Ho Chi Minh 24/12/08 to 28/12/08

When Jasmine asked me if I wanna take a trip out of Singapore for the holiday seasons, I was quite thrilled. For the first, I been wanting to catch breather and for the second, I wanna explore out of Singapore, play in unfamiliar grounds.

Thing is, we really could not make up our mind which country to go to, shes been to so many places lately, from Europe to Hong Kong and Japan, it will be quite selfish for me to suggest going to these places again. So I suggested somewhere near. Vietnam and Cambodia popped up but since shes also been to Cambodia before already, we decided Vietnam. Next question will be which part of Vietnam, Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city?

Being the city girl that I was, we decided to go to the latter.

To get on with it, the air tickets and the hotel accomodation were promptly settled, all done by her.. Phew.. I feel a little guilty for not being able to anything actually.. Hah!

Anyway, we reached our destination safely. The Tan Son Nhat International Airport was practical, clean and spacious. Baggages were cleared and we hopped into a cab, admist all the hoggling from the taxi drivers outside the airport. It was a little intimidating considering that we had only just stepped out of the airport.

Outside the airport, the scene promptly changed. Ho Chi Minh is still a developing country after all. The main roads were still alright but there were still a large portion of the road that certainly need lots of maintenance. The thing that captured my attention the most was that were lots of scooters than cars or any other vehicles on the road. The proportion of scooters to cars or any other vehicles are like 9 to 1! And the amazing thing about these scooters were that they are allowed or accepted on pedestrian walk ways too, i.e: in the event that there is a traffic jams, the scooterists (self invented word on cyclists who ride a scooter) actually will ride up onto the pedestrian walk ways and sped away from the traffic jams on the road!

Another thing that caught my attention was the incessant honkings everywhere, it was really noisy. Perhaps Singaporean drivers are so tamed that I had a little difficulty getting used to the noise.

For the first day, we met up with our 2 other friends who arrived 1 day earlier than us and went exploring the city. As with all cities, it was polluted, populated and noisy. However, one thing that I had to give credit to the Vietnamese was that they certainly tried their best to keep the place clean, considering that there wasn’t many rubbish bins around anyway! I always had to walk like a few streets before I could find any rubbish bin.. -.-

And so, we promptly went to the few famous tourist places to snap some pictures. Not sure about my friends but for me, its more of a way captured proofs that I had been to these places than anything else. Hah!

Regrettably, the Reunification Palace was closed for an important meeting of some sort so we could only satisfy ourselves with shooting some over view pictures from the outside of the place.

The second and third day was spent walking around, taking pictures and shopping. Boy, the stuff there were really dirt cheap..! A can of Tiger beer in Singapore would make me poorer by abut $4.50 but it just set me back by $1.60 in HCMC!

We also spent half a day visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels. This site was a portion of the vast underground tunnels that the Viet Congs dug during the Vietnam War and its a very sophisticated system of underground tunnels in facilitating the guerrilla warfare for the Viet Congs which ultimately helped them to defeat the Americans. Using their knowledge of the terrains, the Viet Congs made the jungle worked for them and won the war. Then again, of cos, no one wins in war..

Oh, and they also have a shooting gallery which allow tourists to shoot some rounds, at a minimum fee. I didn’t try out my shooting skills too cos for the first, I hate guns, and for the second, I hate the noise.

My only complains with the tunnels was the size. The width of the tunnels were so small that its probably only slightly larger than my width. As much as I know that I aint very slim, a tunnel with that kind of width is still fucking small lah….!

Anyway, other than visiting the tunnels, there was anything much to talk about my trip, other than all the stuff there are super duper cheap and Jasmine and me went a little crazy there shopping. She even ended up buying lots of stuff which she has no use for..!

As for the rest of the trip, I am kinda lazy and have ran out of stuff to talk about it. No doubt it was a fun filled event albeit my initial cultural shock, ultimately, I still prefer Singapore and I totally missed the organized life in Singapore, so I was really looking forward to coming back to my home at the end of the trip.

Perhaps thats why I didn’t have much to talk about the trip here. Heh.

~ by blurfroggie on December 29, 2008.

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