Last year about this time, I expressed my frustration about the constant rains characteristic of the final month or so of the rainy season in Ho Chi Minh City. This year we just accepted it like most Vietnamese and didn't let it stop us from getting out and about like it had last year.
So we headed out a few mornings ago to take a long motorbike ride out to District 9 of HCMC, the northern-most rural district of the city. The city government is trying to encourage development of this district as an alternative to increased density in the inner-city districts.
We managed to miss the intermittent rain on our way out to District 9 along the Hanoi Highway, and we missed it on the way back through the Thủ Thiêm area of District 2, with a ferry ride across the Sài Gòn River to downtown Saigon.
We ducked into a cafe for a lunch stop and to let a rainstorm go over us. Given the number of postings about cafés and coffee in this blog, readers must have the impression by now that I am obsessed with Vietnamese cà phê, and I surely am. One of the reasons is the chocolaty taste of Vietnamese coffee -- the other is the unusual and comfortable venues for relaxing while drinking Vietnamese cà phê.
I posted about the jungle cafés out in the HCMC rural districts a year ago. This particular jungle café in District 9 features a fully-stocked fish pond. In addition to being a café, this establishment is also a hot-pot restaurant and a place to go fishing.
Some retirees were there fishing, and then cooking the fish for lunch. The café, Tân Dồng Sông Xanh at 14/387 Lã Xuân Oai in the Tăng Nhơn Phú A neighborhood of District 9, advertises itself as an environmental recreation park.