Sunday, December 22, 2013

Vietnam (pt. 4/4 Saigon): An Excursion Through South East Asia

Ho Chi Minh city, also known as Saigon is the business and financial capital of Vietnam. We were looking forward to seeing how the north and south of Vietnam compared.
First time I'd ever had a driver waiting with my name on a sign 

Saigon is significantly more developed and westernized than Ha Noi so seeing KFC restaurants and 7-11's is not uncommon. 

In the evening there were Thai chi and martial arts classes in the city park. There was also a pick-up soccer game nearby that Jon jumped into as Bango and I chatted about our travels with a group of very well dressed, business savy teenagers. Ho Chi Minh city was lively, the beer was cheap, and the food was tasty. We explored the city for several hours that first night.

The next day we took a boat tour across the Mee Kong Delta. We made a stop at a coconut candy workshop on one stop and held some boa constrictors on another. At lunch we were entertained in a small village by song and dance and sampled some of the native fruits.

Honey farming 


Harvesting coconut meat for the candy

Wrapping and packaging the coconut candy

After the tour we returned to our hostel in the city and went to bed early. 

Non-peak hour commuting in Ho Chi Minh City

In the morning we arrived at the airport ready to head into Thailand. Upon checking in we discovered there was a mix up in our travel arrangements. We had not received a baggage allowance for our flight which left us holding an $80 fee. When we finally checked in we rushed to our gate only to find out the flight was delayed two hours. 

We learned quickly that when traveling there will always be some unexpected intangibles, but the only thing you can do is stay positive and roll with the punches. 

It turned out that we had an eight hour stop over between Vietnam and Thailand in Singapore so we agreed it was long enough to cruise through the city and grab some lunch. Little did we know we'd soon come face to face with Singapore law. 

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