We flew into Saigon, Vietnam at 2am and then woke up at 6am because jetlag is mean.
Not the best start of the day going off like three hours of sleep but we’ll work with it. No, the worst part is the heat and the humidity, I really should have been more prepared, but no; I forgot shorts and it was like in the 90s with like 80% humidity. I packed my bag in Canada where I thought everything was nice and chilly. This is why you don’t wait till the night before to pack your luggage.
But you know what is good, I had Pho for breakfast and it was glorious!
Our guide, Kai, took us to the Imperial palace, which was built during the Vietnam war. The whole place was very 60-70s vibe. The place was pretty but very retro.
I think the coolest part was the bunker down in the basement.
We hit up a cathedral, which interesting, and a post office, mainly to pull out money. I needed to get shorts so yes money for me please.
Our next destination was a lacquer factory where the make pictures and such with lacquer. They use duck eggshells to create images, the crack the shells and burn then to make them a cool brown color. Then they arrange the cracked and burned shells on a black lacquered background into images and shapes. Each piece is painted fifteen times with lacquer each layer taking a few days to dry then it has to be sanded down and added a new layer. So basically each piece takes about two month to make. Everyone was able to find a few treasures. I got a couple of bowls
Thankfully we hit the market after the factory and as crazy as that place was (also hot and humid) I was able to find some shorts. These sellers were very pushy, and at times would grab onto you. Still I got my shorts.
We had lunch at this little oasis place, there were butterflies everywhere and the river bubbled like it was raining but really the disturbances were from schools of fish eating from the surface. We ate some spring rolls and just enjoyed the area.
They gave us a bit of time between activities at the hotel and I wanted to put on my shorts and get out of the skirt I had on; well they fit which was a blessing; even though the lady at the market told me I had a big butt. Then as I was putting my hand in my pockets, the freakin’ pockets ripped! The lining on the sides didn’t hold but just split. And I had to continue wearing a skirt the rest of the day!
After that little reprieve we headed to the Cu chi tunnels. This was one of the areas they have made safe to show off their gorilla warfare they used in the Vietnam war.
They showcase what traps were used and where they would hide the air vents for the tunnels they had created to avoid, well, us the Americans.
Tasha and I got to try out how to enter the tunnel, which would blend into the surrounds so you wouldn’t know where the entrances were, also we got to walk through the tunnels themselves; which would be a nightmare for anyone with issues with tight spaces.
The whole are was decked out with underground hospital, kitchen, a place to take bombs apart and barracks.
They had a shooting range next to the site so you would hear gun fire going on in the background and yeah it was a bit unnerving.
Our guide described way they would try to keep the dogs off them and that many of the fighters were only 15-20 year olds, both men and women, they even had a few marriages.
Yeah, the place was a bit unnerving, that and we had to constantly lather ourselves in bug spray cause this was the place you might get typhoid fever. We had a couple of older people in our group who couldn’t keep up with the trial either so we had to leave some of them behind. It was like we were really there… ok not really but everything was really interesting and yes unnerving; kinda like when we visited Dachau and while taking pictures we were told to smile and you really didn’t want to because you know what happened where you were standing and you really can’t smile for that. Anyways, yeah interesting.
We were returned to our hotel and given free time; so my sister and her friend Christie and I went and visited the night market. I wanted to get some of those bull horn spoons. I did, the guy gave them to me for a couple bucks but I didn’t have time to fully inspect them.
After shopping for a bit we stopped at a quick restaurant and I just got a coconut, sour sop and kumquat smoothie, we also shared a green pumpkin soup and a spring roll.
This is when I inspected my spoons and found they both had a crack right through the middle of them. I had the worst luck with these markets! First those shorts then the spoons. What the heck!
Whatever, it was still fun walking around in the city; there are so many moped drivers! And we even passed a huge group of people whom I correctly guessed were all playing Pokémon go! It was awesome seeing that; made me chuckle :D
Also, trying to cross the street, it’s like human frogger! Our guide told us that if we needed to cross the street we just start walking, don’t back up and if your scared just stop, they’ll drive around you. Crazy huh?