Monday 26th June
We got up to catch a bus that would take us to Saigon and would take around 7. Along the way we stopped at a roadside restaurant and arrived at around 3ish. We decided to go for a wander around the city which has been dubbed 'the motorbike city' and we soon discovered why. We worked out the best technique for crossing the road was to simply walk out in front of the traffic and all the bikes just change course to get around you. Takes a bit of getting used to but we soon became masters of it. We checked out the local market and walked through a small park which happened to be full of old people working out! We noted the location of a Subway and headed back to the hotel.
This evening we met the new arrivals to our group. We would also be saying bye to 4 members of the original group so a big night was always on the cards! We went to a nice restaurant and then moved out to the street to spark some dealing amongst the bars to get us a cracking deal. We landed on a deal that got us 25 buckets for $40 DEAL! The rest of the night was spent at the very same bar as we didnt really need to get anymore drinks with the massive load we had just recieved. Dan managed to locate a big group of people from Southampton, one of which turned out to live around the corner from Tim. Tim and John stayed out with another Australian girl and convinced a bar owner we were wine conessiers from the BBC and managed to wangle themselves a few free wine testers. They then found another bar in which the owner was having a birthday party. There was bottles of tequila everywhere and the night ended up in a food fight and everyone covered in chocolate. Got a tuk tuk home at 5am and went straight to bed as we needed to be up early to see the chu chi tunnels!
Tuesday 27th June
We got up early to visit the cu chi tunnels that were used by the viet cong during the vietnam war. It was around an hour outside of Saigon, along some of the worst roads ever. There were potholes everywhere and not a smooth piece of road in sight! Our tour guide showed us round and we both had a go at going down into a bunker that was used to shelter from napalm strikes. The hole was tiny and neither of us thought we would fit in but we were suprised to slide down quite easily. We were then shown some of the horrible traps that the vietcong set for the americans. All of them involved a lot of spikes! We then got the chance to crawl through one stretch of tunnel. It was extremely small and was very humid inside. We both managed to get through the 35 metre stretch and were told afterwards that this tunnel had been widened so westerners could go in! The highlight of the trip was next as we both got to fire m1 garand gun at the firing range!
After returning to the hotel we were both craving some western food so paid the local subway a visit before heading back to the hotel to say bye to four members of the group before getting the bus to Saigon's train station for our first overnight sleeper train to Nha Trang.
We were suprised at how nice the carraiges were. We were in first class and shared a room of four with the other two lads in our group. The beds were comfortable and clean, although a little small and we had a tv in the private carraige. We started to eat the food we had stocked up on prior to boarding the train before playing cards and getting into bed. It was at this point that we found that we had a fifth member in our carraige! A mouse had found its way up onto the table where Tim had left half a chicken sandwich! We managed to scare it off and after throwing things round in the dark for a while to scare each other we got to sleep suprisingly quickly!