Saigon, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog

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In front of the former presidential palace in Saigon.

We spent about 10 days in Vietnam and could have easily spent twice as much time seeing more spots, but felt it was time to move on.  We visited six different cities here and feel that we saw a wide variety of the country.  Running into westerners were a far more regular occurrence here than in China and English was fairly common in all tourist areas.  Many travelers were young backpackers living on a shoestring for weeks or months in SE Asia, but also many Australians made a 3-4 hour trip for a cheaper and closer vacation than Sydney.

From Hanoi we flew on to Hue which was the Vietnamese capital until 1945. While tourist attractions were much more expensive than Hanoi we couldn’t complain too much at the 55,000 Dong price (which is equal to about $3).  After this it was time for our longest bus trip to date, but felt it was the only way to make the 130 Km (80 mile) trip to the old town of Hoi An.

Location of bombs that hit the roof of the palace.
   The bus was a little expensive at $4 per person, but we figured that it must be a nice bus.  The bus which was scheduled to leave at 8am eventually got around to leaving at 9:15am and we got off at around 2pm.  In essence we invested 6 hours in a journey that would have taken slightly over an hour in the United States.  This included a 40 minute stop at a restaurant (which was probably giving kickbacks to the bus company) and then a stop a handful of hotels in our destination city (who were definitely giving kickbacks to the bus company).  We decided that we better start doing as much research into transportation as we do for hotels.

From Hoi An we moved on to Nha Trang where we finished up our Advanced Scuba Diving course.

Glad I am not an electrician in Saigon.
   This city was the host of 2008 Miss Universe contest, but that is the most excitement that city will see for a long time.  The beaches are beautiful and tend to me pretty empty during the time.  Vietnamese like all Asians feel that dark skin is unattractive so not only do they avoid sunny beaches they even wear long sleeve shirts, gloves and masks while it is a humid 95 degrees outside.  The water was what detracted us a little more.  Floating garbage and small green bubbles made me feel that the beach wasn’t the best for swimming.

Our trip ended after a flight and one night in Saigon (officially known as Ho Chi Minh City).  The city was even cheaper than other cities in Europe and had some pretty good western food.  We also passed an interesting bar in our hotel which only had women in dresses inside with dark lights (brothel).  From here it is time to try to another bus ride to Cambodia…

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In front of the former presidentia…
In front of the former presidenti…
Location of bombs that hit the roo…
Location of bombs that hit the ro…
Glad I am not an electrician in Sa…
Glad I am not an electrician in S…
At the war remnants museum in Saig…
At the war remnants museum in Sai…
Vietanamese liked their motos.
Vietanamese liked their moto's.
Vietanamese liked their motos.
Vietanamese liked their moto's.