Like the streets for travelers in all countries, Saigon’s Pho Tay is always bustle with visitors from all over the world. The services so quickly sprang up to serve the needs of visitors: daily tours from travel agencies; cars, scooters and bicycles rental, foot massage, book stores, groceries … turning the streets of only few hundred meters long to bustling buying and selling spots.
There are hundreds of hotels, motels, restaurants, cafes, groceries and fashion shops in the three streets.
At 6 am, when the city was still quiet, a few shops have started cleaning goods, prepare to welcome guests. The noodle stall and bread and beverage stalls are present on the sidewalks. Some tour busese are waiting for passengers. Vehicles from Ho Chi Minh city to visit Cambodia are from many companies, an average of one hour a bus will depart. The foreign guests pack their goods while buying a loaf of bread to eat on the way.
At 7 am, it is the turn of daily tour buses. Most of the buses going to the Cu Chi Tunnels or Can Tho. The ticket offices at the streets are usually open till late, 12pm, still receiving visitors for the next day.
Passengers come by all means of transport: buses, taxis and “xe om”. Visitors here are mostly backpackers. Hotels are of all kinds, from approximately VND 60,000 /night, bunk beds to private rooms cost about VND 250,000/room, also there are rooms of a few hundred thousand VND for a night. Hotels inside the alleys are cheaper and quieter. Backpackers are also not picky, just a clean place to stay with bathroom, enclosed room to store goods and a bed as all day they were outside, just need a room to rest, shower and sleep, to leave early the next morning.
At the beginning of the streets, some “xe om” drivers are sipping cafe and reading newspaper while waiting for passengers. Bars full of style, sidewalks food stalls and restaurants. The guests love to enjoy snacks and fastfood can choose bread or practice using chopsticks by eat noodle dishes. Several other enjoy walking around the streets, exploring the little souvenir shops tucked away in the narrow alleys. A sidewalk cafe where people are chatting loudly. Popular music fill the streets.
Pho Tay is bustling to about 1, or 2am. If you come on a late flight, you can still knock on the door asking for the hostel rooms which welcome guests 24 hours a day.
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