Where would you expect a cathedral like this? Not Saigon right?

After a broken night on Kuala Lumpur airport it was time for some great food – read Pho – Having lived together with Jean in Austria made me curious to see Saigon. It was also the last month that he would be residing in Vietnam, so I had to hurry. Jean is flying all over the world for his digital agency and I am sure I will meet him somewhere again, maybe Bali or maybe Japan, who knows. But for my time in Vietnam he was a great host.

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“Uber motor”

If you think – just like me – that you have seen chaos in Asia, you are wrong 😉 Wow, this next level, 9 street crossroads are no exception. However, I haven’t seen a crash, let’s call it controlled chaos. I have been told that there is 60% tax on cars, that explains all the motorbikes, they even have Uber motor and short rides are only 40 EUR cents. I am impressed.

The Saigon river, part of the famous Mekong delta, is still controlling the city. They city holds 10 million people and has its own culture. I expected a more US influenced culture like the Philippines, I couldn’t be more wrong. After this first day of exploring a well-deserved dinner at five oysters with Danny and Jean made me realise where I was and it made a great ending of the day.

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“Cu Chi Tunnels”

Wake up, request an Uber motor, brush my teeth and off I went to the Cu chi tunnels. These guerrilla war tunnels had to be seen according to Jean. Let’s see, In my mind I was already thinking about the crate stacking and craft beer event in the afternoon, visiting friends has its perks, you get to see a lot more than just the Bùi Viện backpacker street. I wouldn’t recommend the Cu Chi tunnels as it is a big tourist trap and you can even shoot guns if you want to, if that gets you going, definitely go. The reason that I didn’t like the trip could be that I couldn’t trust my tour guide anymore as he was friends with the president of the US, a Nobel prize winner and the most famous poet of Vietnam.

Missing the European clubs, I asked around what the hotspot was and I ended up at a party with all kind of expats. We ended the night at club observatory overlooking the Saigon river. I have been dying for a night like this where the DJ is back on floor level and part of the crowd instead of the massive DJ booth. Clubbing like it should be.

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“National Museum”

The following day was spent on the couch watching Netflix under a blanket. After two days with Jean it was time to roam around the city and look for authentic Vietnam. I requested a few Uber motors and walked from coffee shop to croissant shop. Did I already tell you that the bread in Saigon is the best of Asia? Luckily did the National museum teach me a lot about the history and culture of Vietnam and Ho chi minh city. A little extra reading online after the propaganda movies and storytelling at Cu Chi gave me a great picture of what has really happened. One of my favourite movie quotes: I love the smell of napalm in the morning isn’t that funny anymore….20160829_073733291_ios

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