Street-side Venders

Nha Trang Travel Blog

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Bong
    

Bong chips ice from a two-kilo block. He fills a wide stout glass, carefully rations a black syrup-like substance into it, then mixes the two ingredients with a miniature spoon. Sometimes he'll add a layer of sweetened condensed milk. The brew dilutes as the ice melts; Vietnamese coffee. The drink is very popular among the locals. His wife, Hai, sometime makes deliveries by gracefully balancing a tray of the black iced gold with one hand and driving a motorbike with the other. Buss passengers waited while the driver returned an empty glass.

 

Bong (pronounced Bome, rhyming with home) was born in Da Nang in 1936 and has lived in Nha Trang since 1958.

Bong's place
He started his street-side business less than two years ago selling cigarettes - individually and in packs - from  a folding table. Profits grew and he eventually expanded to two carts and several coolers. Stacks of red plastic kid's-sized tables and chairs provide seating as required. It seems that on each of my visits, four or five of their small tables were occupied by both regular customers and passersby, young and old.

 

Located along the south side of the prominent Cultural Center building, and half a block from the beach, Bong and Hai also offer tea, soft drinks, bottled water, beer, and cigarettes. No food or snacks. A recycled one-liter plastic water bottle filled with gasoline stands curb-side on a cardboard box luring passing motorbikes to expand the business further.

 

I have always admired the street-side venders. In Vietnam, they are the heart-beat of daily life in a once-Third World country rapidly growing modern and destined to become mainstream. Their hard-earned rewards are proportional to their struggling efforts. It was a privilege to hang out with Bong and Hai while sipping iced Tiger beers. There are hundreds in Nha Trang like them offering a wide variety of goods and services to everyday people.

sylviandavid says:
Street venders work long hard hours....When we were in one place long enough 5 days (China) We spoke to quite a few on a daily basis.... they were out really early and really late... incredible self motivation. What a great thing to write a blog about! Good Job! .... Tiger Beer.... I know I would like it.... Sylvia
Posted on: Mar 11, 2008
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Bong
Bong
Bongs place
Bong's place
Sidewalk carts
Sidewalk carts
Exchanging gossip.
Exchanging gossip.
Fresh sea food
Fresh sea food
When the nets are emptied...
When the nets are emptied...
Street-side venders
Street-side venders
Street-side fish
Street-side fish
Corn
Corn
Young vender selling soft drinks.
Young vender selling soft drinks.
Woman selling lottery tickets
Woman selling lottery tickets
Y and Thien
Y and Thien
Nha Trang
photo by: rotorhead85