After a long & torturous bus ride to cross to Vietnam (filled with dangerous bus drivers, Karaoke Music & many close calls), we finally made it to Saigon.
After hopping off the bus & grabbing all our precious belongings, we walked the 6-8 blocks to reach our hotel. The first thing Sareth told us about, was the way we cross the road in Vietnam is quite different to Cambodia. You just walk slowly & with confidence. You never stop & you never run. & you never ever walk out in front of as bus as they won't stop! (Will take his word for that! Haha).. The motorbike & scooter traffic is never ending, & you really do have to have a bit of courage to walk out, but after a few goes you realise that they will stop or zip around you, but you just gotta keep your head forward cause you don't want to see them as they zip around you.
That afternoon, Paul Julia & I wandered thorough the streets & markets & just admired the amazing city that is HCMC. This place is incredible. The French influence is evident in the amazing architecture throughout the city. The markets are crazy. There are Cafes & restaurants everywhere. There are very big name shops everywhere too. This place is simply buzzing. The European influence is evident, the buildings are stunning & there are gorgeous gardens everywhere making this city simply gorgeous.
That night was the final leg of the Cambodian tour, so we all went out for dinner before a few of us glammed it up & ventured the the Rooftop Bar at the Rex Hotel for a cocktail. It's a 5 star Hotel & the bar was gorgeous. Lanterns & lush gardens everywhere & with a cover band on stage surrounded by ceramic elephants. My description doesn't do this place justice.
The next day (Thur 28/3), a few of us went to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. I was hesitant about going at first, but we booked the tour through the Hotel Reception & were picked up to join a rather large group tour (27 people I think), by an eccentric old Vietnamese man called Jackie. Jackie was there during the war & his storytelling made the whole day. There are 2 types of tunnels at Cu Chi: the ones created for Westerners; & the original tunnels, where you have to crawl through leaves & cockroaches as Bats fly overhead. I'm not sure what come over me, but after 2 Swedish guys decide to try the original tunnels, I decided to join them. Far out brussel sprout! There was a six foot American guy who followed me who I honestly think was more scared than I was. I was stopping along the way to take selfies (it's about 70metres) & he kept telling me to hurry up! Haha. It was scary & I doubt ill ever do it again, but I did the original Cu Chi tunnels & not too many tourists can say that! Haha.. I also have the Westerners tunnels a go too.. :)
We then got dropped at the War Remnants Museum for a very one sides (anti-American) look into some Vietnamese History, before we jumped on the back of some motorbikes to scoot through the streets & get back our part of town. We wandered around the markets some more, before heading to our next group meeting at 6 where we got to meet our tour buddies for the Vietnam leg of the tour.
Vu is our guide for this leg & already I can tell that he's a talker! Lol. We all wandered to a restaurant called 'Pho 2000' for dinner (hey, if its good enough for Bill Clinton, it's good enough for me!). Vu then took a few of us to an Ozzie themed bar where we came to the conclusion that Vu likes to PARRRRTAY! Lol. I was a party-pooper though & headed home early as we had an early bus the next day as we headed to the Mekong Delta for a homestay..