Lazy Sunday

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog

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In Chau Doc, the scene at the market by our hotel just before we left
For breakfast I orderded coffee, bread and hard boiled eggs. My coffee was brought out right away, but my food was taking a long time. I was enjoying a rare tasty and adequate cup of coffee, so it didn't matter. After awhile, our guide said something to the staff. They looked surprised and sorry- they had forgotten about my breakfast. Then one of the employees stuck their head out the window, bought two hard boiled eggs from a street vendor walking by the hotel, and brought them over to me. Randomness is a big part of the Mekong Delta's charm.

We had a nice drive from Chau Doc to Saigon. Lots of rivers, houses on stilts and everywhere people were laying around in hammocks enjoying the day.
Houses in the water held up by sticks!
At one point there was a river we had to cross by ferry. We all got off and walked on to the top level with seats while our bus drove on the bottom level. When we got off on the other side, I felt someone hitting my arm lightly. I thought it was someone in my group and turned around to see that it was a local woman. She kept tapping me and smiling at me and talking to me in Vietnamese as I was walking.

When we arrived in Saigon, I could see that it was a big and modern city. The streets were crazy and there were seriously hundreds of motrcycles everywhere. There were way more Americans there than anywhere else I'd been so far, probably because much of Saigon's attractions revolve around what the Vietnamese call the "American War". Also it appears that a good chunk of Nigeria's male population lives in Saigon so I kept hearing, "Hello.

Our hotel was in Saigon's backpacker central. Definitely not as touristy as Khao San, but there were many people with large packs walking down the street looking lost or looking for a place to stay. I met my new roommate at the hotel. She was in her early 30s and from the Washington D.C. area. The larger trip was a combination of different trips so people would be joining and leaving at different points. It sucked that among the five leaving in Saigon were my original roommate and The Kids. They were the people I hung out with the most. Thankfully The Kids were still traveling in Vietnam so we would have a chance to see them again and I was also beginning to bond with two of the Canadians.

I dumped my stuff in the room where my new roommate had been for a day or two.
I went to the bathroom and there was a surprise inside: a shower curtain, yay! Not getting the entire bathroom wet when taking shower was a luxury on the trip. Some of us went on a cyclo tour. A cyclo is a cart powered by a person behind on an attached bicycle. This city tour wasn't my favorite. There weren't too many interesting things to see. I didn't like being pushed along by an old man when it probably should have been the other way around. And getting around in one is really really slow. My "driver" kept eagerly pointing out places of interest and telling me to take pictures so I did, mostly to humor him.

We went back to the hotel briefly before heading to eat at street food type restaurant. We met two more new trip mates, a quiet girl from Germany who was my age and a young at heart 59 year old woman from England.
Lazy Sunday.
We walked to dinner and had to negotiate Saigon's very busy streets. When in doubt, wait for a local to cross and then walk side by side with them. Food is another thing pedestrians should watch out for in Saigon. People cook meals on the sidewalks at all times of the day and some lay out food right on the ground!

After dinner a group of us headed to Go2, a bar down the street from our hotel. It was a fun place and definitely popular with young travelers. A bigger group finally decided to come out to send off the people who were leaving. Eventually everyone left except for me and the PIC (my two partners in crime) and one of the Canadians. We met some Brits and discussed traveling, Cambodia and Saigon. One didn't like how developed Saigon felt compared to much of Cambodia. For me it's usually hit or miss with the bigger cities in developing countries. But I liked the vibe of Saigon, I felt it had a youthful and positive energy. My roommate discovered there was a DJ and a dancefloor on the second level, so we headed up for dancing. Really good times.
sybil says:
great blog, sistah! :D
Posted on: May 09, 2008
travelphilippines says:
hey sistah hehe. hi there nice safe.
Posted on: May 09, 2008
mga_galang_paa says:
Quite an experience...
Posted on: May 09, 2008
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