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.
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.
“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.
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….