Gift with Purchase

We are not foreign to the buy-this-get-that concept, but in South Africa we normally associate this with magazines and then usually the freebie is a “sample size” item. Cooking oil + freebie is certainly new to us. If you buy enough, you have a dinner set, or a cupboard full of tumblers. A win-win for both parties.

A must-do for us in any country abroad, is an outing to a department store and/or supermarket. The ‘gift with purchase’ was not reserved for oil only …

Vietnamese is of such petite frame, it is thus only fitting that their shopping trolleys mimic this. After-all, whatever they buy travels home on a scooter.

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Ever had that craving for just a bite of sushi? Well, look no further.

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It is always exciting to spot a South African brand on the shelves.

Oh my word! So what was in my coffee before?

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These people mean business. A whole isle dedicated to cooking oil and another to two minute noodles. If you are not brand loyal, you will end up flipping a coin to make decisions here … probably from there the gift with purchase. Who doesn’t have an eye for a bargain?

The staff in this shop probably do not give any – with a name like this.

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Speaking of clothes shopping. If you are of “western” build, do not hold your breath for anything in your size – for that you will need a tourist trap (like the one en-route to Ha Long Bay). Still not sure why the bigger sizes need to be so utterly ugly. As for the locals, it seems socks are still not a big seller.

I am all for trying new things, but this sweetcorn classic (??) was just outside my adventure range.

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I suspect the owner/manager of this restaurant might be a (committed) smoker …

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Property in Vietnam is expensive, hence the narrow yet tall buildings, where some form of trade takes place on ground floor (and sometimes the 1st floor as well), with the family living on the remaining floors above.

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Oh look, a hostel with good mattresses – a traveler’s dream.

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The more we travel, the more we see evidence of the same electricity aesthetics.

I mentioned in an earlier blog post that Vietnamese traffic (at least those observed in Hanoi) do not really care much for traffic lights. We saw a t-shirt shop joking about this.

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One has to wonder what is the problem with coffee shops in my own country. Vietnam is not exactly a rich country, but in most coffee shops for as long as you buy something from them, they give you free wi-fi.

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A chance sighting through a taxi window in Ho Chi Minh City. Vuvuzela is a South African word, but this establishment seems interesting in its own right.

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“Pho” [pronounced ‘faah’] is a type of Vietnamese soup, but also slang for “street food”. For Western tourists who would like to get a taste of this, but do not feel safe or comfortable to buy food off the street from vendors, there is always Pho24. It is like street food, but in a restaurant 😉 There is also a rival chain, called Pho 2000.

I get it. You hang it to limit bruising, but I fear that ship might have sailed.

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Cambodian business owners appear to be very religious, or hedging their bets. Outside many establishments/shops we saw these type of shrines. Offerings are made to their deities, in exchange for good fortune and protection. For two cups of tea, I am tempted to give a try myself.

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Righty then, shall we move onto How to survive Bangkok?