peteg's blog

Trung Nguyên Cafés.

/AYAD/HCMC/Cafes | Link

Hồ Chí Minh City is a place to buy coffee, with vendors on every street and every alley (presently exchanging a foreigner's five kilođong for the caffiene-and-sugar hit of a cà phê sữa đá) and all the hotels (the Legend Hotel charges $US3.50 for a very mediocre American-style drip coffee). Mai got me onto the Trung Nguyên cafés, which are apparently a Starbucks-style franchise. If there's anything to be said in favour of tariffs, Trung Nguyên says it; I have difficulty drinking street coffee now.

The problem with it being a franchise (and this being Hồ Chí Minh City) is the difficulty of getting a list of addresses for the cafés. Fortunately I can crib from here (and please excuse the erratic character decorations):

  • 1 Trần Hưng Đạo, District 1.

    Diagonally opposite Bến Thành Market on the roundabout. The first one I went to, with Loan one Saturday afternoon. My local, I have a table there. Don't be put off by the big love-heart on the door, the waitresses will take good care of you. Head upstairs for more of that 50s Art Deco feeling.

  • On the monster roundabout at the intersection of Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm and Điện Biên Phủ at the top of District 1, opposite Mike's workplace, the impressive-looking Institute of Agricultural Science of South Vietnam.

  • On Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm between Nguyễn Đình Chiẻu and Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, District 1.

  • 1 Bủi Thị Xuân, District 1, opposite the park.

    Somewhat like my local on Trần Hưng Đạo but not as atmospheric. Mai steered me to this one.

  • Nguyen Van Chiem, next to the Diamond Plaza.

    Today it was closed for renovations which will clearly take some time.

  • 32 Mac Dinh Chi, District 1.

    Couldn't find this one, but the numbers go strangely on that street.

I haven't been to (and they may not exist):

  • 114 Ly Tu Trong, District 1.
  • 44B Chu Manh Trinh, District 1.
  • 349 Hai Ba Trung, District 3.
  • 150D Ly Chinh Thang, District 3.
  • 10 Nguyen Thong, District 3.
  • 46 Chu Mạnh Trinh, District 1
  • 2A Nguyễn Huệ, District 1.

Apparently one can purchase their coffee in Australia.

Bright Concert, Hồ Chí Minh City Opera House.

/noise/music | Link

Earlier in the week I stumped up 450kvnđ for a cheap seat at the Bright Concert, and this evening I waded through about half a metre of water on Lê Lợi to get to the Hồ Chí Minh City Opera House. The Darius Quartet were excellent, but I couldn't get into the arias.