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There are just so many more things about Saigon that I can talk about, but basically all the entries I’ve post are what made Saigon.

Thank you for anyone who has supported, liked and commented on my blog. This is the end of my Personal Project, but it’s not the end of my own self journal around my city. I’ll still post anything about Saigon because I still love photography and my city.

Here are some pictures to end my project:) Enjoyy!

Andddd this is meee:)

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With about 133 years standing on 2B Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, Dist.1, this zoo is well known not only to the Vietnamese but foreign tourists as well because it is one of the oldest zoo in the world.

A French veterinary- Louis Adolphe Germain planned, constructed and managed to finish the zoo in 1865. Later on it became a place to both protect and preserve species and plants, not only local ones but also many from other countries.

About 25,000 m2 in area, the zoo is successful as a place for people to come and have fun, and in addition, to contemplate many species that are becoming endangered( with the help of many international organizations through out the world). The zoo helps people to understand and precious the meaning of protecting the environment since it’s threatened day by day.

Price: children-normal days: 6,000 VND,10,000 VND for Sunday

adults: 20,000 VND

For more information you can go to its official website: http://www.saigonzoo.net

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saigon_Zoo_and_Botanical_Gardens

Street food (1)

Street food is one of the significant things that makes Saigon cuisine as exclusive as it is right now. In today’s post I’ll introduce 2 street food that you have to fall in love with the first time you try them!

The first food is Goi kho bo, literally Beef jerky salad. Just by looking at its name could tell you that beef jerky is the main ingredient of the dish. Anyway it’s kinda easy to make this dish yourself. You only need beef jerky (of course), minced papaya and peanuts, mix them all together and put some chilly in if you like, that’s all.

Tips: You’re not going to be full eating this food alone so don’t eat it for lunch or dinner;it’s just a normal light meal.

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The second one is Xoi ga, which is sticky rice but with chicken. This is only one in many types of sticky rice. Originally, sticky rice is made of glutinous rice along with other ingredients(depends on the type of sticky rice). It’s easy to see that sticky rice is different from normal rice for the fact that it is more sticky! The glutinous rice is what made the rice sticky. This food is famous mostly in Asian countries;it can be sweet or savory. Xoi ga is an example of savory sticky rice, in addition to savory types, there are Xoi with fish, with Chinese sausages, etc. As for sweet sticky rice, there are Xoi with mango, with corn, with black beans, with durian, etc

The Saigon-ese really likes to eat sticky rice. We eat it for every occasions, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack;we even serve this food in weddings, anniversary, etc. Sticky rice is sold everywhere, but it’s mostly near schools because this dish is very cheap and so it attracts many students.

Price: about 5000 to 10,000 VND

Summer roll (Gỏi cuốn)

Summer roll, or salad roll, or Goi cuon in Vietnamese, is listed at number 30 in the World’s 50 most delicious food. This is also one of my favorite dish because it’s so cheap and easy to eat.

Basically, layers of boiled shrimp, pork, herbs and rice vermicelli (bún) are wrapped in Vietnamese rice paper (bánh tráng). Depends on the regiong it is served, the ingredients will varied. For example, pork can be replaced with beef, duck, crab, fish, Vietnamese sausage (giò lụa) or fried eggs.

Like many other dishes that I’ve introduced, this dish is eaten along with fish sauce. However, there’s one more sauce that you eat with Goi cuon which I prefer and suggest you should try: hoisin sauce (made of fermented soy, garlic,vinegar), this sauce is originated in China.

Price: 2000 VND per roll (so cheap right)

Where to find:They’re sold everywhere, from street vendors to normal Vietnamese restaurants.

 

One that has a taller bell tower and with double area than Xa Loi Pagoda, Vinh Nghiem Pagoda is one of the most well-known pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City.

This pagoda was built with modern materials though it has a traditional architecture. The tallest construction within the pagoda is the bell tower, as I’ve mentioned above, is 40 meters high with 7 stories, compared to only 32 meters of Xa Loi Pagoda.

In 1964, two monks from the North of Vietnam went down to Ho Chi Minh to do a propaganda about Buddhism and later started to build this construction. It was finished in 1974 with 3 main places: the bell tower, social and cultural basis, and a place for people to pray.

Extra information: Other than a place for us to pray like other normal pagodas, this place also keeps dead people’s ashes on one of the bell tower.

Address: 339 Nam Ki Khoi Nghia, Dist.3, Ward 7.

Che (Chè)

Che is one of the most popular beverage among Vietnamese, especially us, the teenagers. It is a dessert but most of the time, we eat Che for our snacks: in the afternoon, in the evening (but we never eat it in the morning though).

Small tip: If you ever go to Vietnam and ask for where to eat Che, you have to describe it, or else some  could misunderstand since che in Vietnamese also means tea.

There are seriously a lot of kinds of Che, from sweet ones to savory ones (which have sausage, grilled pork or eggs). And shame on me, I have only eaten 3 in hundreds kinds! Anyways, the ingredients are pretty much abundant and multiform, the main ones include cooked beans-sweetened with sugar, rice, fruits, also there are tapioca starch, coconut dream. We also put an amount of ice in to reduce the sweetness of the drink.

An example: In the picture below is my favorite Che, it is Thai Che, which uses several of tropical fruits like jack fruit, pomegranate, durian, longan, coconut. I ate this che in Ben Thanh Market and it’d probably be easy for you to find some here.

Mix it all up and there you go, a tasty, dainty, yummy cup of Che will lower the heat of Saigon.

Price: about 10,000 VND to 20,000

Today I’ll write about 2 famous cakes for breakfast and snack of Vietnamese people in general and especially in Saigon. These are very common and rustic food for us. The first one is called Banh giay, some of us call it Banh day but I guess it just depends on the area we live in that the way we spell the word is varied.

Banh giay is wrapped with a thick layer of banana leaves outside to protect and keep the cake warm (like you can see in the first picture).To eat, you must peel the leaves until you see a white, sticky, triangular-shaped piece. That is the cake, according to my second photo, the cake is stuffed with chopped cooked pork and mushrooms. With one bite, you can feel the soft texture of the white part since it’s made of rice flour, and at the same time, the tough feeling from the stuffed mushroom inside.

The second cake is smaller than Banh giay. It’s alsocrushed and mixed rice flour. However, they’re hardly ever wrapped in leaves since they’re too small, so we tend to put a plastic piece around the cake, as it’s really sticky, even more sticky than Banh giay. If you hold the cake with you bare hands, the sticky part, which is the white part (as shown below) will stick to your hand, you can wash it out but it’ll be easier to eat the cake with the plastic. In addition, between the two white pieces are usually grill chopped meat.

Both cakes are quite cheap, under 10,000 VND and are usually sold in street vendors.

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