Published: April 24th 2010April 23rd 2010
Up at 7am to catch our 8.30am bus to Saigon. Bus was really good. Firstly, there were freebies- free water, brekkie and handwipes :) Secondly, they showed a western film. Lastly, there was a guide on the bus who spoke really good English and walked us through the border crossing procedure which was very helpful. We had no problems with the crossing just the usual waiting around. Only difference with this one is that they insisted on scanning all our bags so we had to unload and reload the bus.
Differences between Vietnam and Laos and Cambodia were apparent pretty quickly. It's more built up here and there's lots more traffic and people. There are also less wooden shacks and more proper buildings well in Ho Chi Minh anyway. They also have pavements and manicured parks. Only other differences I've seen so far are that many people here wear the traditional hats and more stalls here sell cuddly toys and purple inflatable penguins....
When we arrived we were shocked and amazed at our luck that our hotel was literally right across the road from where the bus dropped us off. Our hotel is down a cute little back alley
just off the main strip which runs parallel to the river and park area. We're in the centre of the backpacker area so there are loads of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants :) Our hotel is lovely. We're on the 5th floor and there's no lift but the view from our window is worth the climb. It's really clean and we have 2 beds, a t.v., a fridge and a bathroom with...wait for it... a shower over a bath!
For a change we had an Indian curry tonight (mix veg, aloo gobi, 2 rice and 2 naan), stuffed! We struggled to pick from the vast number of places here to eat especially when we found this little alley full of restaurants with delicious sounding menus!