Sunset from the Bus at Saigon

Everything happened really fast so I might not have time to write everything down so I’ll just jot down as much as I can.
Upon the arrival, I manage to get a really great SIM card deal introduced by the locals.

So far I'd been meeting amazing people and I feel really blessed.
I planned to take a cab initially but due to a surge, the prices went up twice. I was searching around for alternative before I decided to try taking a bus into the heart of District 7 itself. And before I know it... I can’t believe it. I’m seated on the bus right now.
Yep, the local bus.
It is surprisingly easy to take a bus, so don't let its language or the task itself fool you.

Even though some bus stop isn't very prominent, they are usually marked by a "bus-pole", with a board of its bus services number attached on top.
It is pretty hard to miss and the numbers are written and shown on both sides.
<You can even check it's arrival timing if you're using Google Maps/BusMap (a HCMC bus app)>

So you usually would board the bus after making sure it's the right one by speaking with the driver. However, you wouldn't be paying first until when the bus is ready to go, that's when a conductor (usually a lady) would be walking along the aisle collecting payment and issuing the bus ticket after.

Saigon Bus Conductor

I even met a local who's back to revisit this place. She married an American Guy and moved out to the States and she's back to revisit her family.
We spoke for a while and she told me a bit more on her life story, and also where's good to visit. She even recommended me to visit Rawai in Phuket if I'm ever visiting Phuket again. It's their favorite place.
I'm really grateful that she shared it with me.

I changed to another bus after and we're driving really slow due to the insane traffic over here at Ho Chi Minh, or also known as Saigon.
The pace is somewhat preferable as I got to see a lot of different sights along the cities, take photos and have conversations with backpackers and locals.
The traffic goes in a slow snooze as you can hear the prominent traffic honks and soots drifting alongside with the dust clouds. That is probably why most locals had their mask on while riding.

Saigon Traffic Motorbike

It was when we're passing by one of the bridges when I saw the sun setting.
I was the only foreigner there at that point of time, and all I could do is to stare in awe while the locals are pretty much oblivious to it.
As if they're immune to this beautiful view or it's been embedded like a routine that it has fallen into the likes of "white noise".

Students mostly with face mask sat with their backpack still strapped on their back hunched over their phones as their thumb scroll nonchalantly over the gleaming screen. There's another local in front of me holding onto her bags of grocery in thick red plastic bags while tapping her feet impatiently.
The traditional local radio blared in the background as some random chatter in Vietnamese float around the bus too, with some Aunties caught up in their own gossips.

I saw the river slowly consuming the sun as if a watercolor pastel was dropped into the giant puddle and the water splashed across the skies, drawing streaks of oranges across the horizon. It's amazing how I get to experience this on the bus, and I would have missed this wonderful view should I had stuck to my comfort zone. I stared out there as I see boats trickled alongside the river, cycles, and bikes wading through the road beside me.

It's as if I'm the only one who gets caught onto this beautiful gem since it is indeed the norm for everyone here.
I watched the colors get sucked into the vortex under the horizon as the usually noir blue slowly dyes the sky dark.
I take one last look at the riverside as the bus wheezed through the bridge, this time moving into the concrete jungle as I find myself looking at skyscrapers that tower above me. I went back to writing again, noting down all these amazing moments, for fear that it'll forgo me. I looked at the photos that I took (yes, the one that's the cover photo) and smiled to myself.

And this would not only mark the start of my amazing adventure but would also remind me to always have a little more courage to venture.
Only then, you could see and experience what's on the other side.

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