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Bucket list Saigon

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Being of an age that remembers first hand the goings on of the Vietnam war & actually while working a pipeline job at Courtwright south of Windsor where a ferry ride across the river took one to the US where the bars were populated with girlfriends of guys over there the Vietnam War it is kind of a personal feeling.

Now being from the Townships where Montreal was only an hour away + having spent considerable time there both at work & play guess I was brought up liking the country life but also tuned in to life in the fast lane of the city so I can appreciate both. At least that’s the theory behind my keeping adding cities to my must visit list.

Keeping in mind the above, my Saigon City Tour today conducted by a super cool guy whose father was a marine fighting on the side of the Republic, was a real eye-opener to the feelings of the Vietnamese on loosing side in that war. Not the BS we have always heard from our neighbor to the south.

For that reason alone anyone of my age or anyone seeking the truth about that war MUST add Vietnam Saigon to there Bucket List. When there you will also find the people nicer than in the north + a clean, safe city. Just follow one simple rule when crossing the street, close your eyes & go for it, otherwise you will never make it with the 4.5 million motorbikes in the city of 9 million which makes it kind of an awesome place to visit anyway!

Besides a city that has more street vendors selling books than sun glasses has to have something going for it!


Friday, January 29th, 2010

After a 20 hr journey south from Hue, part of which was through the coastal mountains the train arrived is Saigon (HCMC) where things are more civilized than at my last stop, it’s still all about money (worse by far than Thailand) but at least the people are friendlier &  a simple no thanks sends most peddlers on their way + the weather is better.

Arrived at 04:30 & the city hadn’t gone to bed yet, there were still quite a few people about especially at the station & on the street my hotel is on the bars were still open with the last of the night folk getting ready to pack it in & the restaurant making the transition to breakfast with the newspaper ladies starting out the day with the local & English language papers, both local & foreign.

At seven when the day staff at the hotel came on duty I was able to check in & catch up on the sleep I missed on the soft seat train car as no point getting a sleeper birth on a train arriving at at 04:30. Took a walk around the immediate area, booked a city tour for tomorrow & a 3 day trip to Cambodia finishing up with a slow boat trip to Phoem Phen.

Vietnam cont’d

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Day 3 in Hue & it’s not quite as bad once you get used to being bothered all the time but still up there with China on the not so nice list but with the amount of tourists here guess ... [Continue reading this entry]

Good Morning Vietnam, NOT!!!

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Another unsatisfactory experience with V.I.P. Bus lines, I booked a ticket from Don Det to Hue Vietnam with the assurance that it would one of their full sized coaches all the way (liar liar pants on fire).

After taking ... [Continue reading this entry]

On Sleeper buses & Whatever

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

VIP (Very Ineptly Planed) this is what some sadistic moron did when he designed the “sleeper bus” which is basically a sardine can on wheels with a bunch of  double-decked “cages” each holding 2 90 lb Asians sitting or laying ... [Continue reading this entry]

More Laos & musings

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Another similarity among countries of the world that the busman takes note of is the schools & their busing practices or lack thereof. Now every country has schools & about the only difference, other than the buildings which vary due ... [Continue reading this entry]

Laos cont’d + musings on this & that

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Decided to spend another day with the ladies & share the cost of a rented van for the 6 hr trip to Vang Vieng which Lonely Planet describes “As if a section of Bangkok’s Khao San Rd has been transplanted---“. ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Last Straw!!!

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Warning this is an anti Canada/Ontario Rant so those who might be offended please read NO further!!!

Finally received the Small Claims Court judgment in my case with the school board.


Which means there is ... [Continue reading this entry]

Laos better than T’land me thinks

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Must say the border crossing into Laos rates right up there with the most disorganized cluster flucks there is but eventually get through it after paying US$. No clue why Canadians have the privilege of paying the highest visa fees ... [Continue reading this entry]

Northern Thailand

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

The 12 hr train ride from Bangkok in 2nd class, the only option on the daytime railcar service from Bangkok to Chain-Mai comes with free coffee/tea mid morning & afternoon along with a noon time lunch served by the not ... [Continue reading this entry]