Asia | South East Asia | Vietnam | Mekong Delta | Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) – Getting stuck in Vietnam
Had a huge shock arriving in Saigon, after the relative peacefulness of Cambodia. Ho Chi Minh City – 7 million people, 2 million motorcycles, and one giant toilet! What a crazy place!! I can certainly list this place as one of the low points of my travels so far. It has been stinking hot since I arrived – which hasn’t helped much! I am staying in Saigon’s equivalent to the Kao San Road – De Tham, not bad, all things considered.
It was a 9 and a half hour journey from Phnom Penh to here. Pretty easy going. The border crossing was tedious – the customs guys wanted to check my bags, but after a cursory look I think they decided that it wasn’t worth it – loads of knickers and other girly stuff!
Was given a tour of the city and various hangouts by a arrogant Vietnamese guy I met and have subsequently put in his place – don’t know who he thought I was!!! So have done the usual touristy thing and checked out the War Museum, had a good time at the club/bar ‘Apocalypse Now’ – Phnom Penh has a bar called ‘Heart of Darkness’, same sort of thing! One thing this place is great for is forgeries – books, paintings, CD’s, you name it – so if you fancy a genuine fake Picasso – this is the place to be!
Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon is obviously in boom time – huge hotels, including the Hyatt are going up all over the place. Everything looks fairly prosperous, until you start walking around…. it all smells like a huge urinal… everyone pisses in the street and it stinks! People are relatively aggressive – I was chased by a Cyclo (rickshaw) driver yesterday, he kept screaming at me that I was cheap because I wanted to walk instead of ride on his Cyclo!! It was crazy – I eventually saw some other tourists and used them as cover to get rid of the guy!! Trying to walk in this place is pretty crazy too as there are very few road rules and pedestrians are considered
target practise for the 2 million motorbikes!
I am, needless to say, very glad to be getting out of here…..
’till next time…