Brokedown on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City

Trip Start Feb 16, 2010
Trip End Mar 09, 2010

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Where I stayed
Phong Hotel

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Saturday, March 6, 2010

It was rise and shine at 630am. Bike ride back to Can Tho to meet the rest of the group and a 3 hours boat ride followed. We literally went on a trail to the backyards of Can Tho. The children were extremely sweet, waving and shouting hellos while their mothers carried on their chores, be it washing laundry or scaling a fish at their backyard "jetty". We stopped at a local family fruit plantation and savoured some fresh tropical fruits.
It was another hour before we had lunch at a touristy stop near lower Mekong Delta river. Had a freshly brewed munich black beer for vnd 18 000. Did the same return ferry trip and bought a lottory ticket from an old man for vnd 10 000. Grand prize was vnd 1.5 billion for tonight's draw, as I was told. Bus ride for another hour plus in the stinking heat before we stopped at Vinh Long to visit the market. I was quite surprised to see live animals like pigs, ducks and chickens for sale. Maybe the vendors buy them wholesale. There were also individuals trying to sell only a handful of small fishes, probably caught from the muddy banks.
The heat at this time was extremely unbearable, yet the local women in particular were still fully cladded in long sleeves, cottom gloves and face protection masks, together with jackets. They must have some kind of special pores, either evolved or engineered. Plus the locals doesnt sweat in this heat. We made our way back to HCMC via My Tho, crossing a suspension bridge (funded by the australian government in 2000) over the upper Mekong Delta river. It was a long 2 hours before we finally got back to HCMC at 6pm and I was busting to get to the loo with all the drinking I had.
The city was literally swarmed by motorbikes like an orchestra of fishes merging and separating in divine nonchalance. The night was alot cooler and drier than the arvo. Met Tuan again for dinner. This time it was a mouth watering crispy fried carrot cake dipped in chilli and soy sauce. Immediately after we went to another place for a bowl of dry Cambodian vermicelli.
Tuan's bike broke down on our way to beers. We hired a bike taxi and got the bloke to push Tuan's bike in the traffic (he was on the bike and i was on the taxi pillion) to an overnight carpark at the local hospital. It was not safe to park anywhere in the city lest it gets stolen. So we walked back to Pham Ngu Lau where i stayed and chilled out at Allez Booze and Seventeenth Saloon. The resident fillipino band at Seventeenth Saloon was performing Nightwish covers including Nightwish's version of Phantom of the Opera. The local crowd didnt seem to mind but were clueless with all the headbanging and heavy metal on stage. The techno came on later and the crowd seemed alot more at ease.

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