Saturday, 28 July 2007

Good night Saigon

It's my last day in Saigon, and the rains have finally come. Unfortunately I decided to leave in my laundry this morning, so theres a good chance I'll be heading to Dalat in the morning with a bag full of damp clothes. Oops.
Saigon's been a lot of fun actually, nicer than expected. Last night was a late one (6am) spent in the Go2 bar with Dillon, a Californian who worked as assistant editor on the Pirates movies and is taking time off after the mad schedule, and John, from Meath, who was taking time out recovering from the repeated traumatic experiences of Irish girls.

The couple of days before, I decided to take a more in depth look at trhe Mekong delta, as I'd pretty much breezed through it before. The main draw is the floating market near Can Tho, which was pretty impressive, and although there were a fair amount of tourists, at least the market itself seemed pretty genuine, with loads of colorful fruit and veg, and nothing in the way of tourist tat other than a few kids selling coke and such.

But for me the best bit of the trip was the afternoon spent cruising through the narrow canals near My Tho on a mixture of power and rowing boats. We did also have to indulge in some touristy gimmicks like posing with pythons and trips to various factories involved in the different elements of rice production, which were reasonably interesting, but the local people, markets and waterways were far more evocative.

A visit to Vietnam wouldn't be complete without playing as a Vier Cong in one of the tunnel systems. The nearest to Saigon is Cu Chi, where you get to run through reconstructed and slightly larger western size versions of the originals (the old ones are mostly falling in there, and too small anyway). It still felt really hot, humid and claustrophobic (and I'm not really claustrophobic) but I managed to get to the other end intact, less a few kilos of sweat.

In Cambodia I had passed up on the chance to vaporise a cow with a bazooka, but I did take the more bovine friendly chance here to pop off a few rounds on an ak47, which packed a bit of a punch. A .22 it sure ain't. Our guide definitely added to the experience, having worked as a translator for the US 101 airborne he had a lot of inciteful commentary, and was actually a bit of a philosopher on many subjects, so the day passed really quickly.
SO thats it for Saigon - I'm off to the cool mountain air of Delat next, a bit of a respite from the never changing mid 30s and high humidity.


raimy69 said...

Hey Seanie, did you get to go to any of the footie over there? I see Liverpool (yeah!), Portsmouth and Fulham were playing there in the last week...

seanmullins said...

I watched the pool - portsmouth game on tv - I had no idea it was being played in Vietnam!!
Any more games coming up??

raimy69 said...

All over now, can't believe bleedin Portsmouth won it all, ah well, league starts again on the 11th!

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