If you’re staying amongst the cluster of hotels by the river, the first thing you’ll notice is the fruit – a fantastic array of it is sold on the footpath, so if you’re after a vitamin C hit, this is a good place to start. Across the road on the river’s edge sits the Hoa Nang restaurant which does coffee and cold drinks during the day and belts out karaoke in the evening.
Further upriver from the Hoa Nang is the Phuong Thuy restaurant, which has an English menu and does standard Vietnamese fare. Along the southern stretch of the market there’s some excellent stall eating during the day and a small night market sets up behind the main market. If you’re after more coffee, take the laneway between the Van Tram Guesthouse and Cuu Long Hotel and follow it around, you’ll reach another entry to the market where there’s a bunch of coffee stands.
If you’re staying at the Phuong Hoang 1 and couldn’t be bothered to walk up to the river, Pho 19, on the corner of 2 Thang 9 and 30 Thang 4 Street does (you guessed it) pretty good Pho and the shop-owner’s daughter speaks fine English. For nightowls, aside from the karaoke scene in the Hoa Nang, there’s always the disco inferno at the 4.1 nightclub on 1 Thang 5 St and there’s a handful of coffeebarspots on Hung Dao Vuong St, near the internet cafe – one of them has a pooltable, but we lost the coaster with it’s name on it! – you’ll find it.