Going Underground

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Saigon Sports Hotel

Flag of Vietnam  , Hồ Chí Minh,
Monday, March 14, 2011

Today was a corker of a day. Waking late and feeling extremely indecisive about where our trip is taking us, we went our separate ways to figure it out.  2 minutes later we were missing each other so much that we were back together drinking iced coffee. It was lovely to be street side in Saigon and it the buzz of the city was the catalyst we needed to get out there and do stuff!

The Croque Monsieur was a very poor attempt but the lovely Vietnamese ladies were too sweet to moan.  Motorbike hired we set out into the city.  After a quick stop for a new rucksack we found ourselves caught in the rushing flow of mopeds that defines this city.  It was nuts!  The heat and the noise and the revving of engines was dizzying but exhilarating.  Before I knew it I had morphed into Valentino Rossi…and then I had to stop for petrol and look at the map.

We arrived at the Cu Chi tunnels 2 hours later (it was much more difficult getting out of Saigon than I had imagined).  We thoroughly enjoyed our time there.  We went down into the tunnels and saw how life was 10m below the ground.  Our guide was a funny sort, "stand here", "take photograph", “walk this way” and “tip please” were delivered in a charming way.  One of the highlights of our trip for me took place on the Cu Chi shooting range.  The testosterone could be detected a mile away as I pulled the trigger on an AK47.  Getting carried away, the 10 worth of bullets were dispatched in a couple of seconds.  Probably the best 10 I have ever spent!

The ride back to Saigon was even more hair raising than on the way out (see video).  It was rush hour and you would not believe how so many motorbikes can move down such narrow lanes at such high speeds without complete devastation.  Pulling up at the hotel Pols looked white.  Back to the room for some crisps and unwinding.

In the evening we met up with Clare and Dan again.  They have two nights in Saigon before heading back to Bangkok for the conclusion of their holiday.  They were on good form having loved the kitesurfing at Mui Ne.  They had by pure chance checked in to a hotel next door to ours which made it very easy to meet up.  We went for a good Mexican to finish of a really action packed day.

Miles cycled: 0 but about 80 high octane miles on the moped
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Jojo on

I had not taken in quite what those tunnels were at first - big attack of claustraphobia followed when I did! I also think I would completely freak out in that traffic.

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