Today started out at a brand new coffee shop. My challenge is to find a new one every day and try their food if they have food. Some shops do not have food and specialize only in coffee. Today I went to the Workshop Coffee Shop and Restaurant. I believe that this place is favored by the digital nomad crew here in Ho Chi Minh City. I saw a few of them take up long stay residence at this long table and one of the staff brought out additional surge arrests. Now that’s a handy thing and you can tell that the place most likely caters to workers and nomads. Prices were kinda high too but to me I don’t really care here. I don’t buy dinner any more and don’t have to get laundry done. The homestay deal is pretty good all in all.
Anyways, I’ve read that Hanoi is really the coffee center for Vietnam but this place is no slouch and I have found so many different coffee shops and restaurants for my morning blast for everything from classic Vietnamese coffee to latte to americano. They do favor it iced so I have to remember to always ask for it hot.
The coffee scene here in Vietnam is incredible folks. If you come here and you should if you want to stretch those dollars a bit, I would try coffee here. You have to try the egg coffee. Its a bit rich but it has an indescribable taste. Cannot tell you what its like exactly. Its a taste you have to try. I don’t think there are places back in the states or elsewhere that can approximate it.
The real thing though I wanted to write about is the social and cultural scene of the coffee shop in Vietnam. I think coffee shops are hubs for people. Its a meeting place definitely of all ages and free wifi figures prominently. You don’t have some “brain dead” one hour limit like Starbucks does here in Vietnam. The worst was one Starbucks here which did 30 minutes. Seriously?
Then there is the ex-pat and digital nomad thing that I think Ho Chi Minh City has going for it. People find places where they can work and invite partners or customers or whatever either in real time or in virtual rooms to join. Coffee shops here are naturals for this. They kinda blend the act of coffee and the act of relationships and culture together and the idea of the coffee shop here has translated far away from the Peets or Starbucks in the states. Its more than the most delicious coffee. Its the joining together of people, ideas, fun, young and old, traveler and local. People like me as well. We all re-experience coffee at a few levels and learn that its completely different here in Vietnam.
Try it out when you come. And I think you must come here and experience the food, the people, the country, the culture. And the coffee! Don’t forget the coffee culture! 🙂
Today was more exploring…
So today was more exploring after coffee. I just walked by the river and am alway amazed at the differences in blocks. One block is a Japanese store and hotel block One has an Irish pub and small cozy restaurants. Another block has banks and international trade and ventures. Amazing place!
Today I decided to only shoot with the Camera on F/11 all day. I also shot with Auto ISO and I only shoot JPEGs so whether the photo is good or not, its mine. Since the Fuji has these different funky and fun film simulations, I shot only with the standard one called Provia.
And Ho Chi Minh City did not disappoint. Here are a few photographs from the walk today to check out.
Note that the weather today was a mix of sun, clouds, then thunder as soon as I got back to the homestay and after my ice cream treat. The walking was around the city center area because that’s what I felt like today. I still have about two weeks left here to adventure and do walks to other places and there are so many places on the map that require exploration!
So between the coffee shop exploration and finding a new one every day and the walking exploration, I feel that the city slowly shows me new wonders of so many kinds. The slow travel really pays off I think. I can move at a pace like I did in Hanoi. Find things which I can experience and return to because every day doing travel and street photography is something new. The way the sun glints off the Opera building. The way shadows fall when it clouds up. I’ll be walking around in the evening one of these nights soon to see the city at night. Cannot wait to see the skyline lit up here!
So that’s my report on coffee and hobo’ing around the city today!