Cruising into Saigon

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,
Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pols did get up to have a look at the Vietnamese breakfast on offer but she reported back that it was an array of noodles so we decided to give it a miss. This was after being woken up by someone trying to hammer the door down at 6:40 am.  It was the same hotel girl from last night who was asking us to sign a slip of paper which clearly had nothing to do with us.  We were pleased to leave this hotel.  When the Vietnamese go away for the weekend to the seaside they make the most of every minute. It made me feel, how I would expect to feel, going to Bognor Regis Butlins for the night.

The 5 miles around to the ferry dock was very nice.  Some of the drivers had not woken up and required some shouting to let them know we were there but this frustration was balanced out by the lovely ice cream seller who enthusiastically raced us up the hill with his cart.

The ferry terminal was a very odd octagonal building and we were relieved when the ticket office seemed fine with selling us tickets even with the bikes.  Of course, not missing a trick, we had to pay for 4 people and not just the 2 of us but we were more than happy if it meant a ride all the way into Saigon.  We celebrated with a KFC breakfast.  Who would have thought that a Zinger Burger could taste so good at 9 in the morning!

The ferry boarding was not straight forward.  The hydrofoil had too many steps and narrow doorways for loaded up bikes. Within a few minutes of taking off the bikes had broken free from their ropes and were flat out on the deck bouncing up and down in time to the crashing of waves on the windows around us.  Getting off an hour or two later was not much easier, this time having to pass through another hydrofoil which we had moored up alongside.

No worries, we were in Saigon and having dodged some more waves (this time the floods of motorbikes) we found ourselves in a quiet side street with several hotel options.  The Saigon Sports Hotel 3 was the one we went for and very pleasant it is to.

In the afternoon we visited The War Remnants Museum.  The mile walk made us sweat uncontrollably but it was worth it to see this sombre and heart wrenching photographic account of the Vietnam War.  I think the worst part for me was the images of the children, both of then and now, who fell victim to the chemical warfare used by the US.  It was of course a very one sided exhibition but as they say 'the camera doesn't lie’.

Another really varied and interesting day topped off with Mexican!  Pols said that we had Mexican earlier in the trip, I’m not sure.  The fajitas were very good anyway.

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