Captain Caveman was awake at 5am on Saturday 3rd April, slipping on his cycling attire and getting excited for his forthcoming participation in a 66km cycle route in the Tri An reservoir area. I had the day to myself and had arranged to meet a few different friends who I was trying to coordinate in to the one meeting place but failing.
In the Vietnamese news it was officially announced that there would be flights from Vietnam to Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan starting this week, but it was still only possible to book the return journey if you are Vietnamese or have a company sponsor as an expert, not to be used for tourism. More info here:
https://vietnaminsider.vn/its-official-vietnam-resumes-international-commercial-flights-tickets-now-available/
Thao Dien is District 2 but the people I wanted to meet up with were in either District 1 or 7 and they were a bit reluctant/didn’t have time to come to where I was. I really liked the area we were staying in and had a list of places I wanted to eat at so my first meal of the day was at Marcel Gourmet Burger for lunch. It was a very short walk from Common Inn but because the last time I had gone past it, it had felt further away, I actually missed the turning and walked twice as far. When I arrived it was fairly busy so I sat on another high chair in the corner and ordered the blue cheese burger with French fries and homemade lemonade. As my food arrived an English bloke had started having a work related telephone meeting and he obviously wanted the whole room to hear how important he thought he was – I hate people who have to work loudly in cafes, what is wrong with people!? It went on for the whole hour I was there but I still enjoyed my food and would definitely eat there again. After a very filling meal I walked back in the hottest part of the day for a lay down and to watch The Serpent on Netflix.

I missed an invite, in the afternoon, to a cafe called Kashew which has vegan cheese so that went on my list to try next time but I did bump into one of Captain Caveman’s cycling mates in Bia Craft. I had regretted not trying the cherry beer yesterday so had stopped off for a couple where Neil and his mate Mark were drinking. After my beer I walked to try another recommended place called Union Jack’s, with the aim of Captain Caveman joining me for their famous fish and chips. He had finished the cycling, had a few beers and was now on his way back to the hotel for a shower so I told him to hurry up or we would be late to the gig later. I ordered a Bramble (cocktail) and was surprised at how good it was, by the time Captain Caveman arrived he was late and very sunburned and merry. We ordered cod and chips straight away, him with mushy peas and tatar sauce, me with a slice of bread and butter and I had another Bramble. They didn’t have non-brew condiment vinegar so I had the malt vinegar and I have to say the fish was as good as a lot I’ve had in the UK, the chips were good but less greasy than in England. I had to race mine down, Captain Caveman was already good at eating fast and then we got a Grab taxi to the venue so we could buy a ticket and reserve the seats.

At Cafe de Stagiaires we were a bit early to get to the rooftop but we only had to wait a few minutes, pay the ticket price of 200,000vnd (£6.20) each and navigate the oddly structured staircase – I couldn’t have walked up them a few months ago! The bar situation was a bit complicated and resulted in a long wait with staff stood about but unable to serve because of the ticket and payment process but eventually we got beers, only to realise there was table service from a bloke who looked more like a guest than staff (it’s a sign I’m getting old). Chris and Huong arrived and we had a great night, the music was really good and we were giving the ball a right old kick until Chris noticed Captain Caveman having a crafty nap! Because of the boozing and bicycling it looked like Captain Caveman was done in and so we waited until the grand finale of the band before planning our exit. Chris and I recognised the last song which all the Vietnamese people seemed to enjoy, only to realise it was a version of ‘Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’ – hilarious! I reluctantly said goodbye, with promises to come back again for more fun nights out and I managed to navigate the unusual staircase by holding on to Captain Caveman, thus holding up a big load of people behind us. I really liked the venue and would definitely come back again, I even decided we should walk it back to the hotel rather than mess about with a Grab but we got a little bit lost. Before I even got to bed Captain Caveman was fast asleep, fully clothed and snoring and I could not get him to move or stop snoring – I was in for a sleepless night!

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