'I'M NOT GONNA COOK IT, BUT I"LL ORDER IT FROM ZANZBAR...!'
Yet again we started our day with an early start - leaving our hotel 5.45am to catch yet another bus. We already expected that this one would be bad as they had no seats left which were together so we would be sitting apart for the entire 8 hour journey! Eurgh...! When we got on the bus - which was pretty old and smelly if we're being honest!- we realised that we were literally on opposite ends. Sammy got stuck next to a Korean man who decided that his seat alone wasn't enough room for him so he was going to steal half of hers too! He also spent the entire journey clearing his throat which was pretty vile! Rach got stuck in the middle of huge Cambodian family - grandma, great grandma and grandkids in tow - Oh the joy! She got stuck sitting next to the mama of the family who appeared to have an endless supply of very smelly food which she continually ate with her mouth wide open! It was disgusting! And...we didn't even haveMr. Bean or Michael Jackson to entertain us! We got stuck with some random Cambodian film!
Halfway through the journey we stopped at this very random restaurant for a break! It was just hot, smelly and sweaty! We got back on the bus for a few minutes and then got off to cross the border into Vietnam. This was a lot easier than crossing the border into Cambodia. The only difficulty was when they call you to check you passport and visa and call you Mr. Samata and Lowra! We had no idea they were calling us at first! Back on the bus, we had another few hours of no room and loud chomping until we arrived at the 'bus station' in Ho Chi Minh City. By bus station we mean the side of a busy road with a load of taxi drivers waiting! We got into a taxi to head to our hotel - which was a very short journey and we got massively ripped off because we had no idea how much dong was worth! Never mind!
Our hotel room was tiny! Just enough room for a big bed, wardrobe and big ass TV! As you can imagine, it got very messy very quickly!
We headed straight out to explore the city before it got dark. We were also a little peckish as we hadn't eaten all day and we kept seeing KFCs on our way into the city. Whilst exploring we were on the lookout for a KFC to eat some normal food! We searched and searched to no avail! We couldn't find on anywhere! HUH! We ended up at Highland Coffee which is like Vietnam's Starbucks and had a toastie! The bread was really wierd so we didn't even eat it! Grr...!
The traffic in HCMC is crazy! There are motorbikes and mopeds EVERYWHERE! We are pretty sick of the sight of them! They all just drive wherever they want regardless of pedestrians or the direction other traffic is going! This makes crossing the road a little tricky! We soon realised that you just have to keep edging out and that if you go slow they just go around you! If you waited for a gap in the traffic you would never cross - there is never a gap and they even drive on the pavement!
So after a very sweaty walking tour of the city we headed back to the hotel to cool down and get ready to go out in the evening. We read through our guidebooks and found a reccommendation for an indian restaurant so set off to find it! Guess what we find sitting right next door? Oh yes, the holy grail that is a huge KFC! We immediately decided that that was lunch sorted for tomorrow! After our indian food we headed back to the hotel exhausted, where we slept for 11 hours! Lazy b****es, we know!
The next day we headed out to see more of the city (and get KFC of course!) First we headed to Notre Dame cathedral - yeah, we thought it was in Paris too! ;) And then we strolled around to go the reunification palace which is where the Vietnamese army tanks crashed through the gates at the end of the Vietnam war! It was kinda interesting! It was a bit like a time warp, nothing has changed there since the 70s! We had a nice time! We went back to the hotel to shower and cool off AGAIN! (It really is very sweaty in these parts!)
That night we went out and found a really amazing bar/restaurant called ZanZbar. We had some really good food and even better cocktails! We like very much! Our waiter was so cute, he kept on talking to us and giving us advice on the best places to go in the city. After our food and a couple of cocktails - including a lethal one called a Zanzitini which was just pure alcohol! - we left and stopped off in another bar before heading back to the hotel. This bar had sangria on the menu which we thought might be quite nice, however we were a little worried when it arrived frothing and a pale pink colour! We asked the barman what was in it to which he replied nonchalantly, 'beer, white wine, bacardi, grenadine, cointreu and fruit'. Ah, of coure that's what sangria is! Silly us were expecting red wine and fruit! Well after drinking that concoction - it was actually surprisingly tastey - we headed back to the hotel once again feeling rather impressed with ourselves for not getting killed crossing the roads, especially considering we were a little bit pissed!
On our final day in HCMC we did...NOTHING!!! We had a nice lazy day! We stayed in bed late and then packed and headed out for some more scrumptious ZanZbar cocktails! On our way to the bar the heavens opened and we had to duck for cover under the roof overhang of some fancy designer shops where we found our dream shoes! They were the most beautiful shoes in the world! Once the rain had easd off we dashed over to ZanZbar where we sat for the rainy afternoon drinking cocktails and eating some really good tapas!
In the evening we got a taxi to go to the water puppet show. However, when we got there it was closed! HUH! WE decided to go to a bar that was reccommended in our lonely planet. The Acoustic bar was tricky to find! It was down an alley and looked a little scary! We headed in anyway and were confronted with 100 pairs of vietnamese eyes staring at us! We were the only white people in there! We sat down anyway and order a drink. After a while the bar stared to get even busier and a band came on stage. We were actually kind of enjoying ourselves watching vietnamese guys singing reggae so we decided to stay to watch the other bands. One of the other bands sang covers of Michael Jackson songs and slipped a couple of Enrique classics in there! It was highly amusing! Then, to end the evening, a 75 year old lady came on stage and sang some classics while dancing around the stage. Overall, a completely bizzare experience!
The next day we got up early and went to the market to look around before jumping in a taxi and heading off to the airport to catch our flight to Hanoi...