Our breakfast was included at the Silverland Charner hotel on Monday 25th January, I had dragon fruit and water melon to start with and a peach juice followed by 2 bowls of very tasty pho ga. Captain Caveman, wearing his new football top, had fruit, an omelette and coffee. I had arranged to meet Tan, a guy I met 6 years ago on a Tu Lan 4 day cave expedition with Oxalis, who is from Saigon. Our good friend Trang, who has businesses in Phong Nha and is from Dong Hoi, now lives in Saigon so we invited her too.

Tan chose a pasta place called Sap Gourmet Corner which was very close to our hotel and we arranged to meet at 12. Trang is always at least an hour late but she arrived before our food came and I was enjoying a very good margarita. I’d not seen Tan for about 3 years and it was nice to see him again, he even moved seats before Trang came so that she could sit next to me! Both me and Captain Caveman ordered the chicken meatballs with our pasta and enjoyed watching them cook it, both Trang and Tan ordered duck dishes which looked fantastic. After a delicious lunch we arranged to all meet the next day and off we went back to our hotel.

I decided to try out the free afternoon tea, which the hotel advertised in the room directory, while Captain Caveman looked at his phone for a few hours. It was a sorry excuse for afternoon tea; there was just me, a choice of breakfast or earl grey tea and the hot water machine had a lock on it. There was no cake or other sweet treats until I eventually got a couple of biscuits. It was a sign that the hotel was probably suffering the effects of loss of customers due to Corona and no international travel.In the evening Captain Caveman was in charge of entertainment and we were off to meet his friends at Rico Taco, another Mexican restaurant. We walked there and called for a drink in a pub called Malt, on the way – a proper beer place which also sold a nice Chilean red wine by the glass. I managed the short walk then 3 flights of stairs up to dinner where we met Quyen, Andrea, Bruno and Rob and I had such a good time that no photos were taken of the whole evening because I was too busy enjoying it. I had pork tacos and tried to order without chillies but the waitress said it wasn’t possible, I just had 2 and the sauce on the side and that was hot enough, Captain Caveman had nachos, shared the guacamole and black salsa dip as well as burritos for his main. I had 2 margaritas but was conscious of having to go down the stairs again safely so left it at that. It was a good fun evening and all the dinner guests were lovely. On the way home we decided to call back in to Malt to break up my walk and it was pretty full. Captain Caveman decided to stare at a bloke who had walked in with a pretty Vietnamese woman and a younger man – I had to tell him to stop in case he started a fight as he was really gawping! Luckily Captain Caveman’s suspicions were correct and he recognised Neil from the cycling event on Saturday, who was a friendly guy but looked like he worked out!! I’d really enjoyed my second full day in Saigon and had packed a lot in, tomorrow would be our last full day in the city.

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