New Year at Uncle Ho's

Trip Start Jul 26, 2006
Trip End Apr 01, 2008

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Monday, January 1, 2007

Our train ride from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) was about 30 hours altogether, and we passed the time checking out the beatific Vietnamese scenery, making commentary on the young Vietnamese couple who shared the cabin with us (while they likely did the same about us in Vietnamese), and talking a lot of smack over some cards.  We arrived in HCMC at about 4:30am, and got started hanging out at the cafes right away.  There are many, many lovely cafes and restaurants in HCMC after all, and we didn't have a moment to lose. 
For those who are lacking somewhat on their geography trivia (like me), you may know HCMC by its former name of Saigon-now Saigon is the name of just one of HCMC's districts.  The name changed along with most everything else when the commies took over in 1975.  But more on that later...
So yeah, when we weren't chillin' in the cafes, we spent some time navigating HCMC's excitement-filled streets from our base in the Dong Khoi area just near the Saigon River.  Luckily, I'd honed my "street crossing in hostile urban environments" skills in Delhi and Beijing, so we survived the experience unscathed.  We had an enjoyable New Years Eve in the city (luckily we hadn't made it to Bangkok, where terrorist bombings brought in the New Year) and took in a day trip to the Cu Chi tunnels and the Cao Dai Great Temple  before heading off to the Mekong Delta for a few days.
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