HO CHI MINH CITY AKA MOTORBIKE CITY...
So our next destination after Chau Doc was Vietnam's largest and most exciting city, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). We had been warned by some fellow travellers to expect a chaotic mess of traffic-clogged roads and urban bustle, and they weren't far wrong!
We arrived early evening, yet the city was still bustling with motorbikes zooming past quicker than blue arsed flies! Apparently there's more than 3 millon motorbikes flying along the city's streets!
Our hostel in HCMC was really nice with a brilliant location right in the middle of the backpackers district. It was a bit random though in the fact that the family who owned it had their living room in the lobby! They had a tv and sofas and they sat around watching tv just like we would at home! They had a little boy who was completely oblivious to all the guests coming and going but rather was engrossed in watching the cartoons!
Once we'd checked in and checked out our room (which was pretty impressive - two king sized beds!) we went out for a bite to eat at a really cool rooftop restaurant. They prided themselves on doing "magnificent" bbq's and I have to say the food was pretty good. Each table had cooking facilities in the middle of it and the waiter cooks the bbq at your table. Whilst the food and atmosphere was good, we were't so impressed when we asked for the bill and the waiter sat down at our table with his hands out begging for a tip! He kept going "tip, tip tip!" Out of principle we didn't leave him anything!
The next morning we went on a trip to the Chu Chi Tunnels. These are a network of underground tunnels and chamberes located in the Cu Chi districh of HCMC but which hich are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of Vietnam. The tunnels were used during the Vietnam War by the Viet Cong as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous fighters.
Sections of the tunnels are open to tourists at Cu Chi, however we were told that they have been substantially enlargened to allow "more bulky westerners" to climb through! James went down into the tunnels however after hearing that a tourist got lost in the tunnels once and that they had to create another exit for her to get out, I decided against it! Instead I acted as the bag lady holding random peoples bags whilst they went into the tunnels!
We spent the afternoon in the centre of HCMC exploring, watching the world go by from a bar and eating pizza! Later that evening we got the sleeper bus which is basically a bus which runs for long over night journeys and you get a bed! It was actually pretty comfortable, until you hit a bump in the road which there are many of in Vietnam! The sleeper bus took us on the 10 hour journey to Nha Trang.
Until next time, goodbye from the intrepid travellers xxx