Holy Motorbike!

Trip Start Jun 01, 2012
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17
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Trip End Aug 20, 2012


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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Saturday, June 23, 2012

Once I had seen the sights associated with Cambodia's recent atrocities it was time to move on to Vietnam. I arranged a 2 day 1 night tour/transportation from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon, the former capital of Southern Vietnam). My past experience tells me that these sorts of "tours" are very hit or miss. This one was put on by Delta Adventure Tours and may have been the biggest whiff of all time. Instead of seeing the various sights along the way my "tour" leaders elected to pick up random locals and drive out of the way to make an extra buck. Essentially I was a part of a glorified taxi for 2 days. A trip from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City should take ~7 hours, mine took 18 plus a night in a hotel. Talk about a detour...

I spent just a few hours in Ho Chi Minh before catching an overnight train to a beach town called Nha Trang. With just a few hours in Ho Chi Minh I took to the streets to walk around and see what I could of the city. The one thing that stuck out was the volume of motorbikes on the roadways. All over Asia there are seemingly endless motorbikes that impossibly manage to weave in and out of one another always within inches of an accident. I didn't think this phenomenon could get any crazier than I had seen elsewhere in Asia, boy was I mistaken. Ho Chi Minh was a different beast altogether. Traffic never stops, there are few if any stoplights and somehow people manage to cross from one side of the street to the other without getting mangled. The advice I had received told me to "close my eyes and walk at a slow and steady pace." Basically, put your safety in the hands of hundreds of strangers wiz zing past on motorbikes, and everything will be ok. Turns out, so far so good. As for next time I cross the street, maybe I'll open my eyes...
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