From Book 1:
Experience real Saigon: My Saigon 2017
Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) offers bustling streets, amazing walks, too-hip-for-you cafes, rocking music clubs, luxurious salons, explosively delicious restaurants, and indoor cat zoos. Saigon is Vietnam. It’s young, practical, crowded, and a little bit brash.
Unfortunately, most visitors to Saigon are limited to the same boring “attractions”: unimpressive buildings, overpriced markets, and War propaganda.
Saigon has so much more to offer, but it’s largely undocumented in English-language travel guides.
My Saigon documents what knowledgeable Saigonese people know: the most amazing experiences, the cultural backstories, the practical go-to tips, the best coffee, the best food (far beyond pho), the best hangouts, the coolest stuff, and hipsters, hipsters everywhere.
Big-picture layout of the city.Basic history your tour guides aren't allowed to tell you.Don't stay in the backpacker cesspool, but don't overpay for a hotel.Get up and running with cheap mobile data in minutes, without visiting any phone stores.Pho isn't really a big thing in Saigon: it's a northern Vietnamese food. I'm sorry. But I'll show you the best pho in Saigon anyway.Delicious, authentic, moderately priced restaurants where my friends and I eat -- and that you won't find on Tripadvisor.Coffee. Did someone say coffee? I sure like coffee. Coffee. Yes. More coffee. Please. I'll tell you where.Hang out where Vietnamese people hang out, eat street snacks, listen to live music, whatever.Make cool friends, date guys or girls, whether you're a guy or a girl.Silly Saigonese slang, maybe to use with your new Vietnamese girlfriend or boyfriend.The lowdown on how Saigon's mafia runs the streets and who the various street characters are.Would you wear a Dixie hat at a NAACP meeting? Then don't wear a hammer-and-sickle t-shirt in Saigon.Don't give money to beggars and street kids, because they're all owned by the mafia.Saigon taxis are convenient and trouble-free, if you know the simple trick to avoid scams -- but Uber and Grab are even better!
My Saigon includes tutorials on basic Vietnamese language, history (that Vietnamese tour guides are forbidden from mentioning), Saigon street characters, urban navigation and transportation, internet and phones, money and prices, avoiding scams, making friends, and meeting love interests.
Saigon is a wealth of sights, sounds, smells, and experiences. My Saigon is a guide, a love confessional, an instruction manual, and an ode to the city.
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