6 Million Moto’s

11 05 2010

After a couple more days in Sihanoukville, where Jeff went diving for a day, I relaxed on the beach with a book and got a massage and we had a nice dinner of sea food on the beach, we arranged our visas for Vietnam and set off for Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). We caught the bus at 7:30 am and drove to Phenom Pehn. Everything was going smoothly until I realized that our wallet with our cash was missing. I must have left it on the bus or got pickpocket because we never did find it. I was pretty bummed out all the way to Saigon which took about another 6 hours from Cambodia capital. When we finally arrived pretty late we checked into a really cute guesthouse/home stay where we have a computer in our room and free water (oooh the luxury). We slept well that night despite the ever-increasing heat, I think it’s been 40 degrees minimum and rising daily. The following day we slept a bit late and had a late breakfast then headed out to the crazy busy streets of Saigon. Can you believe there are 11 million people in a city not much bigger than Calgary, and there are 6 million moto scooters…it’s insane how busy the streets are here. We decided to brave the streets and go for a walk down to the market to see if we could find some good shopping. On our way there we were stopped by a couple of moto drivers who wanted to take us on a 2 hour city tour and we agreed, as it was very hot and the walk was unbearable. They told us they would show us around then take us to the real market where locals buy their stuff. We drove around the busy city and stopped at a few tourist stops such as the city hall, post office center, opera house, Notre Dame cathedral and the War Remnants Museum. The museum was quite cool as it shows the other side of the story about the war here with the USA, you wouldn’t believe the damage they did here and the cruel things they did to innocent people here.  After that we did go to the market and picked up a couple of gifts.  When we returned to the guest house we were invited to join in on English Speaking Club, we were hesitant but thought “what the hell”. A couple of university students came and just talked with us and practiced their English, taught us a couple of things in Vietnamese then offered to take us out for our favorite Vietnamese dish back home “Bun”. You would think they have Bun in Vietnam, no such luck, we drove around the city with these students looking for a place but they were all closed or did not have what we wanted. Finally they dropped us off at the night market and we had some dinner there.  We were up late calling our momma’s and didn’t have a very long sleep since we had a big adventure ahead of us. 

The next morning we had planned to go on a 2 night trip with the moto drivers from the day before, Day and Diamond. We set off early around 8 am and hopped on the back of their bikes for a long haul to Cu Chi tunnels.  On the way we stopped at a hammock hang out (kind of like a truck stop for scooters) and enjoyed some delicious Vietnamese ice coffee.  As we drove through the country side we saw water buffalo, rice farmers, ladies in rice hats riding bikes and watched the Vietnamese rural life as we zoomed past.  We explored the tiny tunnels of Cu Chi, which was really funny because Jeff could barely fit down the hole. After that we cruised through a rubber tree plantation all the way to Day’s family home for a party. We were welcomed by a huge group of friends and family who were all very welcoming. We enjoyed some home cooked specialties, “a few” shots of rice wine and the great Asian pass time Karaoke. “Achy Breaky Heart” anyone?? 

The following day we had planned to go to the Mekong Delta but did not realize how far it really was.  On the way we stopped for a traditional Vietnamese lunch and another rest at a hammock chill out hut. Then we boarded our boat for a ride through the Delta. First we floated down the narrow canals amongst the water coconuts before we stopped at a couple of farms to see animals and plants and also to visit the coconut monk (kung fu master who invented his own religion). When the sun started to go down we headed over to this rickety jetty (dock) for a sunset BBQ. We had bought some huge live prawns and beer for the occasion and set up a little mini BBQ. While they were cooking Jeff and Day opted for a swim in the Mighty Mekong. We enjoyed the prawns very much and took tons of photos of the sunset. Once the sun went down we took off in the boat again. This time, as we pulled up to some trees in the dark we noticed they were twinkling in the trees. Fire Flies!!!! we caught a whole bunch and put them into a bottle. We brought them back to our room and watched them twinkle. It was really cool.

This morning we stopped at a coconut candy factory before we took our long ride back to Saigon. Tomorrow morning we catch a bus to Dalat which is in the mountains and is supposed to be alot cooler, from 45 degrees to 15, can’t wait to finally feel a bit cooler.

Jeeva

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