A Ride to Diamond Plaza
Today I got to again experience traffic, but with many added bonuses on today’s activities. I was able to do something today that I haven’t yet been able to do since I arrived in Vietnam… be alone with Hang.
It’s so simple, yet hardly ever happens here. It was a very fun day out, with a bit of an educational stuff for both of us as well. After a little bit of breakfast, we geared up and mounted the motorbike for a 15-20 minute ride through the city. There was so much to see on the way, stopping at Hang’s school (when she was in school), and viewing many different little places from when she was growing up. It was a fun trip on a motorbike. Normal people who live here probably aren’t that fond of it, but the tourist in me hasn’t worn off yet.
We found a parking spot eventually, and ditched the scooter. The ultimate destination was a tall shopping center named Diamond Plaza, which has pretty much something for everybody. The four floors within the large shopping center is host to items for all different types of people, and all different income levels. The first floor, easily accessed from any of the four entrances around the complex, flaunts only the highest quality of garments, handbags, watches, and other accessory items. Pretty much everything in there is way too expensive for my budget, and Hang’s as well (although she did find a purse by Burberry that was 50%, priced at “only” $500USD after the discount. There were shirts in there for $200USD, shoes for $300USD, and many other things that are simply priced because of the name on it.
Still, even overpriced as it was… I wish I could have bought it for her. She was really into it so much. All I kept saying is “one day… one day.”
The second floor was about items a bit cheaper, containing brands like Guess, Levis, Crocodile and high quality stuff that most middle-class people in the United States would consider “Good Brands” and they had quite a few sales, but nothing too major. The third floor has similar stuff, however as we moved higher up the building we discovered that the value, price, and quality of everything went down as we went up.
At the very top floor was a rather crowded arcade area, with tons of games. Some of them were Vietnamese, others had English instructions on how to play, but many were Japanese oddly enough, and neither Hang nor I could read how to play (we just sort of stayed away from those for the most part.
The arcade took tokens, which could be purchased at the front counter. One token, was 3,000d (which is 15¢). Playing a game at the arcade, usually was one token, so the gaming here was VERY cheap! We played lots of games together, something we hadn’t ever done before yet.
Lunch was at KFC (yes, that’s right… Kentucky Fried Chicken). It’s pretty similar to the KFC we have in America, except the options are a bit more limited. For instance, it did not have the mashed potato bowl that I love so much. Still, it was a pretty okay meal, considering it was the most expensive food we had purchased since we got here (KFC meal for both of us was a whopping $8.50USD!). The KFC here also handles customers a little bit better too, because they actually come and take care of your tray and trash for you (rather than you needing to dump it in the garbage). Cool I guess.
After lunch, we headed back down the escalators to the ground floor, and headed out the door. We stopped for a quick picture of the Notre Dame Cathedral, which just happened to be across the street. Then, we went for a little walk… until a dude with a xích lô (pronounced “Sick lo”) approached us…