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Saturday, December 23, 2006

The south of Vietnam

China isn't the only place they use Chinglish.

Some examples of rules that apply to hotelguests:
4. No weapons, firings, or bad-smelling foodstuff should be brought in the room. These should be kept at the store of the reception.
7. All pets and vegetables are not allowed.

A common remark of motorguys on the streets after darkness set in:
Pssst, hey you, Tiger Beer Boomboom...

Dalat is a cool, laid-back place in the mountains. That means tempuratures drop considerably at night and a blanket is a definate necessity. The first night I spend exploring the city, walking around the lake and enjoying the people out on the streets. The second day I booked a trip with an EasyRider, the EasyRiders are a group of people driving proper motorcycles and they will take you on day trips or multiple-day trips anywhere you would like to go. They are pretty expensive, but for that money you get a fully customized tour including a driver who speaks English (to a certain extent...). During my trip I saw the beautiful countryside of Dalat and visited several factories, farms and a gorgeous waterfall. I ended the night going to a local fair with Tim and enjoyed some real local entertainment.

The next day my bus left early in the morning with destination Saigon (a.k.a. Ho Chi Minh City). The trip took about 8 hours and I felt really tired. Therefor no sightseeing that night, but relaxing and making some new friends at the local Bia Hoi :-)

After a short night of sleep I rented a motorbike and took off to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. Finding it wasn't as easy as I thought, but without big problems I reached the Vietcong tunnels at Ben Duoc. I must admit, these tunnels are the most impressive war "thing" I have ever seen. It is just unbelievable that they actually used to live in them. No wonder the Americans lost that war, those Vietnamese were (are) extremely smart. After a very nice tour I drove back to Saigon and got totally lost in this city with its 8 million people and 4 million motorbikes... Not to worry, some friendly people, a lot of patience and some 40 km later I was back at my hotel ;-) Made the "compulsory" visit to the War Remnants Museum that has some chocking pictures to show and horrible stories to tell (a lot of it kind of anti-American). I ended the day again with some chatting and drinking at the Bia Hoi. Went to bed early since my three day Mekong Delta trip tomorrow will leave early.

Luckely Jack and Jess (an English couple I met in Saigon) are doing exactly the same trip as I. That means I won't have to spend the last days before Christmas on my own :-) The first day of the trip took us on a boat to several small factories. We visited a coconutcandy factory and a honey farm and "enjoyed" the caged animals the Vietnamese tend to keep at every tourist spot... Strange because non of the tourists I met, including myself, likes to see caged bears or monkeys. I have no problem with a snake, but animals that normally are very active should not be in a cage. Besides that I just enjoyed the scenery along the way and the fact that I didn't have to take care of anything.

Wrapping coconutcandy at lightning speed (movie)

The second day we got up early: 6.00 AM. This in order to make an early visit to two floating markets. The boat ride was once again beautiful, but the floating markets were a bit boring. Not the mass of colors and liveliness I expected. They show their merchandise on a bamboo stick high in the air, that looks very funny! In the afternoon we visited a crocodile farm and climbed Sam Mountain, the highest mountain in the Mekong Delta area. Tomorrow we'll cross the border to Cambodia by boat and we should arrive around 17.00 in Phnom Pehn.

Don't know what I'll be doing for Christmas exactly, but probably something very Christmassy like visiting the Killing Fields... haha!

To all of you:

Best wishes,
Santa Claus

(no pictures at the moment due to a very bad internet connection)


Anonymous said...

He Neefke,
Fijne Kerstdagen! Ben benieuwd hoe je ze door gaat brengen. Groetjes van oma die hier logeert. Noonk.

I said...

Kerstmannetje van me!

Ik sta weer met beide voeten op Nederlandse bodem, maar waar is mijn vriendje?

Bonnes fêtes en tot heel snel, ik kom er bijna aan!!


Anonymous said...

Sounds as if you might have crossed into Cambodia....so I hope you have a wonderful Cambodian Christmas!

Cheers from Oz,

P.S. - met someone yesterday on the beach who did Tiger Leaping Gorge last year and also swears Jane is a man, man!

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