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

Advertisement

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

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City June 19th 2006

Saigon. Shit. I'm still in Saigon... Sorry. Anyway, it's all been a bit of culture shock for me. This place is very full on, very hot, very humid and extremely hard to navigate and by the end of my first full day I wanted to curl up in my room and avoid all of it. I've been told by some people that I've met that this is actually a 'good warm up town'. I really do need some warming up since I've made loads of mistakes overpaying for my room, rides around town and some goods, navigation, language barriers etc. However, I'm getting used to it and it's loads more fun and interesting than my other travel so far and I'mn starting to gain a large measure of affection for Saigon. I still despise haggling though. ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City June 19th 2006

Well we got here in one peice, pretty average flight 9 hours and no sleep. Man what a shock I have never seen anything like this, you read and learn all you can but ỉt dosnt prepare you for what is to come. Motor bikes everywhere, utter madness and kaos. The hotel is great, have done a couple of tours already city tour and cu chi tunnels. I will put up some pics when i can. Got to go people waiting see ya soon... read more
Lazy
School girl

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City June 19th 2006

Karaoke I met up with Mi and her cousin Han for a noodle breakfast, before they dragged me kicking and screaming to a Karaoke bar. Im not sure whether my attempts at singing Vietnamese songs were as funny as their (or my for that matter!) attempt to sing English songs, but there was laughter all round. I was actually awarded 86% for my rendition of Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' proving that the Karaoke machine understood me about as well as the two girls. I think I was in danger of offending the two girls innocence at the raunchier parts of the song... 'Alex, what does "I wanna be your back door man" mean?'. Buying and Boozing I spent the afternoon trying and failing to resist buying lots of things at the great craft market, including ... read more
Vietnamese Karaoke
One of Mr Presley's lesser known songs

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City June 18th 2006

Backtracking just a bit...we've actually been in Cambodia since the 21st or so! And apologies for no photos...I wrote this ages ago, and I've been trying to download pics for the past week, each time with no luck--bummer. We'll try to get some on once we get to Thailand mid-July! Saigon was a cool city for the 3 days we spent there. It didn't have the quaint feeling of the Old Quarter in Hanoi, but the people were lovely, the street food as tasty, and the cyclos and motos still asking us if we wanted a ride. People always asking "where you from?" and wanting to know your name, etc. After spending nearly 3 weeks in Vietnam, I learned so much more about the Vietnam War (or American War as it's called here) in the few ... read more
Our favorite beer
Cu Chi Tunnels
Another tunnel

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City June 18th 2006

"I'm going to die in a half arsed attempt to weld a shopping trolley to a pushbike" was all I could think as the cyclo drove head on into the morning rush hour traffic. We were going the wrong way down a one way street through the busy Saigon streets, and my driver didnt seem to care. After a while though, the fear subsides and you realize that this is the way that things should be seen. Walking is too slow, too much like hard work. And motorcycles are too fast, not at all relaxing. Yes, cyclos are for me... The War Remnants Museum Formerly the 'Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes' this a suprisingly balanced museum detailing the Viet Nam war and its effects. There is a few fantastic photographic exhibitions, a small collection ... read more
My trusty cyclo
Uncle Ho
A Book Seller - All photocopies!

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City June 17th 2006

Another early start, another poor and unwelcome attempt at a western breakfast. Soon we were out of the hotel and on to a bus to the boat that would take us around the rivers and canals of the Mekong Delta and show us what treats it has on offer. Cai Rang: A Bouyant Market Farmers and other traders travel from miles around the Mekong to sell their wares at the Cai Rang (and other) floating markets. They often travel weekly, only returning home when they have sold all of their stock. Their boats are large and contain all they need to survive - after all they may not leave them for the whole time they are here! These larger boats are buzzed by smaller boats belonging to sellers, and the occasional mobile coffee boat. Can't tell ... read more
Floating Market (2)
Floating Market (3)
Mekong Life

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City June 17th 2006

Saturday 17th June Paul - Me again, Laura's asleep so she's not writing todays either. If you want some Laura action then leave a comment at the end of the blog entitled "Let Laura write something Paul you git!" I forget what we did this morning but I remember staying up late and watching the football as usual. The Ozzies didn't want a cultural experience today so we went... to the water park! Can't beat a day spent splashing around the park especially at those prices. In the races down the slides I managed to finish second to Pete, HOWEVER a recent drugs test has since reversed those results! In the evening we haggled a Cambodian guidebook down to dirt cheap (seriously it's probably more expensive to buy dirt in England than it was to ... read more
War Museum
Big fat ugly gun
Tank

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City June 17th 2006

Well I'm done with Australia, lovely as it was. Now for new, unfamiliar pastures where people speak an unfamiliar tongue (English, apparently) and I develop a new career as a pidgeon. I walk out of the airport and load of drivers pass me around and try to convince me that their taxi ride is the best on offer and probably rip me off (due to my feeble attempts at haggling), before dropping me off at whichever hotel is paying him most. Walking down the street, I am given unsolicited offers for rides, drugs, sex and even (god forgive me) food in exchange for my pocket money (actually, that's not too different to Sydney). I 'm in a smoggy city and crossing the road takes a lot of consideration. I love this place! I actually have my ... read more




Tot: 0.272s; Tpl: 0.01s; cc: 10; qc: 76; dbt: 0.1152s; 1; m:apollo w:www (50.28.60.10); sld: 2; ; mem: 6.5mb