Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam

Trip Start Nov 23, 2007
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Trip End Dec 2007


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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Xin Chao taas, Ho Chi Minhissa eli Saigonissa ollaan ja meno onkin aika villia.Kaupunki on tosiaan isompi kun Hanoi ja paljon kehittyneemman olonen. Ja paljon enemman turisteja..
Tarkotus oli jatkaa viela Saigonista Phu Quoc-saarelle lentokoneella mut kaikki lennot oli niin taynna etta paatettiin jattaa se valiin, saastaa pari paivaa tulevaisuuteen ja jatkaa matkaa Kambozhaan suoraan Saigonista. Otettiin taas sleeping bussi Mui Ne:sta Saigonii paivalla ja se kesti noin 4tuntia. Saigonista loytyy hotellia joka kulmasta ja meiat jatettiin sille turistialueelle mita Lonely Planetkin mainostaa. Sielt loydettiin hotelli, joska oli muistaakseni $8 yolta. Ma jo haistelin et maalin hajua oli ilmassa mut nukuttiin kuitenkin yks yo siella ja aamulla se huone hais ihan maalille vaikka oli tuulettimet ja ilmastointi paalla. Oltiin viidennessa kerroksessa ja ilmeisesti kuudennessa viela maalailtiin ja rakenettiin huoneita ja se kary tuli suoraan meian huoneeseen. Ei jaaty kauaa haistelemaan ettei paa pehmenny ja vaihdettiin hotelli seuraavaks kolmeks yoks. Se oli helppoo kun oltiin minihotel alley nimisella kujalla ja se oli siis taynna hotelleja, mentiin melkein seuraavaan.

Saigon on aika iso kaupunki ja me kaveltiin paljon siina keskustan alueella missa meian hotellikin oli. Tehtiin myos yks puolpaivaretki Cu Chi tunneleille lauantai-aamuna. Cu Chi tunnelit on rakennettu sodan aikana ja sen kylan ihmiset piiloutu niihin kun ne sattu olemaan free war zone-alueella. Ja sielta ne myos taisteli vihollisia vastaan. Nahtiin ekaks dokumentti niist ajoista ja kuinka ne rakens niita tunneleita ja sit kierrettiin silla alueella. Ne oli hienosti tehty ja fiksusti myos koska niitten piti olla nakymattomia ilmasta nahtyna. Esimerkiks ilmastointi reiat oli tehty termiittipesan nakosiks kasoiks puiden juuriin. Kaytiin yhes tunnelissa ja se oli kyl niin aasialaisen mittakaavan mukaan mitotettu et alko ahdistaa saman tien, eika siel edes pystyny hengittaa kunnolla. Kaiken lisaks sa oisit voinu menna ampumaradalle sen jalkeen, valita ensin aseen ja kuinka monta panosta..haha...kunnon jenkkitouhua. ;)

Ma tykkaan Saigonista, siel ois ollu taas paljon shoppailtavaa..erityisesti ne silkkikaupat oli ihania ja kaikki mekot ja hameet mita siel myytiin. Voi kaikki naisystavani, tietasitte vaan miten pahaa teki lahtea kaupoista tyhjin kasin.;D Mun rinkka on oikeesti taas taynna ja seuraavista kolmesta maasta ei suositella lahettamaan paketteja joten shoppailut jai tekematta. Pitaakin laittaa itelle korvamerkinta tulla tannekin shoppailumatkalle, erityisesti juhlapukuja ja silkkia. ;)

Maanantai-aamuna jarjestettiin ittemme taas retkelle ja samalla retkella vaihdettais maata.

Nora

English:
Xin Chao my friends. Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, which I prefer to say, is rather wild. I mean it's huge and lot of tourists and it seems more developed than Hanoi. But I like it more than Hanoi though.
Our plan was to stay here only for few days and continue to Phu Quoc island by plane for the rest of our tsya in Vietnam but as the flights were booked already (notice, there are few flights every day!)  we decided to spend four to five days here and continue our travel to Cambodia and therefore save few days for the future.

From Mui Ne we took the lovely sleeping bus at a daytime. It took about 4hrs to reach Saigon. They dropped us in Pham Ngu Lao area which is the main hotel and tourist district. We found a hotel for around $8 per night. The hotel was okay but I smelled something in our room once we got there, something like paint. Well it wasn't that bad after we put the air conditioning on but in the morning it was terrible. We were on the 5th floor and obviously the 6th floor was in a middle of construction and they painted there. The stink got all the way to our room and you really couldn't breathe.. We packed our bags and changed to a hotel just in the neighbour before our brain got soft ;D

Like mentioned Saigon is rather huge city and we walked mainly in the centre area. We also did one half-day trip to Cu Chi Tunnels about 30kms from Saigon. They were built during the war in the 60s and the people in the village hid there since it was a free war zone. They also fought against the enemies form the tunnels, like making traps etc.
First we saw a doc about the war time and how the tunnels were built. Afterwards we took a walk around the tunnel area. The tunnels were finely made and they were quite genius in creating them. For instance, the air holes were hidden as termite nests above the surface since the villagers should not be seen from the air. We nearly crawled in the tunnel coz the measures were according to Asians..and you really couldn't breathe there well. 
The weirdest part was that you could've done shooting there too. There was a shooting range where you could firstly choose the weapon from all the options and how many bullets you wanna shoot.. crazy..

So Saigon was great, there would've been so many things to buy home, especially all those silk stores where they sell skirts and gowns. You, my female friends, should know how difficult it was NOT to buy anything.. but as my backpack is full and they recommend not using the postal services in here or in the following two countries. Well for me its another reason to come back someday.

On Monday morning we'll be participating in a trip to Mekong Delta and continue to Cambodia.

Greetz, Nora
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