Saigon

Trip Start Jan 23, 2006
1
6
Trip End Feb 05, 2006


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Where I stayed
Guesthouse 70

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Monday, January 23, 2006

My first impression of Saigon was of a pleasant sort of chaos. The common form of transport is the "moto," what Americans would likely call a scooter: an undersized, underpowered motorcycle, basically. The streets from the airport were clogged with them, and the serpentine motion of the motos racing in and out and around each other was mesmerizing and oddly soothing.

I made a last-ditch effort to fly a day earlier than planned and made it to my gate with 3 minutes to spare for my Cathay flight. I landed in Saigon (as the locals call Ho Chi Minh City) and made my way toward the last known location of Lloyd in Pham Ngu Lao, the backpacker area of the city. A quick check at an internet cafe told me he was checked in at Guesthouse 70 on Bui Vien Street. Our last rendesvouz had been in Hong Kong 4 months earlier. We caught up over a few beers.

We had a day to kill before heading to Phu Quoc Island. After a late start and several trips back and forth to TNK Travel for our air tickets and other needs, we headed to Ben Thanh Market for a brief look around and to sample some pho (noodles) at one of the many food stalls. From there it was off to the War Remnants museum. The museum grounds contain a collection of derelict war machines and displays of photographic and physical evidence of US war crimes that are pretty grim.
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