"Saigon, s***. I'm still only in Saigon. Every time I think I'm going to
wake up back in the jungle."
That is one for all the movie fans out there. Saigon is actually really nice. Again the free form traffic - like Hanoi - is pretty crazy. You cross the road by walking out and letting the traffic work its way around you. At first this is pretty unsettling, but before too long you get pretty used to it.
Ok....I started this part of the blog a few days ago in Phnom Penh...but the computer was so slow that it wasn't worth carrying on. We are now back in Bangkok where computers actually work well, but have a bit of catching up to do on our adventures so far.
Back to Saigon...It is a really nice. modern, vibrant city...full of life and mad with designer stores, 5 star hotels, neon and tourists etc. It is also full of the remenants of the American war. Lots of beggers missing limbs, with terrible, disfiguring napalm burns or deformities caused by exposure to Dioxin (aka Agents Orange, Pink and Purple - the defoliant sprayed all over the country by America) Our first stop was the War Crimes Museum - which really brings home what the US did in Vietnam (obviously there is no mention of what the North Vietnamese did to their enemies and prisoners). The peasants of this country where treated really badly and the aftermath of the landmines and chemical weapons is really heartbraking...
But onto something lighter...we enjoyed a fun cyclo tour of the city, and then a meal out with everyone at a night market, whose speciality seamed to be frogs of various description...all kept live for you to choose from in big tanks and are hung on strings...yum.
The next day we went for a good old wander around the city (after a bit of a lazy slow start) and had great noodle soup at one of the locals shops (rather than the overpriced places that cater for tourists). Pho Bo (beef noodles) was a welcome treat for brunch. I spent most of the afternoon moaning and grumbling about wandering around shops - but was rewarded with an opportunity for an afternoon nap ahead of heading out for cocktails on the 23rd floor of the Sheraton. A weird western experience in the streets of Saigon...but we spoiled ourselves by spending more on 4 drinks than on a normal days worth of food.
After that a quick meal then home to bed ahead of an early start - and another long day on the bus - to Phonm Penh, Cambodia.