Friday, July 11, 2014

Ho Chi Minh City

I am going to need to download a keyboard for Vietnamese words because it will be hard to spell out the accents without it! Normally, by now I would at least be able to say hello, goodbye, yes, no and thank you in the local language but the pronunciation is really tricky! We are still practicing.

We left the Gold Coast and landed in Ho Chi Ming City yesterday morning. I don't know how long the flight was, I guess 10ish hours (enough time to read half a novel if that helps). The airline lost John's bag and considering how much the tickets were and how disorganized the airline was, I have to say I wasn't super surprised. What is surprising is that they seem to have found it and will return it to us! I have $10 on the wrong bag arriving at our hostel but again, the tickets were really cheap. We are staying in the backpacker district at the Vinh Motel (there is a dot accent beneath the 'i' ... which is why I should get a Vietnamese keyboard) and we have our own room. This place is really cheap (although we have heard that there are cheaper places), clean and the staff are really friendly.

Yesterday we didn't do anything seriously touristy except for walking around the city, looking at all the shops and motorcycle rentals (there are so many motor cycles!!), drinking beer (bia hoi) and coffee (ca phe). We had noodle soup (pho) and got harassed by dudes selling sunglasses (real Ray Ban's apparently) and children with miscellaneous junk to sell. The city is overwhelming and noisy but has so much going on! The difference between day and night is amazing too. The noise is different but does not decrease in volume. Some of the stores use loud music to get your attention while others use colour or flashing lights.

he traffic was scary at first but we are getting used to it. My favorite sight was a guy holding plate glass windows doubling on the back of a scooter. These guys have a very different idea of safety than your average aussie. I can see myself living in a place like this.
The photos I have attached are not in chronological order, not the right way up and aligned wrong, sorry (this blogging app is new so I am still learning about it) but there is one of me eating breakfast. It was delicious and only 20.000 per bowl (that's like $1 AUD). I like salty breakfast and really don't understand pastries in the morning so this suited me perfectly. I might not miss Vegemite after all. There is a photo of John carrying the coconut mans baggage. After the photo, he handed us coconuts and charged us 150.000... we got ripped off of course and it happened so fast and we didn't realise that our new friend was a con man until after we handed over almost $10 for something we didn't even know we wanted. If this is the worst we get ripped off on this trip, I will be happy. The coconuts were pretty good although a bit tainted by the experience. The drinks in the other shot are coffee... the first coffee straight off the plane actually and even though we know that drinking local ice is taking a substantial risk with our formally un-exposed digestive system, we decided to risk it and get our first bout of travellers gastro out of the way. I am pleased to say that as yet, this has not occurred although I know there is still time.
Xox love to all




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