Daredevil Dave and his bikey mol :-)))

Trip Start Feb 05, 2009
Trip End Mar 07, 2009

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Woke up to rain this morning.  Still muggy but plenty of rain.  We caught a hydrofoil from Saigon to Vung Tau this morning.  $32AUD return each.  The trip took 1 hour 40mins but the alternative was bus for 4 hours to do the 128kms. The hydrofoil runs about a dozen times a day and we booked our return journey before we left in case it was filled (as was the first morning one).  The hydrofoil was a good ride and Vung Tau was a pleasant surprise.  It is a beach resort but is often missed by the tourist with Saigonese flocking there on weekends to get away from the city.  It was the location of the one of the Australian Units during the Vietnamese war.  My uncle was stationed there and I wanted to take a look at the changes since then.

It was such a clean, pretty city.  There were some poorer areas if you ventured away from the beaches but although poor they were clean.  They have people working on the gardens all the time.  Topiary cut into shapes of chickens, horses, cows are everywhere.  A wonderful display of sculpture in the park and beautiful lawns and flowers.  A really relaxing atmosphere -which we needed after the last few days.

Unfortunately the money making opportunity for the locals is limited so when you leave the hydrofoil they plague you for a few kilometres trying to get you to take a tour with them around the city. They are very persistent. 

The foreshore were the hydrofoil terminal is dotted with junks and fishing boats.  The beach is very clean, the water not so much so.......... They are currently building a cable car at one end of the harbour - not completed yet.  Around the head land is Back Beach - a very long stretch of white sanded beach - this is were the soldiers took there R&R if not taking a trip to Saigon.  The hotels are modern with the odd oldie in between. 

After refusing one biker numerous times and having an English speaking Vietnamese guy explain we just wanted to walk, we opted to hire a motorbike to see the whole penninsula.  We hired the bike for 120,000VND or roughly $15AUD from 11 til 3.30.  We had a blast.  Dave was in bikey mode and I just clung to the back.... we went around the whole penninsula and had a ball.  Unfortunately HUGE HUGE windburn........we are as red as....  Dave wanted to track down the guy from the morning to show him we had hired the bike and offer him the same deal he had offered us to take HIM for a ride.

Went to Bellys Restaurant for lunch.  Belly is a expat KIWI who was in the war here and returned four years ago for a months holiday and never went home.  He started Bellys Restaurant and Bar and is thriving on the BEST hamburgers and chips (Aussie Style) we have tasted.  Not cheap but not expensive - just normal aussie prices - two burgers and chips plus beer and juice = $25AUD.  BUT GREAT STUFF!!!  Belly also conducts tours to Lon Tan Battle site and Nui Dat area where our soldiers fought.  We had a chat and he gave me a couple of maps for my Uncle.  Nice guy.  A number of ex soldiers hang around the restaurant and return each year for their holidays.

It was of course fitting that we ran into our persistent biker from the morning who actually stopped us and asked us what we were doing..... He looked quite rejected and asked how much we had paid (he had offered us a tour for $2USD (?3ishAUD) for a HALF hour.  Dave asked him if he wanted to hop on and have a tour for $100,000VD???  He was not impressed.

We left on the 1600 hydrofoil for Saigon.  Walking back to the hotel picked up some rolls (30 cents A each) and water (60 cents A for 1.5 litre) we came to the 'Peoples Park' just over from the markets.  Hundreds of people there - the young guys playing kick catch with this funny looking ball thing (very accurate and clever) and girls and women doing what looks like Tai Chi to modern music - they were loving it - worth a look if your in the city.

We are leaving for Dalat at 7.15 in the morning, so hopefully in for some cooler weather.
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Habernero Harry on


Nice Blog you have here mate - please share mine!

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