Pham Ngu Road...
The Saigon downtown bus has finished running for the night so it' l have to be a taxi ride. I half expected it and research before arriving Came up with a couple of taxi companies reported to be reputable - Vinasun and Mai linh. The ride to district 1 should cost around $5 and could take anything up to an hour, according to Wiki travel. The driver doesn't speak any English, but he understands and smiles at the word money and at this point I make sure the meter is switched on! He cant understand where i want to get to so after an awkward few minutes i tap out the street name on my Blackberry phone. He nods and off we go.There is a lot of traffic made up mainly of motorbikes, thousands of them but it's all moving somehow. Slot in, push in and barge through seem to be the rules here, but they do stop at red lights!
District 1 and Pham Ngu Lao road takes about 30 minutes from the Airport, 8pm on a Monday. The rides costs 116,000 Dong on the meter, that's just over $5. It's around here that I should be able to find some accommodation. Actually the accommodation finds me The taxi pulls off and a chap calls me over, offers a place. It,s down a narrow alleyway, a clean place, double room, tv, air con, fridge, wifi and shower. $12 a night he says, I say 10 and we settle on $11 over 7 nights.
Lots of eating, plenty of drinking all around this area. Bustling with tourists in thier hundreds, could almost be another Bangkok, but not quite.