Backpacker Haven

Today we found our place in Ho Chi Minh. After spending two nights in the upscale part of town, where large backpacks, dirty flip-flops, and newly purchased genie pants receive many sideways glances and a few cold shoulders, we wandered our way over to Pham Ngu Lao street. How could we have missed a place nick-named “backpacker’s town?” Five weary travelers drenched in salty sweat moved at a glacial pace past countless street vendors, chubby, shirtless kids playing and zigzagging among the swarm of motor bikes, and seven or eight Cirlce K’s. Hoards of exotic fruit and too much raw meat later, we turned down alley 373 toward backpacker home-sweet-hostel. Ceiling fans, complimentary bananas and green tea served by friendly women, fellow travelers from across the globe, dormitory-style rooms, six flights of stairs, and a book exchange- this was it.

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Photo credit: Brian Horne

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