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Published: June 30th 2011
I love the markets!
Good Morning Vietnam!!!!!!!! wait, wait.....
Xin chao buoi sang Viet Nam!!!!!!!!
Its pronounced just like it looks. RIGHT. The language is not easy here, but I am getting by. My arrival in Ho Chi Minh City was welcomed with humidity and heat. I have swamp ass 24/7.
So far everything is great here. Lots of smiles, plenty of hotels, and quite easy to get around even without knowing more than 1 saying in Vietnamese. There are food vendors everywhere selling Pho (noodle soup) at all hours of the day. After securing a hotel room I hit the streets and booked a tour to the Cu Chi tunnels for the following day. It seems a bit tougher to do things on your own here so you dont have much option other than bite the bullet and pick a tour company. Buses run around the city all day caring backpackers and other visitors to all the famous sites. The Cu Chi tunnels is a site of complex underground tunnels used by the Vietcong and Cu Chi people during the Vietnam war. You gain a new respect for the people that lived in these claustrophobic spots for weeks at a time.
Escaping from the American Military
Pretty standard photo for anyone that goes to the Cu Chi Tunnels....this was an escape hatch when the Vietcong were infiltrated underground. Hamster holes for humans
They had to widen the tunnels so fat western tourists can enter and go for 120 meter walk under the ground. It was hot and sweaty just like it is outside, but to another degree with the tight space and lack of airflow. Before taking the tour we were also shown a delightful movie detailing how peaceful Vietnam and its people were before the warmongering United States attacked and attempted to destroy their way of life. We ended the day at the War Memorial Museum where I was treated to even more distaste for America. Its not that there wasn't any truth in the matters displayed at the museum, but it was a bit over the top. The exhibit also had an Agent Orange display which was tough to look at, but educational.
It turns out that Vietnam might be the most touristic place I have even been to. There are backpackers everywhere and all of the locals are taking advantage of it. You can't walk down the street without 10-20 different motorbike riders asking you where you are going and if you need a lift. Speaking of motorbikes, you have never seen anything like it until you come
ICU doctors must have a field day. You have never heard so many honking horns
to Ho Chi Minh. Millions and millions of motorbikes crowd the streets all day long, which makes for an exciting crossing of the street on foot. You just need to inch your way through traffic and hope for the best. Crossing the road has actually been one of my favorite activites so far.
On Day 2, I took a tour of the Mekong Delta floating market. The waterways are massive and brown, with people working from old beat up boats. There is a larger market that I did not visit, but this one was simply to give people an idea of the lives the people on the delta live. The tour also included a paddle boat ride given by a young lady and two oars, a bike ride, and lunch. It was a nice long day with a long drive past many rice fields and suburbs of HCMC.
During my last day in HCMC I walked around the entire day in order to tire myself out for my overnight bus ride. I must have walked a few miles and got to take an exciting stroll through a botanical garden/zoo/theme park. Lets just say the should try and focus
Working on the fly
I hope she doesnt drink that
on one of the items and not all three. The grounds were beautiful, but the gardens were not really well developed, the zoo quarters were well below acceptable standards, and the theme park, well this might have been the best aspect. It was for children only and didnt include any rollercoasters. It reminded me of a really small fair grounds. The markets in HCMC, Bhen Than market was where I spent most of my day. I was on the hunt for sunglasses because mine broke the night before. Sellers like to start out their prices a little higher than is necessary. The sunglasses I ended up purchasing started out at 500,000 dong ($25). They sold for 80,000 dong. I now own a brand new pair of "designer" sunglasses.
I said my goodbye to the beyond busy HCMC and headed off for Nha Trang.
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