Woke up in saigon whistling to the tune i'm ...

Trip Start Oct 25, 2001
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Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, January 4, 2002

Woke up in Saigon whistling to the tune "I'm leaving om a jet plane, don't know when i'll be back again!" Thats right, today's the day i fly back to the Kingdom of Thailand.
Land of the cheap!! Although i must say, i have become acustomed to some of the 'swanky' hotels that are around in Vietnam. Like the on i last stayed in Saigon. It was costing $8 for a small room with TV, fridge, air conditioning, attatched bathroom-hot shower..etc.

In Bangkok accommodation around Banglampoo area (backpackers district!) is cheaper (around $5 for a double) but resembles more like a local prison!!- Iron bars around the windows,(if your lucky enough to get a window) a simple bed, with a fan, light, and small wooden table- with cold communal showers toilets outside. Its ok though. I'm dont spend any time in the room anyway, always out and about around town.

After clearing customs and immigration at Saigon airport (and putting my film through 3 seperate xray scanners!) we boarded the flight for the 1 hour flight to Bangkok.
I was slightly worried clearing customs though. Your'e supposed to declare all electrical equipment on arrival (cameras/ computers etc)-I didn't declare my equip on arrival. The Vietnemese are very paranoid with film footage, and rolls of film...On some occasions they say that it has to be 'screened' before it can leave the country. Luckily i managed to pass through with 3 cameras, and about 30 rolls of film, without hassle. I'm almost certain that if i HAD declared it on my customs form, i would have encounterd a few problems...Out of sight-Out of mind as they say!!
****
Final verdict on the Vietenemese: It's a bit of a mixed bag really...In the major Cities- Saigon/Hanoi/Nha Trang i had to be very careful with my personal belongings. In these Cities hardly no one smiled, or seemed to be genuinely friendly, or trustworthy.
But get down to the Mekong delta area and there are some really friendly locals living along the river. Children especially would wave frantically from the riverside as you passed by. -In short if you want to see some friendly faces, get into the small towns!!
To think of what the locals have been through (most of which are very poor) over the last 30 years, it's amazing that they can muster up a wave and a smile at the foreigners.
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...the flight out:
Before i knew it we were touching down in Bangkok... Jumping on the no.59 bus outside the airport, i made my way back to the New merry V guest house (Or 'prison' for short!)
I will spend a few days sorting my luggage out, then because i didn't stay on the Vietnemese beach resort of Nha Trang, i will travel to 4 hours south of Bangkok to the beautiful island of Koh Samet. (to relax for a week or so)
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