Well, well, well.... i find myself with a little free, " alone " time this afternoon here in Saigon and i figure its as good a time as any to mkae a quick blog. I had these grand illusions ( or should i say delusions ? ) of being pretty thorough with my blogging while i'm away but to be quite honest by the time you're done with the days activities, maybe showered, freshened up and gone out for dinner, well.... i'm stuffed. Completely friggin' cactus - i feel like nothing more than going to sleep. Not that its a bad thing at all - its been really awesome the past 10 days, always having something to do ( except when we've been on sleeper trains - as i've mentioned before, they kind of suck ).
So to skip ahead from where i was last at..... i had my clothes made in Hoi An and i have to say i'm pretty pleased with them. Three dresses tailored entirely to yours truly, which is every womans dream to have her own personal wardrobe made. Hoi An was absolute heaven on a stick really, i wish we could have spent more time there. It would have been nice to do some more shopping but also nice to just head down to a local cafe and have a drink, or an icecream, or head down by the water and just sit around. It's only a small place in comparison to the other cities we've been too and its actually World Heritage listed - its very French provincial and although it seems to be a tourist favourite it remains relatively untouched by Western ways.
From there it was another awesome trip on a train - afternoon this time, so technically not a sleeper but just as crappy - to the resort town of Nha Trang. For those of you who have been keeping up with me on Facebook, you will already know that there was a typhoon scheduled to hit Nha Trang while we were there but thankfully it didnt eventuate. It did rain the first day we were there but that didnt matter so much. Instead of heading to the beach we went to the mud baths and got all dirtied up, loosened up in the spa and then had a massage. Jealous yet ? Much.
The second day saw the sky blue so we did head out on the water for a while. I didnt actually enjoy it all too much - in fact, whilst over here i've discovered that i have a weird aversion to falling into water that i've never notcied before. WE'd been on a bicycle ride a few days previously and we had to ride on some pretty precarious paths straight between rice paddies.... i almost had a full on panic attack because i was SURE i was going to fall into the water and drown. Kind of the same on the boat, although i did swim.... i was more afraid of not being able to swim back and drowning. Might have something to do with the fact that the humidity around here is making my asthma play up and my lungs feel like theyre shot to shit half the time.
Anyhoo, one final sleeper train trip ( hallelujah! ) and we'd arrived in Saigon. Saigon is completely nuts in comparison to the rest we've seen here. The traffic is unbelieveable and the city has a real cosmopolitan feel to it. We spent the first day after our arrival doing a tour of the Mekong Delta which i can describe in two words - surreally hot. OK, maybe that doesnt make sense but the whole time we were tripping around i was either thinking how beautiful it all was or how much the heat and medication i'm were making me want to throw up. We also did a tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels this morning and i guess i was over-awed. Firstly, at the severity of human endurance - how we as humans can find such incredible ways to survive, but also be aware enough to find incredibly deceptive and cruel ways to kill others; and secondly i was over-awed at the disrespect ( in my opinion anyway ) that some Western tourists seemed to be showing. I mean, for example, there was an American army tanker on the grounds, there as an historical aretfact i suppose and our tour guide had just finished telling us how at least 6 American GI were killed in that particular vehicle. I look up and there are about 20 grown adults crawling all over it and one idiot who had lowered himself into the hold so that his top half was sticking out, and he was smiling and mugging it up for his friends camera. For God's sake, the tank was, for all intents and purposes, a tomb for some people and these idiots were treating like it was a ride at Disneyland. I wasnt sure whether i wanted to throw a rock at them or throw up.
Anyhoo, tonight is actually our final night in Vietnam before we head over to Cambodia tomorrow. We're all going out for a final dinner with our Vietnamese guide tonight ( his name is Phuong, when i get my pictures together back in Australia you all can see him ) which is going to be kind of sad cause he's a sweet little fella. Plus, its one of my fellow travelmates birthdays today so i think we'll all put on the best of our ratty clothes and party up big.
Boo yea to that and look out Cambodia!!