Mike and Flavia's alternative to work
In a word - Chaos! Driving from the airport to the hotel was a very nerve wracking experience as the world's craziest drivers reside in Saigon! There are millions of motorcycles all swarming around not believing in traffic lights or going the right way down the road. It only got better as Flavia explained the process whereby one has to cross the roads - just close your eyes and walk slowly across. Don't worry she said, the bikes, cars and buses will swerve around you!! Frighteningly enough, this worked! Spent the first day in Saigon familiarizing our selves with the city and did a bit of exploring before setting off for a three day tour of the Mekong delta via many buses and boats. At the end of this tour we have learned how to make pop rice, coconut candy, rice noodles, rice, incense sticks, crocodile handbags, fish food, and many other interesting (?) things. Yes a pretty crap tour but quite funny in hindsight. After the Mekong delta, we went to the Cu Chi tunnels where we were led by a fairly insane guide who kept screaming about westerners have fat arses and getting stuck in tunnels (Flavia got indignant thinking he was talking about her). After a few brainwashing communist propoganda videos in which we learned about the American white devil, we did a tour of the complex which culminated at the gun range. Flavia speaking - the range where small boys shoot big guns. Mike being no excpetion. Mike speaking - hit the target every time at 250 meters! After a night in Saigon, we left for the beachside town of Mui Ne for two days of surf sand and sun. Felt brave enough to drive amongst the locals by hiring a motorcycle for the day. We took off to explore the surrounding area where fish sauce was made (very very very smelly!!) and to the massive red and white sand dunes. We were a bit let down by the much hyped experience of sand boarding down the dunes - basically moved at snails pace down them filling up clothes with sand! However, great sunset and lovely couple of days out. Back in Saigon for our last night here before heading off to Hanoi. This was also the eve of Mike's birthday. Met up with a nutter couple who we had met previously in Mui Ne. As the night wore on, we met some more people including a few local pool sharks, some very friendly prostitutes and some fellow travellers. Mike got no presents that night - (just in case anyone was wondering!). A very late night with Flavia found asleep at 3am propping up a pillar in the bar. Things dont change!