Bzzzzzzzz. Let’s talk Cà Phê (Coffee)

It’s a coffee culture here, all over Vietnam. You can’t walk more than thirty seconds in any direction without seeing a ca phê (coffee) shop. We were all excited about the prospects before leaving Canada but found that our preferred style of coffee doesn’t align with theirs. Vietnamese coffee beans are special. Potent. Robusta beans. (Real people drink robusta bean coffee) It’s the thing to indulge in if you’re a coffee aficionado. Coffee is, by default, cold & iced unless you specify otherwise. When successful in conveying “hot” to the server you will be rewarded with a very small, heavily concentrated serious coffee. Serious enough that the caffeine overload hits fast and we are buzzzzzzzzing off the coffee. Enough so that two coffees of that nature delivers full-on heart palpitations. So we skip coffee shops, bought our own kettle and rely on 3-in-1 instant coffees (which, by the way are excellent!). Today however, we scored! We found the first coffee shop in six weeks where we can order up a good ole amateur full-sized (eight-ounces vs one-ounce) coffee. Down the hatch it goes!! buzzzzzzzzz. It’s loaded too! With big happy buzzy smiles we sit in little cafe chairs (kindergarten size, of course) at the side of the road, dilated pupils & all watching life go by.

Let’s also talk food freshness. Just about anything you might eat, anything you sink your teeth into, was likely either photosynthesizing, slithering, cock-a-doodling, oinking or barking less than 24 hours prior (sorry ‘bout the barking, but true!). We don’t see large grocery stores. Food comes from local Mom & Pop operations everywhere you look. There’s simply no need to rely on pre-packaged or processed foods.

Most Vietnamese are minuscule in stature and weight compared to us westerners. I bought a quick-dry shirt, (size X-large, due to my ginormous size) and it’s not particularly roomy. Do I have body dysmorphia? Maybe. Four Vietnamese and their pet dog (but only one westerner) can fit on a motorbike. We need to shop in the “big and fat” section. Randy is Amazon sized. I never lose him in a crowd. Maybe it’s the Pho! If we went on a Pho-three-times-a-day-diet we might also fit in. But sometimes we crave the comforts of kem (ice-cream). Two kems please, cuz we are big, and need two. Plus, it’s almost 41.5° (106.7°F) outside—a hot bowl of noodle soup ain’t going to cool us down.

‘Tis a wee bit warm here in Saigon

Late night Pho Bo (Beef Pho)

Hotel: 1 hour ($4-$5), Overnight ($10), Day ($19)

Posted in Uncategorized, Vietnam 2024.


  1. Coffee looks delish, though the amount of caffeine would floor me not mention there would be no sleep for a week!
    Amazing how the motorbikes accommodate so many people!

  2. Haha you make me laugh. I’m picturing the flintstones and the speed of their feet as they start up their car…….. you and Randy on bikes after having the coffee there. Good job riding portion is finished!
    The pho looks rather good I might say. Continue to explore and enjoy. I know I’m enjoying from this perspective! 😊

    • Gotta admit, when the mood is right, the Pho isn’t too bad (as long as there’s no bones or gristle in it).

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