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Where do I get ... ?

New Aussie just landed in HCMC a couple of days ago. I'm trying to fit out my new place in Tanh Binh district and I'm already lost as to where to find a few of the essentials for home:

* Vegemite! Please help -- I heard it was available in Nha Trang but someone in Saigon must stock it.
* Borax. Commonly sold in Australia, every supermarket has it in the laundry department but everyone uses it for killing ants and cockroaches, not for laundry purposes. Welding supply shops also tend to carry it back home. Any ideas as to where to get it in Saigon?
* A decent butcher -- where can I get chicken breasts, decent quality beef, etc? I've looked at the supermarkets and nothing on the meat shelves there is recognisable as anything I'd pay actual money for.

That's about it so far, I'm sure I'll come up with a few items to add to the list. I have been to Saigon a dozen or more times in the past but only just this trip have I actually started to kit out a house -- previously I've been staying in hotels and backpackers and the such like. Any other tips from Aussies here would be useful.

Del

delatbabel :

New Aussie just landed in HCMC a couple of days ago. I'm trying to fit out my new place in Tanh Binh district and I'm already lost as to where to find a few of the essentials for home:

* Vegemite! Please help -- I heard it was available in Nha Trang but someone in Saigon must stock it.

I said 'Do you speak-a my language?'
He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich...

Chicken breasts (lots of flesh) Lotte Mart.

Borax (sodium tetraborate), used as welding flux. Never seen it although it might have a different Trade Name here. Not on the list of prohibited goods in VietNam.

For killing crawlers of any type (even babies) you can buy a 'chalk stick' like substance that zaps anything that moves including cockroaches. Don't use where there are pets or very young children. Wash hands well after drawing with it.

You will need to make a trip into D1 and head to the expat shops on Ham Nghi street at the river end, they stock Vegemite and other essentials you may want.


PHUONG HA HAM STORE
Address: 58 Ham Nghi, District 1

Thanks for the help so far.

Vegemite has been obtained. I can't use the chalk stick because I have a cat (and I have no idea what's in it). A few more things that I am after:

* empty plastic spray bottles -- the sort you might fill with water and use for spraying house plants.
* methylated spirits.
* a papasan chair or maybe 2. I've been looking at a few of the furniture marts and got some good deals on other things like dining tables and chairs, sofa, etc, but when I ask for a papasan or show them a picture of one they look at me like I've grown an extra head. They are really common in Thailand so I'm wondering if someone makes them locally or has them imported.

Still after that borax, if anyone sees any that would be great.

Update: I have a contact that says borax here is "hàn the" and can be found in the markets, so I will try to look there.

Chicken breasts, skin off, 500 grams (just over a pound) - [VNDb]39,000 at CO-OP.[/b]

These are factory packed meats (CP).

Methylated spirits - will rubbing alcohol suffice?

KIM LIEN is the chemical market ... on KIM LIEN STREET in CHO LON. Use Maps of HCM.

DaLatBabel :

I can't use the chalk stick because I have a cat (and I have no idea what's in it). Deadly effective poison that makes Raid look like bug food.

A few more things that I am after:

* empty plastic spray bottles: Co-Op hardware section
* methylated spirits. See above.

Thanks for the heads up on Borax, will search for it. We use it to clean coins (VND).

If you get borax you have 2 choices. Mix it 50:50 with powdered sugar (icing sugar) and serve it dry to cockroaches. They love it. Turns their insides into concrete lumps.  Either that or wet it with a little water and serve it up to ants -- just enough water to make a thick syrup. Put drops of it around where the ants come in and they will drink it up and take it back to the nests to serve to the other ants there. Kills the entire nest stone dead. Yes it has a zillion other uses -- cleaning coins, water softener, welding flux, emulsifier to remove wax stains from clothing, etc.

Also -- rubbing alcohol and methylated spirits are completely different. Rubbing alcohol is isopropyl alcohol. Methylated spirits is ethyl alcohol aka ethanol (denatured), same stuff you find in your vodka, but more concentrated and has methyl alcohol and some denaturing chemical in it to make it taste foul. Best stuff for cleaning glass (or laptop screens for that matter). Often sold in a clear plastic bottle, usually a light blue colour is added to it as well.

delatbabel :

Also -- rubbing alcohol and methylated spirits are completely different. Rubbing alcohol is isopropyl alcohol. Methylated spirits is ethyl alcohol aka ethanol (denatured), same stuff you find in your vodka, but more concentrated and has methyl alcohol and some denaturing chemical in it to make it taste foul. Best stuff for cleaning glass (or laptop screens for that matter). Often sold in a clear plastic bottle, usually a light blue colour is added to it as well.

I know they are different, I just wondered if you could substitute. When I go to work tomorrow in ChoLon I will consult my oracle.

I use eyeglass cleaner for computer monitors. For glass I use window cleaner and newspaper. (Yes, I help with housework)

Ah, I see. Apologies about the confusion. I need Metho as a drying agent, I'm not sure that IPA will work as well. You can use glass cleaner to clean glass, it's a dilute form of methylated spirits -- in fact metho by itself works better. I've never tried eyeglass cleaner, I don't use glasses so it's not something I normally have on hand.

Hi Delatbabel,

I think borax and boric have same use in this case. You can find it in Kim Bien market. Around 25.000vnd/kg of borax pentahydrate and around 35.000vnd/ kg of boric acid.

By the way, I have nearest 1kg of boric in my house so I'd glad to share if you like! :-)

I have both borax and ethanol / Ethyl Alcohol (C2H5OH)   :)

Unless they are protein ants and not sugar ants. For protein ants mix with peanut butter.

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