Saigon and the start of Vietnam


Hello everyone,

So my last entry was written just as we had arrived in Saigon, we are now in the coastal resort of Nha Trang and I have once again woken up early (starting to get annoying) so I thought I would update you on whats been going on whilst Heather is asleep upstairs.

After we wrote the blog on the first day we went to sample the infamous Pho (beef noodle soup) and Bia Hoi (local beer at around 15p a glass), both were pretty good and a real bargain! The streets in Saigon are CRAZY, motorbikes everywhere, crossing the road was pretty fun! We also went to a tour operator and booked a trip to the Cu Chi tunnels for the next day.

So we had to be up early for the Cu Chi trip, about an hour and a half from Saigon, these were the tunnels used by the Viet Cong against the Americans in the Vietnamese War. The trip was a little rushed but we got to see the tunnels in their original size (bloody tiny!), walk through the 20% enlarged ones (still bloody tiny), see some of the traps they used to capture
secret hole at cu chi
americans and go to the shooting range, which I didnt end up doing as it would have been about 30quid for a 4 second spray on an AK. We then got back to the city and set about booking our journey to Nha Trang, we booked with Sinh Tourist for a proper sleeper bus (see photo) it was only 5quid each for a 9 hour journey! We then set about trying to find a city tour trip, there were lots of options but I really wanted to do it on a motorbike and not just trudge around in a bus. One reputable company did a cool looking 4 hour tour but it was $44 each, seemed very pricey so I approached one of the many motorbike drivers and asked about a custom trip and it turned out he spoke pretty good english (as many do) we arranged for him and his mate to take us to all the same sights for a combined price of $25 (saving $63 over the other trip,winner).

That night we had an overpriced, under-performing shisha and a few drinks before watching some of the Man Utd vs Man City game (boooo). Next day it
nasty looking trap
was time for the trip, being on the back of a bike in all that traffic was really cool and made me realise why everyone uses bikes, you still get around very quickly despite everyone else on the road, London should reconsider! Our tour guides were good (despite one not really speaking english) and we saw all the key sights, The War Remnants museum was particularly eye opening and although obviously heavily biased, the city gives such a bad impression of the americans, I wouldnt want to be an american in the museum put it that way!

At the end of the tour our guides wanted to go for a beer, they took us to the Saigon version of Hooters with all the girls in tiny mini skirts, i wasnt complaining…… We were really glad we booked the tour through some locals and it was nice to interact directly with Vietnamese rather than through tour companies etc.

It was time to leave Saigon and we boarded our sleeper bus to Nha Trang which had fully reclining beds, I slept all the way but heather got very little sleep, we quickly found a nice guesthouse with our best room
victim of agent orange doing amazing painting
yet, huge room with a proper shower (not just a shower head on the wall), double and single bed (incase Im in the dog house) fridge, aircon, balcony all for 7.50quid a night,result! Heather slept and I went to explore, I found a gym which was brilliant, had my first workout for over two weeks which was a bit ropey but so energizing! We went to the beach in the morning but it clouded over in the afternoon so we went and had lunch and booked a snorkelling trip for today which we are about to go and do! It looks like it might be sunny so fingers crossed!

Will be in Nha trang for a few more days yet, hope to meet up with my friend from uni, Dave and his girlfriend Sarah who are currently in Hoi An (our next stop).

Must go get ready for the snorkelling trip (its a hard life!)

Bye for now