Vietnam; Ho Chi Minh City or Siagon

It’s been a few weeks since I last had anything to blog about mostly because I was in Vietnam for the last two weeks on my jolly holidays. I had an amazing time. Meet up with two of my friends from Dublin and joined a tour group to take me from Siagon (apparently you can call it either Ho Chi Minh City or Siagon so, as I’m lazy, I chose the shortest option) to Hanoi.

When I flew into Siagon it was nighttime so all I could see from the plane were lights stretching off into the distance. It wasn’t like Tokyo though, where it’s a mass of lights of differing brightness merging together. There were large patches of darkness so you could clearly  see the long lines of roads and blocks of lights I can only assume were the public and busy areas. Siagon itself is big, busy, crazy, dirty, loud, a hodgepodge of buildings, roads and people. There are motorbikes and scooters everywhere. I mean everywhere. It felt like there were more scooters than people. As far as I can gather the rules of the roads are there are no rules. Everyone drives all over the roads, on the wrong side, they ignore red lights, drive on the pavements (if they can, most of the time the pavements are chockablock with bikes, tables and chairs, people selling food, drinks, people themselves). They casually beep, beep, not in an angry, aggressive way, it’s more a ‘Hi, I’m here’ friendly beep. And they don’t seem to get annoyed or frustrated about it. Unlike home, they just drive around obstacles beeping away.

I went on a food tour where I had to sit on the back of a scooter. I was terrified to get on it but in less than five minutes was loving it so much I kind of wanted to drive myself. The food was amazing. Everything I love in food, noodles, broths, baguettes full of meat and flavour, pancakes, deep fried bananas, fruits I’ve never heard of. I ate everything, usually multiple courses per meal.

I was sweating like the banshee I am; it was so hot and humid I would be drinking over 2 litres of water a day and barely have to pee.

Crossing the road was an adventure in courage and determination. You just keep walking and don’t hesitate or catch their eye; they just drive around you. If there is a gap, they squeeze through it. I loved it.

So, that was Siagon. I’ll do more posts on the different places I went as they deserve it.

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