The cruise had only one day at port in Phu My, the gateway to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) which was about 1.5 hours away. Given the short time there (and how long it takes to drive to interesting areas such as Mekong Delta), we decided to spend the day in HCMC and make it spa day. We booked appointments at Spa Tropic which was recommended me to me by a cousin.
Getting to the spa involved a couple of obstacles: avoid getting scammed by our driver ( he wanted $8 but I insisted that he use his meter which ended costing $3); and we needed to cross streets which made RC nervous. Her baptism by fire was a six lane road at the edge of a traffic circle with no traffic light or pedestrian crosswalk. She conquered the street without any squeals and quickly became a pro.
The spa was wonderful costing about a third of the price back home. Feeling sufficiently pampered, we explored Dong Khoi, one of the main shopping street in HCMC. RC bought some greeting cards. We didn’t haggle much because they were so cheap to begin with and we felt better when the vendor quoted a price twice as much to a Chinese couple who came up after us.