Oh, Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog

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In the late morning, roommate #2, one of the Canadians and I motivated ourselves to go to the War Remnants Museum. This museum is presented from more of a Vietnamese perspective. This was interesting because from what I remember of studying the Vietnam War in high school, we only heard various American perspectives. There is also a room which is set up to educate people on the impact land mines on people from around the world. I thought that building was the whole museum, but there were actually one or two more buildings. I started to walk through another building, but fatigue was creeping up on me.

My tiredness from the night before was turning into complete exhaustion. When you're an experience junky on a whirlwind South East Asia trip, this is bound to happen at some point.
The Canadian was also feeling exhausted, so we decided to take off and left my roommate with the other three members of the group we bumped into at the museum. We stopped at a market and it just felt so stuffy and hot in there. So we quickly got another cab back to the hotel.

This cab driver was the first person who really tried to rip us off. It was clear that his meter was going faster than it should. On the way to the museum which was further away from our hotel, it had cost us 26,000 dong. By the time we got back to our hotel the meter said our trip cost 50,000. We knew what was going on, but weren't in the mood to duke it out with the driver. The Canadian handed him a 100,000 dong bill and asked for change. He looked at us like we were crazy.
At first we thought he didn't want us to give him a large bill, then we figured out that he wanted more money. He pressed a button on the meter and an extra zero appeared. It now read 500,000. You've got to be kidding me. That's about $30 which would be ridiculous even in the US considering the short distance we drove. The Canadian lost her Canadian calm at that point and I dug through my stuff for smaller bills. I found 50,000 dong to give him and we got out and walked away.

We were leaving that night on an overnight train to Nha Trang. One of the many downsides of an overnight train is that you have to check out at noon, but you don't leave for hours. So if you want to take a shower or a nap, you're S.O.L. Our hotel was nice, but the lobby was tiny. So when we got back, the comfortable seating was all occupied by other members of the group. Fortunately, they were heading to a museum so as soon as they got up, we took over their seats and tried to get some rest.

The day seemed to go by incredibly slowly until it was finally time to go to the train station. We waited for 10 minutes or so until our train arrived. For the first time I could see the benefits of a backpack. There is a large gap between the ground and the steps onto the train. Also, the hallways and doorways of the train are narrow and the rooms are small. On this train you had to lift up the bed to store your luggage in a compartment underneath. Roommate #2 had joined the trip after a business trip to Singapore and she had a large suitcase that didn't fit underneath the seat. In the carriage, there were bunk beds for four people and we shared our room with the Canadians. The air conditioning was on full force and it was freezing. I bundled up and slept soundly despite the fact that I was on an uncomfortable mattress on a wobbly train!
worldcitizen says:
Hahaha- "ding you for dongs"
Posted on: May 18, 2008
vances says:
Will remember that the cabbies try to ding you for dongs!
Posted on: May 17, 2008
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