As soon as you arrive it hits you, the intensity of the traffic, the congestion, the constant hum especially motorbikes tooting every metre and those loud, very loud bus horns that shake you out of your own skin. Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City or what we’ve been calling since our arrival here, Silly Saigon.
There are hotels, sports bars, clothes shops, restaurants of every variety, street food vendors, coffee (ahhh) and the biggest amount of Lonely Planet guide books you could find in one place! There are also many people with disabilities that must sell something as there is no social security here. These people (10,000,000 in Vietnam) have been affected by Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. After visiting the War Museum yesterday, you really cannot see the purpose of war and yet we still do it. I’m amazed at how resilient and forgiving (on the surface anyway) these people are of the destruction on their people and country.
Here’s my ‘book lady’ that I keep buying from. She sells books and carries them around all day to make money. She has a disability and cannot walk or talk properly but always has a smile and chirpy conversation when we see her outside our hotel. I’ve got to stop buying books from her!
This morning we indulged in a tour to the Cu Chi tunnels. Poor Dacey wasn’t feeling 100% with a tummy ache, so probably not enjoyed as much as it could have been. But we went through a section of the extensive tunnels the VC dug under ground to hide away and house soldiers and families during the war. Our guide said the reason these tunnels helped win the war was because the GIs just couldn’t get into the small tunnels with their guns and ammunition. The ability to squat and move around while in a squat position just wasn’t happening for the big blokes. Blame it on toilet seats! Our guide who was called Buffalo tried to be a funny guide at times!
As we turned our lights out last night, Silly Saigon city was just starting to crank up. The sounds of music, chatting, clinking and traffic combined with the wafting smell of ale, sweat, fumes and rice set us all off to sleep easily and surprisingly quickly. Tomorrow we head off to the Mekong Delta for the entire day. Hopefully Dacey feels better.