Blogs from Ho Chi Minh City, Southeast, Vietnam, Asia - page 217

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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City November 7th 2006

Arriving in Saigon hotel-less seemed a pretty bad idea when we got there at 8pm (2hrs later than our 2 quid bus promised but at that price what can you do??)and guesthouse after guesthouse was full. Eventually we found a decent place $5 over budget (even after bargaining). The Southern Hotel is a tall thin building that looks like a strong breeze would knock it over, but it was home for the duration of Saigon and even had a lift!! We have met people doing the opposite journey to us who said that Saigon is even busier than Hanoi, first impressions though told a different story with a city that felt more relaxed, wider pavements that you can actually walk on and toursit police to help us cross the road, as well as a much better ... read more
Mug Shots
What they left behind
Secret entry to the tunnels

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City November 7th 2006

i was reminded immediately after getting off of my bus in saigon just how bad the thievery is here. i had a water bottle stolen from a side pocket on my daypack. damned thing was in front of me too. perhaps it went missing when i left it with the attendant at the toilet? anyway, i moved my wallet to the inside of my shorts. i have also left all valuables in a safe in my hotel. ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City November 6th 2006

We've arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, what used to be called Saigon, on the last part of our vietnamese tour. First thing you notice is the change in climate down here (we're about a thousand miles south of Hanoi where we started). It feels very hot and humid compared to the North but still a nice temperature for us holiday makers! This city is much more western than the rest of Vietnam - the buildings and the roads are more developed, and there are a lot more cars, causing the first traffic jams we've seen since we arrived in the country. The city centre is full of big western hotels with more modern restaurants (we saw a KFC, a sure sign of westernisation!) Staying in a fantastic hotel with excellent pool. Great to jump into ... read more
traders on the street
fancy a banana?
climbing out the tunnel at Cu Chi

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City November 6th 2006

After a crazy 11 hour journey to cross the border (which was supposed to take 6), vehicles pushing and shoving to cross the river, people packed into vans, onto the roof and everwhere - manic! Made it to Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon) to meet my best friend Alex who has flown out to travel Vietnam with me - been so great to have chats and giggles again and the best thing - she brought me cheese, Guylian chocolates and choc digestives from mum at home and English magazines!! What a treat! This city is MANIC. Motorcyles motorcyles motorcyles absolutely EVERYWHERE, its crazy noisy and polluted - crossing the road is terrifying! Have got the hang of it now - you just have to walk slowly out into the wall of traffic and they will gradually ... read more
Motorcycle mahem
'Uncle Ho'
The Reunification Palace

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City November 5th 2006

Every evening after I drag my butt back to my pad after a long 8 hour day walking the streets of Saigon I take my very refreshing shower and literally wash the visble pollution out of my eyes and nose. You wouldnt believe how dirty the air is here . When you have to pick large black globs of dirt out of the corner of your eyes every day it makes you wonder how the lungs must look. Yesterday was the hottest day yet with high humidity 35C. I hear you guys have snow in Kelowna, chuckle chuckle. I dont plan on seeing any snow this year, all going well. Walking the streets of Saigon is quite an experience. I try and keep away from the busy streets and that way i seem to meet much ... read more
First Ever Facial ( scarey)
Bus stop fruit stand
Banana Leave Wrappers

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City November 3rd 2006

I am now a true local with proficency taking the bus into downtown Saigon. I could actually walk it in about an hour but the bus is cooler and I am fresh to walk the downtown area . The locals where I live dont look at me so curiously anymore which is a pleasant relief. I was never sure if I was being sized up for the big attack or just looked on as the big white giant. For a city with over 5 million people there is surprisingly little to see in Saigon. Outside of a few museums that are small and poorly presented, the zoo and botanical gardens and the usual buddhist or religious temples , Saigon is just beginning to attract tourists from abroad and has alot to learn in what the foreigner ... read more
Americas last stand
Picture of tanks rolling in
Captured American Tank

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City November 3rd 2006

3 Nov 06: Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City, HCMC to Hanoi A long day of traveling starting at 5am. Very hot and humid in HCMC where we had to wait 4 hrs for our plane so headed in to town for lunch. Everyone was very friendly on the bus - a good opportunity to test their English, and for us to find out where to get off. They seem to be fascinated by a. are we together/married and b. how old we are. Maybe these are the first things they learn in their English class (the first I'm always happy to answer,the latter increasingly less so). Lunch In HCMC was great - ate in the Allez Boo Bar on D Pham Ngu Lao (you know the one...) and had my first experimental meal with ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City November 3rd 2006

Hi Everyone, I am so far behind in this blog! I really thought that I would be updating it a lot more often, but I have been so busy it just hasn't happened. I have been in Ho Chi Minh City the last two days working with UPS and Vietnam Customs to ensure that they understand and know how to operate the E-Manifest application. It looks as though things are now a "go". I just arrived back in Hanoi a few hours ago. I have to get to bed because in about 6 hours I will be on a bus headed for a tour of HaLong Bay. I will send pictures. I am doing something new on this blog. I am attaching some movies to give you some idea of the traffic in Ho Chi Minh ... read more
Notre Dame Cathedral
Snake Wine
On the Bike

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City November 2nd 2006

Hi Everyone, Uncle Arlyn and I are in Ho Chi Minh City. The flight to Ho Chi Minh City was very good and we have since been very busy here. Ho Chi Minh City used to be called Saigon, for the Saigon River that flows by the city. It is very warm here and the temperature stays between 80 and 100 degrees most of the year. It seems it is always summer here! Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam was conquered by the French in 1859 and was under their control until 1954. Even today most of the architecture looks like what you see in France. In fact, in Paris there is a famous Cathedral called Notre Dame, and here in Ho Chi Minh City there is a replica of Notre Dame that is 1/3 smaller ... read more
Flat Stanley and Snake Wine
Flat Stanley at Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City November 1st 2006

Today I was up with the sun at 6am to trek into the heart of Saigon. I was forced to stay close to my digs yesterday, well within striking distance of my bathroom. The dreaded viet cong revenge hit like a tsunami yesterday morning and i was not want to venture too far from security if you know what I mean. I am not sick nor do I feel any worse for wear so thats a blessing. Am starting to feel better after two soft ice cream cones. The stomach is fine, its the lower half that gurgles and rumbles like a volcano. So off to tackle the bus system of Saigon , yahooooooo. 12 cents buys you a ride on an air conditioned bus , the trick is finding out which bus you need to ... read more
Chinese Temple
Butterfly
Elephant courtship




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