I really didn’t expect to enjoy Saigon as I figured it would just be another Mumbai but there’s something about the place that made it really cool. No-one can ever explain what it is but for some reason Saigon seems to be a big hit with travelers (unlike Hanoi). On the bus I got chatting to a couple of English guys called Rob and Tom who reminded me of my mates back home. They had a great sense of humor and it was so nice to be able to speak bollax without having to explain what certain words mean. And what I mean by that is even if you speak to an Aussie, a Canadian an American etc you still end up having to explain certain phrases or words and asking what they mean by things like “rooting” or “wristy”. Anyway we got off the bus and where bombarded by the usual taxi drivers and sales men trying to get us to go to their hotels and at first I was my usual cool and calm self and politely told them we knew where we where going. Unfortyunately I mildly lost it with one woman who kept asking where we were going and told her to “go away” only to realize shortly after that she was actually a government employed tourist helper! She then showed us to a cracking hotel where the three of us shared a sweet 3up dorm room with AC and attached bathroom and I apologized for being rude to her (she was fine with me and probably got that all the time). The three of us got straight on it and after a great fajita meal we hit a few bars and pubs before heading in around 4am. Most notable things from the evening where the 30p beers from the street bars, bumping into my Dutch friends from Goa and Hoi Anne and the English guys managing to barter the price of noddles from a menu at 3am! I know you can barter almost anything but I figured if itt was in black and white there was no negotiation, clearly not!
I woke up at around 11 am which was by far the biggest lie in since I Bahrain. Until then there was always something to wake me up, be it an alarm clock, a dog barking, an alarm clock etc and I felt amazing for it. The three of us wanted to go to the cu chi tunnels to fire some guns but we’d missed the last bus there by a clear 4 hours! We managed to get a taxi to take us there, wait and take us back for 10 dollars each which we thought was pretty good going. As you may have seen from my videos on FB I unleashed 10 rounds of an AK47 and 10 rounds of an M16 which was as cool as I expected it to be .Other than that the tunnels where a bit lame, the guide rushed us through the entire process and there wasn't really a lot to see or do. That evening we went for a quiet few drinks as we planned to get up early the next day for the Mekong Delta tour.
The Mekong delta was fascinated, and I wish I could have spent some more time there. I'd met up with the dutch guys the night before who had slated the whole experience so I wasn't expecting great things, but it was the best bit of 'culture' i'd had in weeks. We started off with a bus trip to a local factory/shop where handicapped people worked making handicraft art. At first I was giggling about the guide's pronunciation of the word Handicraft thinking he'd made a major faux par with his language translation, then I saw the people working and felt really guilty! A lot of them where blind and still managing to make beautiful pieces of tile art and egg shell type things (please excuse my lack of knowledge in art/handicraft) which was really impressive. I thought about getting a few pieces but I figured they'd get battered in my luggage so I didn't follow through. After that we carried on to the pier and took a boat through the river. I've got photo's that do it pretty good justice on my FB. Oh, the tour guide was fucking hilarious, he was cracking me up as he was like a Vietnamese stand up comedian who started all his sentences with "cus you know..." then usually ended each 'section' with a joke about the Vietnamese or westerners. He had all the jokes about lady boys, Vietnamese motorbikes being fucking dangerous, Vietnamese women; no money no honey etc... I can't really do him justice on here but he was really good. We then stopped off at at a place where they make coconut sweets in all different flavors (peanut/ginger/toffee etc) and they where so lush I ended up buying 6 packs! then we took some photo's holding a big ass snake (not sure on the type, perhaps one of you keen Herpetologist's can help identify from my FB pics!) and watched some traditional Vietnamese musical performances which where slightly hampered by some rude Chinese couple who talked through the whole thing (and those of you who have tried to watch x-factor with me will know that I don't tolerate talking through musical performances!) but I still enjoyed it. we also rode on a donkey and cart through a town and went on some traditional Vietnamese long boats which was great 'culture' (please read 'culture' with a dumb Essex girl voice). That was pretty much it for the mekong delta, a great day out and thoroughly guilt free travelling :-).
Next day I flew to Thailand (Bangkok) but I'll write about that another time as I'm thirsty.... for BEER!