June 10, 2010 § Leave a comment
This is the second day this week I’ve been aggravated to death while dining. It started with a few screams from the corner as I was ordering my chicken sandwich. A quick glance revealed a birthday party of about 20 + kids. Now, at this point, they hadn’t gotten their food yet so it wasn’t too bad, but, they were sitting pumping sugar into their veins gulping down their cokes. I didn’t think too much of it, went back to my seat and joined my 4 other friends. We proceeded to eat a pretty sorry excuse for Cajun style food. If you do feel like fast food in Saigon, and, insist on going to Popeyes, stick with the very basic chicken thighs or drumsticks. Beyond that, it was basically garbage. Chicken sandwich, chicken tenders, and seafood mix were all pretty bad unless you like unflavored grease soaked food.
Towards the end of the meal, I heard this super loud explosion and was sure terrorists were going after the new Vincom center. Suffice to say, it was just some kids popping their balloons. Within minutes, there were swarms of them around us, bumping into our chairs and knocking balloons onto the middle of our table. All the while, the parents just sat as if nothing was going on. The Singaporean manager looked like he was about to have a heart attack. All I could see in his eyes were thoughts of caning this little rodents.
As we got up to leave, this one little girl was staring us down. For a minute, I thought I saw the Vietnamese version of Bebe’s kids. No sooner than we were out of our chairs did i see what she was really after, it wasn’t our wallets, it was our Coke! Yes, she proceeded to quickly pounce on our table, anticipating the arrival of the boy who had asked 10 times already to clear it in the middle of our meal.
So, just a little warning. If you haven’t been to China or Vietnam, you will quickly learn that parents exercise NO control over their children. Be prepared to be beat down, yelled at and just plain abused by all children you meet on your journeys to these two countries.
June 8, 2010 § Leave a comment
I went to bed last night at 4am working with clients, checking out the new iPhone, chatting with friends back home. If it wasn’t for tennis this morning I probably would have pulled an all nighter as a new episode of Breaking Bad was available to download. Suffice to say after an hours of tennis in the sun after next to no sleep, I wasn’t in a great mood but, I did have a lunch appointment with one of my managers at the Dragon Hot pot. Much to my chagrin, our table upstairs was situated next to about 15 Malaysian chicks. This would normally be great, except for the fact it was some strange mix of old and young, goth and Muslim, with a common denominator, LOUD and UGLY. These chicks were all rocking black, 1/3rd with matching black head wraps. One had a hair do that resembled Billy Idol. It was bad. Every 5 minutes felt like New Year’s 1999 at an animal shelter full critters deathly scared by the fireworks. To top it all off, the upstairs is a mezzanine, which gets filled with smokey air from the hot pots below. For some reason I could not comprehend, the staff said they couldn’t turn on the ceiling fans so I was definitely hot and uncomfortable.
So, i can’t really give a great review as even a minor delay in service was the cause of a major headache. The food was ok. I’ve yet to find really good teriyaki here so, with that as the bar, I’d say the teriyaki lunch set is worth having. I”ll probably go back again during off hours, sit downstairs, and stay far away from any sign of Malaysian women.
June 7, 2010 § 4 Comments
Whether you want therapeutically effective or pure rub and tug, Saigon has it all. Living here, I probably spend about 10% of my time awake getting a massage. There are basically four types of massage here:
- Spa Style — this is what you’d expect in the Western world. Choices of styles, good service, very clean, and, expensive. Examples of this would be The Spa at the Manor or anyone of the hotel spas. I’m not an expert in this space as it’s all a bit expensive for my tastes.
- Foot Massage — Usually Japanese themed, this to me is the best bargain for a good quality massage. I used to think “why the hell would i want someone just rubbing my feet?”. But, one back injury and 100 massages later, i’m convinced this is the way to go. They typically also do a 90 minute session that includes a full body rub. These types of massages are almost always done in a room with other people. The one downside to this is Vietnamese and their cel phones can be VERY annoying if you’re just looking to relax. I stick with one place almost exclusively called Yuan foot massage. It caters to a Japanese crowd. $8 for an hour, $12 for 90 minutes, including tip. They serve great tea and are very professional. They have both guys and girls who do massage there, although it’s primarily girls. They aren’t cute, but, these little girls can put some serious pain on you. Ask for #5 or #11 and you will not be disappointed. Sorry guys, no happy endings here.
- Salon Style — There are quite a few of these places in town, most are actually pretty good. I typically go to one of three, Le Duyen 4, DMax or Duyen Dang 3. What you get here is a mix between therapeutic massage, facial, manicure, hair cuts and really whatever else you want from a treatment standpoint. The girls at the places mentioned are HOT, smoking hot. They dress very sexy and give excellent service. The Goi Dau, or hair wash is an amazing thirty minutes of relaxation. I will typically spend about 2 hours there getting a hair wash, which, is really a long facial under warm water and massage. The massage is good, typically they use hot stones on your back with just a little bit of oil. They also do this knee rub thing that feels great. Some days, when I’m hung over (wait, that’s most days), I have the girls bring me some Pho (soup) or a Banh Mi (sandwich) and I’ll chill in the VIP massage and watch some TV. Cost is 120,000VND ($6.50) for regular and 250,000VND ( $13) for VIP. Tips here are usually 100,000 VND ($5.50) to 300,000 VND ($16.50). There is no freaky stuff at these places either so, prepare yourself for ecstasy minus the release. Sometimes the girls there will meet you up for coffee at night or go clubbing. Typically though, they work long, hard days so don’t be too offended if you have trouble getting one to go out with you.
- And… the moment you all have been waiting for, the Rub and Tug… But, you’re gonna have to wait for Part Two to post for that.
- Yuan Foot Massage – 15B Le Thanh Ton Street
- Le Duyen 4 – – 72 – 74, Truong Dinh Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- Duyen Dang 3 – 44, Truong Dinh Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- Dmax – 9A, Ton That Tung Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- The Spa at the Manor – 91 Nguyen Huu Canh Street
June 6, 2010 § Leave a comment
I woke up late on Sunday angry because i thought i missed the Laker’s game. Called my girl, she said, “is it Sunday” (meaning, is the game on Sunday) and i responded, “i’m so stupid, today is only Saturday”… She was confused but I was so convincing I had her believing it was still Saturday… Then i realized, there is no way an all day pool party could have been on Friday night? Anyway, that’s how messed up we got the night before!
A week before i saw this post for a pool party. Sounded interesting but, I was a bit wary as those are usually expat central which means, lots of loud foreigners and typically much uglier girls. My buddy hit me up though on the day of and suggested we check it out. I was like, “are you kidding, it’s raining”, to which he responded “what else are we gonna do?”. At 5 in the afternoon on a Saturday, it was a point well taken. So, we rolled out there, paid our 250,000 (about $13) VND to get in and checked it out… What didn’t surprise me was there were almost no people there. The pleasant surprise was that out of the 50 people there, 35 were probably girls! The other nice thing was a bottle of SKY Vodka with 4 chaser cans was only 450,000VND ($23). Say no more! We posted up on some lawn chairs under a tarp, chatted up some of the PR girls and had a pretty fun time. There was supposed to be a bikini contest which we never saw. Typical in Vietnam, they schedule a million things for an event, then, everything is either late, or just doesn’t happen. The highlight of the night was my buddy picking up our waitress and jumping in the pool… Good times. I don’t personally know the guys who threw this event, but, you can keep up with them online, info below.
We left there about 7:30pm, went back to my place for a quick shower and, of course, some Hangar Lime for the road, then headed off to VIP Karaoke where we had an expiring bottle. If you’re staying in Vietnam for an extended time, keep an eye out for the expiration dates on any bottles you leave as they are usually 1 to 3 months. VIP Karaoke is a bit on the upscale side. Nice, pretty classy. The girls sit with you and drink but are typically not take home girls. If you’ve got enough game, you might be able to talk them into going out with you… Getting a phone number is par for the course so don’t get too excited about that. Most places the girls make money when you book a room/table with them so, expect them to call you. You know you got game if they actually go hang out with you and don’t just call to say “i miss you, i want to see you, you come here”.
One more bottle later, my buddy talked me into going to X Club, a hot, trendy, local Vietnamese style club. Loud techno / dance music is par for the course at these places. Girls are pretty hot but, it’s a bit hard to meet them as they are usually in groups and, if they can afford to go there are either prostitutes or have some guys footing the bill. We had a couple bottles already so it was all to the good. The place is expensive though. Chasers are about $4 each can, bottles anywhere from $80-$300 each. Fruit plates and things of that nature will really add up too so if you’re on a budget, be careful what you are ordering.
Wet and Wild Pool Party –
- Address: Số 2, Đường 45, Phường Bình An, District 2
- Promoted By – http://www.facebook.com/vuaigiaitri
- Address — not exactly sure — on Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street about 1 block from Cach Manh Tang 8
X Club (also known to the locals as 030 (khong ba khong)
- Address: 58, Ton That Thiep Street, District 1