Hello! Happy new year!
10.02.2010 - 15.02.2010 29 °C
Hiya! Here we are, still in Ho Chi Minh/Saigon. I know I said Luke would be writing this but he leaves it too long and we would have forgotten the things that we'd done! So its Ann again.
So on the day after the Reunification Palace (catchy name eh? Symbolises the reunification of North and South Vietnam) was our War Education Day; we went to the Cu Chi Tunnels, a 250km tunnel network that the VC used during the war. Man, those tunnels were small AND they were the ones made bigger for westerners! They showed us an "educational video" which was pretty hard yards, apart from the wonderful bit where they call Americans "American Devils". We did like that.
Afterwards we got dropped off at the War Remnants Museum, which was a harrowing experience, with lots of hard hitting photos and displays of guns, bombs, and and three jars of preserved human fetuses deformed by exposure to dioxin. Woah. Yes Emma it did make me cry. So that was a big day for us, followed by dinner and some beer.
The next day was pretty quiet, we just cruised around, ate, and went to see a pagoda that was very pretty. and had lots of turtles that people give as an offering! I felt sorry for the turtles but there was no denying they were cute. a few beers and some new friends that night, and we were ready for Vung Tau.
The next day was the day now to be known as Oily Beach Day. We had heard wonderful things about "Saigon's Torquay" - a beach named Vung Tao and I was itching to go there and have a nice relaxed beach day with my fake book (will explain later). So we booked the boat, got up early and off we went; I was VERY excited. When we got to Vung Tau, I was a little bit worried; looked seedy. So we got a taxi to the back beach, and it all looked promising; except the strange brown nature of the water. We paid for an umbrella/sunlounger/table set up, and settled in to warm up before our swim. This part was good; we actually did relax. When luke was digging a hole in the sand (Dad! I dug a hole!") he said it smelled oily, but we thought it was that part of sand. It wasnt - when we came out of the sea (after being assaulted by rubbish) we found our skin had a layer of oil on us so it was hard to get dry and un angry after that! We didn't go back in the sea! So it was an expensive lesson; smell the water before you go in. Added to the joy of the day was the malaria tablet induced sunburn, most of which went away that night.
then it was Tet eve! they dont call it that, they just call the whole new year thing Tet, but for me, the day before new years day is the eve. it just is. so we had arranged to meet our new friends, a couple of english lads, for a beer at Allez Boo, our local bar. We went down to the river front with all the native Saigonners to watch the fireworks, and had a couple more beers. Whatever we did we must have done it properly because the next day I was struck with a horrendous hangover! and didnt do much until we went to see JANE RYAN; our celebrity guest! We went to meet her at her fancy hotel, and met her friend Laura. We then went on the worlds worst mission for food; went to a nice restaurant, had to wait an hour, got in, took our time choosing from the delicious menu, went to order and were told that there were only 2 dishes available (from 16 pages) and there was no rice. No rice! we were pretty dirty about this, ordered a couple of sides and then left, after an arguement about paying the 20% extra Tet service charge. We did not lose face though! We said all our hard hitting arguments with smiles. It was very confusing. Anyway, fun times wandering the streets of Saigon with Janey and Laura, fun times. They are doing Cu Chi and War Remnants today and we'll meet up with them later for beers and food. Oh how we are loving the food; we have had spring rolls with every meal so far!
So that brings us up to now. Today is our last day in Saigon, tomorrow we are off on our tour of the Mekong Delta which should be good, not least because it deposits us in Phnom Penh, our next destination! From there we're going to Ankor Wat, we're really looking forward to that, and then (and this bit is a mystery), we go to Laos. We dont know how we're going to get there, but that's the fun of it I suppose!
More photos to come, probably today. Its such a big mission we keep putting it off!