The race was on to get to Ho Chi Minh City for Halloween. We got up extremely early to set off on the 9 or so hour drive from Da Lat only to find my bike wouldn’t start. One hour later and we were finally on the road but it wasn’t too far into the journey that one of lads crashed and we had to stop to bandage up his pretty damaged knee. Never the less we made it to Saigon in brilliant time, way before the sun set, and with enough time to get ready before going to the hostel bar to claim our two free beers and begin the Halloween celebrations. We bought some crappy Halloween accessories and face paint and headed to a rooftop bar where a lot of jäger was consumed and far too much money was spent.
The next day we went to see the Cu Chi tunnels, the underground tunnel system used in the Vietnamese war. The tunnels were absolutely tiny and unbearably hot, mad to think that so many people lived down there for such a long time. We got to see some of the types of traps that the Vietnamese set up for the American troops as well as shoot an AK47 gun in the firing range.
The following day we went to the war museum, a pretty sobering place. It really displayed the horrors of the war and the still ongoing aftermath of the use of Agent Orange. There were hundreds of horrific pictures as well as stories and facts about the war. We needed cheering up afterwards and went to get some traditional Vietnamese lunch at a little place one of the guys had seen on a cooking show, it was amazing! Gorgeous pho, fresh and fried spring rolls. I then went to a fancy coffee shop to try Weasel Coffee, an expensive delicacy that is made by weasels eating coffee beans and pooping them out, something to do with the enzymes in their stomach making the coffee stronger. It wasn’t as amazing as I thought it was going to be but then again I had extremely high expectations as the Vietnamese coffee is so strong and so amazing. I don’t think I’ll be able to go back to drinking Tesco’s basic coffee again when I go back to university.
My last day in Ho Chi Minh we did a tour of the Mekong delta which included a couple of boat trips, trying some local honey tea and coconut toffee, and holding a snake. It was a pretty slow day and I didn’t really rate the Mekong delta at all, the water was so cloudy and there was very little scenery surrounding it. I’ve since seen somewhere calling it the ‘meh-kong river’, which is exactly what I thought, it was just a bit of a ‘meh’.
That concluded my 4 weeks in Vietnam, and I had the most amazing time! It’s such a beautiful country and I met such a great group of friends (some of which I have carried onto Cambodia with), the people are so friendly and the food and coffee is so good! I had an absolute blast and I hope the rest of South East Asia lives up to my high expectations set by Vietnam!