Goooooooooooooooood Morning Vietnam! (was this going to start any other way!?)
Well here we are already. The second country on our trip. After just an hour and a half in the air (half the time we spent in the actual airport before hand) we arrived in Vietnam and Ho Chi Mihn city. Flying through imegration with our super duper visa on arrival letter.
Getting a taxi from the airport we were imediatly introduced to the rush hour traffic which is an unbelievable thing to behold. Fish tanks, fridges, huge picture frames and a window pain were just some of the things we saw people carrying on the back of their mopeds within the first hour of arriving. Also we found out that cars and motor bikes in this city are not limited to the roads. Oh no. If they want to use the pavement they will.
Despite being just as busy as Bangkok the city is a hundred times nicer. It includes features such as trees and lack of smell that Bangkok has shyed away from. After walking round the area where we were staying for a couple of hours and getting some dinner at a local resteraunt we went back and caught up on some much needed sleep. We had decided that two full days in Ho Chi Mihn city would be enough time to cram in as many of the tourist attractions and sights as we could before moving on to Na Trang.
Day 1: Our first full day was a productive one. We got up and after breakfast we walked across the city to the war remnance museum. This was the one thing I wanted to do in the city above all else and it wasn't a let down. In fact, there was so much to see and do there we had to do it in two hits with a break. This was close to the best museum I have ever been to. The collection of photographs alone was worth paying to see and some of the grim artifacts they display will not soon be forgotten. And the cost of this brilliant attraction!? 50p. I like this country.
In the break we took (while the war museum closed for lunch) we walked around the block to the reunification palace. A beautiful building with sprawling grounds smack in the centre of the city. After this and going back to finish off the war museum we walked to the Notre Dam Catherderal to take some photos. We left and made it to some shelter just before the biggest storm we have experienced in asia started.
After sheltering from the rain, thunder and lightning for well over an hour we went to a local market for dinner where I embarrased myself using chop sticks. The food was great though so all was not lost. We then proceeded to get rediculously lost amongst the rush hour traffic untill we had to give in and dive into a taxi to get us back to our hostel.
Day 2: Another day and another museum for starters. After breakfast we walked back accross the city to the Ho Chi Mihn City Museum. A very interesting place dealing with the history of the city over the centuries. Next we went to Saigon Zoo, which was awesome because Zoo's are my favourite attraction of all time! And it was a great afternoon as they had some animals I had never seen before such as white tigers, orangutans, fully grown crocodiles and porcupines as well as some animals we have already seen in the wild in Thailand like Hornbills,Sea Eagles and Monitor Lizards. In the evening we found a nice vegetarian resteraunt for dinner and a couple of beers before turning in for the nite.
So those were our two days in Ho Chi Mihn city. My legs hurt from walking so much but it was well, well worth it. We have booked a ticket for a bus to take us to Na Trang. Another painfully long bus ride. But with any luck the next time you hear from me I will have done plenty more exciting things, maybe with a little time on the beach thrown in for good measure. In the shade of course.