a hell of a time in saigon.

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog

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saigon, how do you discribe saigon. very busy alot of people and like nothing on earth. in saigon thre is round about 8 million peopl and 5 million of them drive scooters(mopeds) so it's crazy.we were staying at the hyat hotel and again i was amaze. this hotel would not look out of place in a city like london. i am not use to staying in 5 star hotels and found it a bit uncomfortable at first but after ten minutes i felt like a rockstar. everybody dresss up so they can be seen and looking around to see if the can see some one famous. it was te same in the oriental in bangkok. verry funny. anyway, we got a tour guide for the time we stayed in saigon. i think his name was han, not sure.
he took us to the tunnels where the vietnamese lived for more than 10 year during the war.the tour around the tunnels were really interesting. you can see how the people lived. the wa y they went about there day to day tasks with out beeing noticed. they made fires under ground and smoke would come out 200 meters away through chimneys. i thought that was pretty cool. they showed us the way the traps worked and let me tell you its actually sickening.they normally put the traps in a pit in the ground with water and a dead animal or a rotten piece of meat in, so when the enemy falls into the trap the wounds get infected and he/she has a smaller chance off survival. pretty hardcore hey. and some of rhose traps are made so you cant geet out so when you scream for your mates to come and help, the enemy will lie and wait in ambush, and take the whole unit or platoon or whatever you call it, out.we kinda skipped lunch after that and went for a tour in the tunnels.
i'm 192cm tall and my shoulders are reasonably broad and girlfriend brother are taller and broader than me and as you can expect the girls didnt want to go in the tunnels. actually neither did i but i had to get some photos of the tunnels, so me and alex( my gilfriends brother) went down into the darkness. we had a little vietnamese guy with us and he was running through the small space where me and alex had to crawl trough on hand and knees. i was getting quit concerned cause our underground guide was rapidly disapearing into the abyss. i eventually caught up with him but then realised that we had lost alex. we waited for about 5 minutes and then we heared him, he sounded terrified. he got jammed around a turn and lost one of his flip flops. it is still missing and if anybody does come across a white flip flop in the tunnels please let me know.
when we finally got out off the tunnels we heared gun shot. we could go and fire a ak47, m16 and some other guns that i cant remember. i fired th ak47 and m16. the rounds was only one us dollar and i thought it was a bargain. i probably shot about 50 round and it was over in less than 3 seconds. it was money well spent. the day was getting on and everyone was a getting a bit moody so we decided to go back to the hotel and chill.
we got there and me and my girlfriend decided to go for a walk. we went past the continental hotel, where all the journalists hang out during the war and then went down another road and got to this english pub/bar. when i looked at the telivision i couldnt believe my eyes. south african scoll rugby was on and it was my school playing. how bazaar is that hey? we got talking to this drunk welsh guy who has been living in vietnam for the last 20 years. he kept going on about his wife who left him and that he never sees his kids and how he misses them. i felt sorry for him and then we left. back to the hotel. now when you want to cross the road in saigon you just walk and hope for the best. i found that if you say a quick prayer before you atempt to cross it normally goes your way. some busy streets have tourist police and they help you to cross the road.
we went out for dinner to a restuarant the night and then went back to the hotel. everybody was wacked and we had an early night cause han was picking us up at 8 o clock.
han took us to all the tourist places witch was really interesting. especially the war museum. the size of the bombs that was dropped is incredible. again it was a bit sick when you go through the tiger gages where alot of people were held. but the photo gallerie is amazing. some of the best photos was taken in the vietnam war and their all there. the stories of the journalists are on the wall next to their photos. its amazing. after the museum we went to an old cathedral with i found a bit boring and after that we went to the market. now this is one of the biggest markets i've ever seen in my life. you can buy anything but again the stench and the heat was over whelming and i didnt stay long. i told han that i'd make my own way back to the hotel and got on one of those bicycles with the extra seat in the front. that was so much fun. the driver didnt care that the hotel was about 7 km away and he definatly didnt care about the other motorists. he got me home to the hotel safe and in one piece for under 5 euros. i gave him 6, what a nice guy i am.
the night we went to the restuarant in the hotel and the food was great. the service wasnt as good as we had during our trip but i wasnt complaining. everybody was in a bad mood because we were leaving asia the next day and going to london where all my problems started again to get back into france with out a visa.
more next time
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