Sing Jow from Vietnam!
We arrived afely in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and have somehow survived without being killed on the roads. You'll probably think I'm exaggerating when I say this city has got the scariest, craziest, insanest (Yes it is a word) drivers IN THE WORLD but I'm really not. Phnom Penh was nothing compared to this place! There seem to be more mopeds than people, they drive on whatever side of the road they fancy, they don't stop at red lights and they beep incessantly ALL THE TIME!!! As well as that I've counted perhaps 3 actual crossings with the little green man in the whole city...not good for the blood pressure! I've just about managed to cross roads after 4 days without being killed. The trick is to move slowly and realise that they're not allowed to actually hit you! Failing that we follow the locals who know what they're doing! We were helped across by a young Vietnamese girl today who looked after us which was nice!
Anyway, since arriving we've been pretty busy, spent the first day at the War Remnants Museum, obviously all about the Vietnam War. I'm not going to get too geeky about it but it was really interesting, some of the pictures and exhibits were pretty gruesome but to be expected. Neither of us fully understood what went on during the Vietnam War but needless to say the Americans were not displayed in a positive light at all! After that we headed to the Reunification Palace (Basically the government buildings) which were really beautiful. However at this stage in the day I actually thought I was going to melt, the heat here is shocking and we didn't stay for too long before heading back to air conditioned bliss and cold beer!
The next day we took a trip out to the Cadoi temple (Which is a new religion, about 80 years old and a nixture of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucism) We stayed to watch a mass, of which they have 4 a day and took loads of pics of the temple which was stunning. Really colourful with the sky painted on the ceiling! From there we went to the Cu Chi Tunnels which were just outside of Saigon and were really cool. They were first built when the French were in control and were used again during the Vietnam War to hide from US soldiers. There were a big series of tunnels with different bunkers in which the Viet Cong kept themselves safe. As well as that there were some GRUESOME booby traps which involved LOTS of spikes and hidden trapdoors in the ground. Very scary. Kim got into one of the tiny holes the Vietnemese entered the tunnels from but I ws scared my belly would get stuck (Look, the Vietnamese are a SMALL race) so I just watched! We finished off by walking 100 metres through one of the underground tunnels (Via a BIG hole this time), an...interesting experience. The tunnels had been made bigger to accomodate the tourists and even then it was scary! I've never been happier to be a short arse as I was just about able to walk through bent over. Some of the people had to crawl on their hands and knees which did not look comfortable! It was really stuffy and had a little lamp every 20 metres or so. I couldn't imagine actually having to use them, we were relieved (If little sweaty) when we made it back to the open air! We also had a chance to shoot an AK47, but both myself and Kimbob declined, we'd rather go through life saying we'd never shot a gun and the noise scared the crap out of me!
That's it from HCMC I've enjoyed it but it's not a city I'd be in a huge rush to come back to. It's SO busy and noisy and I'll be honest, the traffic REALLY scares me! (Wuss I know) Tomorrow we head to the Mekong Delta.
Hope you're all well,