Street food of Vietnam: $0.50 USD spring rolls

Day 3 – Saigon, cheap street food:

As the day before, I was certain that it will take the hotel’s kitchen half an hour before our coffee are served, if we’re lucky. No, they don’t turn on the switch, have a coffee pot and heater for self serve in VN in case you’re wondering. They must be doing the drip coffee (which I don’t think it tasted like one). Mom was ready and went down to the hotel’s restaurant first while I take a quick shower. Oh…I forgot to mention, the room fee included the FREE breakfast. I usually just drink the coffee and had a bit of their breakfast as a buffer in case (I don’t or can’t eat outside food) and venture out on my exploration of SG.

Both mom and I neglected to take an electrical hair brush with us as we were thinking there might be plenty of it in VN. How wrong we were? And no, I don’t like to have stranger touching/doing my hair or my personal grooming. I easy going but I can be such a perfectionist at certain things that it’s such a challenge to find a beautician that I love. I’m only comfortable with my own familiar hairdressers (I got a few favorite ones on my list as back up in case one can’t take me in). Here I am, the land of knock-off yet no electrical hair brushes. Having ride in the back of the motorbike, wearing the toys like quality helmet, the humid weather and etc….my hair looks like a hobo’s hair these past few days. Mom wanted to go to the beauty supply store again. The store was already closed when they came by the night before. I mentally noted down the address and walk away. Don’t know how far out I walked but I browse 2 different stores and neither one carry what I were looking for. They had the hot curling iron but not the hot electrical brush (which you don’t need neither a round brush or hair dryer).

On my way back, spot a pharmacy so I stopped by to buy some anti-itch lotion for mom (which I neglected to take with us) as she’s been suffering from severe skin reaction. The owner is a fellow retired Californian from Glendale. Had a good chat with him and head back to the hotel to inform my mom that I couldn’t find the brush.

We both walked back to our home and get ready to go visit cô Phước ‘s family. We came back from the much obliged visit and quickly pack our stuff for our flight to Đà Nẵng. We ended up agreeing that we need to pay another round of excess weight on the luggage as they only allow 15 kilos on domestic flights. We had 2 suitcases and 2 carton boxes altogether. Told mom I’m going to have lunch (attempting to try out Ba ghiên` broken rice house). When you’re hungry and tired (from heat exhaustion-I was walking), suddenly the place seems to far to walk.

I ended up circling back and had 4 spring rolls (2 pork/prawn combo & 2 Julianne pork skin) from one of the stall (2 goỉ cuôn’ and 2 bì cuôn’). Total bill=$12,00 VND, roughly $0.55 USD. Still feeling somewhat hungry or not satisfied (they eat/snack multiple times a day in SE Asia that all portions are very small vs. the US).

 Spot a banh’ bôt. lọc stall a few blocks down so I stopped by and had some.

My plate
Yup. That’s the vendor’s entire stall. Just a basket of steam banh bot loc and the fish sauce dip/dressing.

Bought a bunch home as I know my mom loves these snacks/food. Total bill, $65,000 VND, ball park, a little over $3.00 USD. Still a good value but seems pricey comparing to what I just paid for the 4 spring rolls earlier.

So, how did I fare (money wise) for the day before flying out to Đà Nẵng?

Hotel:                   $21.00 USD (breakfast included)
Appetizer:            $0.55 USD (spring rolls)
Lunch:                  $3.00 USD
Total Spent:      $24.55 USD  

*Hotel’s price: for 2 persons

If you’re traveling with a partner and able to split up the hotel’s fee, you’ll be able to bring down your hotel’s cost by half, or a saving of $10.00 + USD. That will leave more room for organized tour/activity and finer dinning option.


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