KL to Ho Chi Minh, the flashpacker way
05.02.2010 - 09.02.2010 26 °C
Phew! Here we are, a week and a day after leaving Aus. Madness, I tells you! Apologies for wordiness, this blog is also for our own records... so feel free to skim.
Ann is writing this one (again), luke said he'd write one but he was not being proactive about it (and I am known for my patient nature) so I am writing it.
So, where did we leave you? With the elephants? Well, since then we have not had direct contact any of the worlds most notable animals. There was a mouse and a cockroach incident, but that's for later.
After the elephants, we spent the last few days of KL being KL people - wandering around and getting a really good feel for the city. Our main feeling was that we didn't like the street food! It made us feel dirty - the curries were cold!! We may be cautious westerners but I don't like eating food that was cooked hours and hours ago and has been sitting out on the street. I think in KL you need to know where to go... and we didn't. But otherwise, we did things like catch the train into town, wander around, sweat, talk and drink water; beer is the same price AUD! rip off.
Then it was time to fly out! When it came to the dreaded moment of slinging the pack onto our already weary shoulders, we realised that luke's waist strap (pivotal piece of backpackerdom) was missing half of the buckle, rendering it useless. tough times! I buckled mine up and off we went.
Then, to the airport, a short flight,and we are now vietnamese!! the roads here are total madness, little motorbikes everywhere and no real rules. This, combined with my inability to look right rather than left whilst crossing the road, has made for chaos. Luke is fearless, however, and we often find ourselves looking at each other across a sea of helmets and taxis. We have found ho chi minh a pretty great bloody city. apart from being on the fourth floor, which is tiring, our room is pretty nice, apart from one flaw; in the middle of the night, sleeping under the nice airco, I found myself waking up shouting "why is it raining inside?". I'd say luke was also confused seeing he couldn't feel it and he woke up to me shouting. The air conditioner was spitting cold water on me! it is the most confused I ever remember being.
So yesterday when we arrived we took a little stroll because it was still early, and gingerly looked for somewhere to eat lunch (scarred from KL experiences) and sat down to some delicious food! here it was; the eating experience we were after! I ate pho bo - beef soup noodles, one of my favourites forever, and luke ate a vietnamese pancake (thank you s reaper for introducing us!) We then wandered up to Ben Thanh market (I love markets). wandering around in some of the squishiest corridors, we came across what I like to call "Luke's Fan Base" - a line of cheeky vietnamese girls amusing themselves by grabbing men! It was hilarious, luke was leadign the way and then i saw him move a little quicker than normal and then I saw the little grabby hands, grabbing his waist, arm, chest, bottom! calling out "big gorilla man" and "hey, king kong size!" we scooted, luke a bit faster than me, I was laughing too hard. Most of the vietnamese people we have met have been total larrikins, so warm and ready to have fun. "G'day Mate!" is getting a bit old, but they are usually in good spirits. I am not a big fan of "oh the local people are faaaaabulous" but generally we have found people to be helpful and fun.
Then on our way back from the market, we stopped off at Allez Boo, a local bar. I think its a bit backpackery, but it was sitting on the road side, drinking beers for under $1, and watching nam ride by, wearing pyjamas and helmets, giving little beeps, which we find endearing rather than annoying. Luke did a little jump at one stage, and looked on the ground, and lo and behold, his new friend was a massive cockroach! later, luke pointed out a mouse skipping accross the road, which was cute till it came right at me! Eep!
We then had a few drinks, ate some cheap cheap food, came home and tried to watch "Good Morning Vietnam"... I felt luke needed to do some learnin'. It didn't work, we are yet to enjoy that movie in saigon.
So today we had a late start due to beers and luke thornton being a sleepy head. We then went to the Notre Dame Cathedral (which was closed) and went to the Reunification Palace, where luke and I did get an education (perhaps a better one than Good Morning Vietnam). Our tour guide was very cute, used "Same Same but Different." in realation to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.. fair enough. It was a good experience.
So now we are back in our room, and looking into going on some tours tomorrow and the next day. Tet is on sunday and the whole city is gearing up for it. So are we - drinking hats on, kids! More next time (from luke - so it'll be shorter..)