So the Intrepid trip finished in Saigon. It took 8 hours on the bus to get there from Phnom Penh and after the bus journey we were all a bit jaded. I had it in my head that I wouldn't like Vietnam, I've been doing that with everywhere I've been. I start with thinking I'm not going to like this place and within a day I love it.
Saigon is mental , there really isn't another way to describe it. It's dirty, polluted, noisy and it seems like it's full of people who just want to rob you. As you walk down the street all you here is people calling "Buy something", "Look in my shop", "Cheap, Cheap" or "Moto (Motorbike Taxi)" and if you don't buy anything they take the huff with you and take the piss out of you. Also it's almost impossible to cross the roads. There is almost 2 million motorbikes in Saigon and it feels like every single one of them is trying to run you down. In most places you just walk really fast onto the road and the traffic parts for you but in Saigon they just run at you. As I said mental! In spite of all this, or maybe because of it I really liked it.
For the last night of the tour, the group we went for dinner and then had the party to end all parties. We went to a rooftop bar called Go 2 Go. It was so cool sitting up on the 5th floor listening the to chaos below while drinking amazing cocktails. After drinking that bar dry we moved to the club on the 2nd floor. This is when the fun really started, cue some crazy dancing with scarves as props, a quick spin on the DJ's decks and even more cocktails oh and a couple of African and Japanese men grinding up against us. Honestly the ratio of men to women was 5:1 - just the way I like it! Michelle, Liz and I were the last ones standing - trust it to be the Brits who out drink everyone else.
The next day I was dying so it was a burger and chips for breakfast. I managed to make it along to the War Museum. The museum was really good, it gave such a unique insight into the Vietnamese war and the effects that still continue to be felt. I think I would have enjoyed it more it my hangover wasn't so bad. There was only one thing for it - massage! A quick trip in a cyclo - a seat on a bicycle that is pedalled into oncoming traffic by a very skinny Vietnamese man who chain smokes throughout and tries to take you everywhere you don't want to go. I went to a quite a posh place for my massage as it was the only way that I could ensure I would get a massage and not one with extras or so I thought..... The massage started normally, I striped, lay down on the table and prepare myself to be stood on by a very tiny Vietnamese girl. However like Dorothy (not my Mum, the red shoes Dorothy) I soon realised that I wasn't in kansas anymore when she pulled down my pants and started to hit and rub my bum and then pull my hair. I don't think I've ever been so shocked in my life. If someone is going to wipe my ass I certainly want to be paid for the pleasure not to be paying for it. Of course the only thing that I could do after that was go for a drink. Laura, Nick, Michelle, Liz and I went back to Go 2 Go and happy hour got a bit out of hand. We had a peanut throwing competition from the rooftop which then escalated into an anything throwing competition. Toothpicks, beer mats, fruit... my favourite was the menu - I rocked it!
With a slightly worst hangover than the day before we went to the Cho Cho tunnels. The Vietnamese had built these to flight against the Americans during the war. The tunnels were built on three levels and each level gets further underground. The tunnels are so small, some have been widened for Western tourists but even they are still tiny. The tunnels are an amazing network, they stretch for miles and miles and had all sorts of amenities underground like churches and schools. We also got to see some of the weapons that were used against the Americans. The Vietnamese used to collect the scraps of American weapons and then transform them to use against them. They also set killing traps with bamboo and made shoes from the nearby rubber trees. The Vietnamese may be small but I never want to get into a flight with one of them, I swear they could take me!
All in all Saigon was good, lots of drinking, some sightseeing, some shopping and even more drinking!