Blogs from Ho Chi Minh City, Southeast, Vietnam, Asia - page 223


Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City July 8th 2006

Our first introduction to Vietnam was our arrival at the Cambodia/Vietnam border. We got to the Vietnam side to have some guys fill out our customs forms for us (I think I can use a pen buddy!) and then try and charge us a $1USD. Being the sharp cookies that we are (sometimes) we refused, demanded our passports and walked away. The dudes couldn't argue too much because then other people would catch on. Unfortunately for most people they were a bit dumb and paid the guys. Fair play to them trying to make a little dosh from the foreigners - doesn't give you a good first impression though. Luckily Vietnam is actually too cool for after school. We got to Ho Chi Minh City and immediately fell in love with it. There were scooters everywhere, ... read more

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

Arrived in Ho Chi Minh City and checked into Kim's Guesthouse. It was a bit more expensive than we had hoped at $9 for a triple room, but after walking round an Asian city for 1/2 an hour with a seriously heavy rucksack on your shoulders you're prepared to pay that little bit extra just to put your bag down! First impressions of Ho Chi Minh City were that of the legendary saying in Asia - "Same same, but different". After spending too much time in Bangkok, and also passing through Phnom Penh we had kind of seen it all before. The only thing that I will mention is the amount of motorbikes on the streets. It's ridiculous. The only way to cross the road here, even on a pedestrian crossing, is to take a deep ... read more
Saigon, view from balcony 2
Total Chaos

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City July 5th 2006 のキャッシュです。 Relax Banana lounge Fantastic city , 24 hours non stop, everything open, and service with a smile. Nobody sleeps and the streets are always busy. We visited 2 islands on the boat trip to Mekong Delta, there is more to see, but we had a short stay. It was sufficient for us, sights to see, snakes, beehives and refreshing juices, a specialty so as not to dehydrate, and of course a 3 course lunch included. Then a trip to Viet Kong land, the real jungle, a quick history on the 3 level jungle underground and operation of VC. Small people, how they survived...war is survival of the fitess. We travelled through one 100m tunnel, for tourists. There were 3 exits, 30m, 60m, and the end, 100m. We couldn't manage it, 30m and we were ... read more
two locals

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

Two points I omited from the previous journal entry, that retrospectively must be added before commencing! While Elaine was looking to purchase some additional reading material (she goes through books like I go through beer) the 50+ year old bookshop owner called me over, while looking Elaine over he told me I was a lucky man, on this news I thanked him for his comments. 30 seconds later he beckons me over again and whispers ''1 book and a beer'' while pointing to Elaine.... I smiled and laughed it off, again he calls me over "1 book and 2 beers'' with a dead pan serious I realise that he is actually seriously trying to procure my girlfriend!!! urgh...we quickly depart while I recount the story to Elaine jokingly explaining that for an extra beer I ... read more
Viet-Elaine Cu Chi Tunnels
Viet-Paul Cu Chi Tunnels
Bia Hoi - Hoi Hoi

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

Had a short stop in Mui Ne, home of the sand dunes, before our trek to Saigon. Despite the rubbish weather (yet again, our luck with lovely sandy beaches brings on the rain and thunderstorms) which meant we couldn't enjoy the beach, we had great fun messing around in the sand and sand-dune sledding. We also learned to ride motocyclos - although the feat of engineering really was beyond me, between gripshift-acceleration, brakes like a bicycle, about 50 pedals sticking out all over the place for gears, brakes, rests.... it was pot luck what thing you were standing on at any stage - so I left most of the driving to Thomas, as I was at my best navigating.... or something, as many will attest to my bonkers internal compass. Own transportation was a godsend.. especially ... read more
Red Sand Dunes
White Sand Dunes
White Sand Dunes II

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City July 2nd 2006 のキャッシュです。 facial mask 1 week holiday on the way to Czech Republic, a stopover, but a marvellous holiday. Phi and Josh looked after us well and sister Pho, we really relaxed, no stress, no worries mate. Facials, hair cut and styled. They even took us to a Czech restuarant in Saigon Well it looked like a big german beer drinking hall, but all the memorabilia was from Prague and they had some Czech food, Ales ate rizek (snitzel) they also had smazeny syr ( fried cheese) on the menu and Pilsner Urquell, Pilsen. It was a good night. nasi goreng and noodles Hair cut and colour This took so long, 5 hours, we were exausted. Czech Pub in Saigon! ... read more
nasi goreng and noodles
Hair cut and colour
Czech Pub in Saigon!

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City June 29th 2006

So after a little bit of a rough time with the buses, we arrived in Hue Vietnam after 26 hours. We ended up at a great guesthouse with the cutest little old lady running it. She took quite a liking to kristen and I and was very concerned for our saftey at night. Before we left she always made sure to give us a hug and a pat on the bum, it was pretty funny. Because of our time constraints we only stayed in Hue one night and one day. Most of the day there was spent walking around and checking out the town. after coming from Laos that is not very developed it was great to be in the bright lights of a city. The next day we hopped on another bus, and were starting ... read more
Japenese Covered Bridge
Nha Trang beach
Cu Chi Tunnels

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City June 27th 2006

This is my last blog for Vietnam…well, because we are not even in Vietnam anymore. Jackie and I are now in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and have been for a few days. So, I think the easiest way to update everyone is to go backwards from here. We arrived in Phnom Penh having taken a 3day/2 night tour of the Mekong Delta. I keep falling into the trap of taking organized tours, mainly because they don’t require as much work on my part and are usually cheaper too. The problem comes in on the corners the tour company cut to make extra money. For instance, the hotel on the second night of the tour was a complete dump with air vents that opened onto the lobby, which allowed us to hear everything from outside the room and ... read more
Mekong Delta 25
Saigon - Former U.S. Embassy
Mekong Delta 38

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City June 20th 2006

Tuesday 20th June Paul - Another of those damn tours which meant another early start! We had to be at the bus stop for 8am! We only missed the sun rise by 2 whole hours. Arrived at the place where the bus was supposed to pick us up from and waited for an age, nothing unusual there. A guy from the cafe where we had booked the tour approached us and asked us where we were going today... "Cu Chi. We're off to the Cu Chi tunnels." "No, we don't have a tour running there today!" "Errr, I think you do. We've got the receipt here." "Oh....right... I was only joking." He fakes a laugh. "Ok well the bus will be here in 20 minutes." With that lovely exchange over, off he went to phone around ... read more
The art factory workers
Laura in the tunnels
Paul climbs out of the small tunnel

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City June 20th 2006

Having read the fascinating 'Tunnels Of Cu Chi' I decided that a visit to this famous site was in order. I signed up for a trip out there, and way I went. Just to give a brief background to the tunnels - they form a network of over 200km in total, and sometimes are as deep as 3 levels underground. They allowed the Communist Viet Cong (in wars against both the French and the US) to move around undetected by their enemies, thus allowing them to fight even with their limited firepower. Entrances to the tiny tunnels were well hidden, and in some cases came out into the Saigon river, even inside a US base! The actual tunnel site is a horrible tourist trap, with plastic mannequins and artificially enlarged tunnels. The sense of history is ... read more
Into the original tunnels - 34" waist or higher need not apply
Shooting an M16
Inside the enlarged tunnels

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