkling beauty.