BootsnAll Travel Network

Tuesday June 12th Hoi An to Saigon

today was my last day in Hoi an, no more clothing to be made, and like i said we had a two pm flight to saigon or now referred to as ho chi minh city.  We were going to be spending two night in HCMC and it was supposed to be a very full on city.  The main issue today was trying to pack up all my stuff.  I had accumulated so much stuff in Hoi An mainly clothing that my pack might not fit it all.  i woke up early along with morrie after a quality night sleep took a shower and started to pack.  sorry for the grammar but the keyboard i am on here is very bad and I cant really hit the shift button for apostrophes or to uppercase letters.  I had 11 new dress shirts, a new suit, two new pants, and a new pair of shorts.  There was a lot of stuff.  luckily my bag was huge and coupled with my extroadinary packing skills after two hours of stuffing, rolling, folding and frustration, I managed to get it all in the bag!  It weighed a ton, literally and now we had a weight issue.  Airplanes generally have a limit especially the airlines we would be taking through asia.  Andy said it shouldnt be a problem and in her experience nobody had been stopped for having an overweight bag.  I was confident everything would be ok, but still a little skeptical as usual.

After packing I had some down time before the bus came to get us and bring us to the airport in Denang.  Denang is a neighboring city along the coast as well.  I decided to just chill out, lay by the pool and continue to work on my tan.  After doing that i got some food at the hotel and before we knew it 123ish had rolled around and the bus was not here.  Andy began to panic because the airport was 30 minutes away and we couldnt be late!  eventually she said that she would give it a few more minutes and if she came back from the bathroom and the bus wasnt here she would arrange taxis to the airport for us.  Well low and behold as she came out of the bathroom the bus had rolled up.  I was outside ala grandpa bob waiting for the bus to come and when i heard the rumblings exclaimed “the bus is outside!”  Everyone shot up, gathered their bags, and we started to pack the bus right up. 

the bus driver drove like a maniac to get us to the airport in time.  He knew he was rather late and that we were in a rush.  When we got there, there was no line.  We were flying Pacific Airlines from Hoi An to HCMC.  the flight would take about an hour and i just decided to watch a movie on my laptop since everything electronic I owned had run out of batteries except my computer.  I put on da vinci code fresh from vietnam and was all set.

Oh also to board the plane we had to get on a bus who shuttled us out to the plane and then we had to walk up the stairs directly to the plane on the tarmac.  That was pretty cool, never took a bus to the plane before, except for that dreaded time in London which I prefer not to remember.

So when we arrived it was pouring, I guess the weather in the south was different that in the north.  We had basically flown from one end of the “S” to the other.  For those who never realized it, vietnam is shaped like an “s.”  anyway when we got there we got off the plane and on to another bus which took us to the gate entrance.  From the looks of it, it appeared that Vietnam had rebuilt in a much newer fashion HCMC international airport, but wasn’t fully functional.  There were so many people scurrying around the airport it was tough to make moves and more importantly find our bus to the hotel. 

We all gathered to get our bags off of the belt but we were getting elbowed and pushed out of the way.  These other people there mainly asians, were really pushing their way through and being extremely rude.  At one point a lady cut right in front of me to get to the very, very front of the belt, so close she might as well have been sitting on the damn thing.  I said to her “Hey why dont you just tell me when my bag comes and get it for me!”  She must have understoo what I meant because after that she backed away a bit and let me see the belt as well.  (hi jenny).

Eventually ANdy left us to fnd the bus which we managed to do but let me tell you HCMC is absolutely nuts.  So many motorbikes the traffic is insane and it is so hard to walk around let alone drive a bus.  Kudos to the bus driver on that one.

the hotel was pretty nice, it was heavily used by Intrepid, one of their main hotels in HCMC and since so many tours go through here they accomodate us pretty well.  There was free wireless in the whole building, which made it two hotels in a row, woohoo!  that is always nice to be able to be connected a little bit while on the road.  Unfortunately like the hotels and internet cafes in vietnam before HCMC, Skype was blocked so no calling anyone (sorry).

We had a little time before we were all meeting for our cyclo ride (actually only about 20 minutes, since our plane was delayed and we had to circle around in the air for a little while as well).  Oh quick funny story.  While up in the plane, the pilot gets on and goes “Hello from the cockpit, this is is your Pilot X.  We have just been informed from air traffic control that we must hold before landing, but dont worry we still have fuel left so we should be fine!  I’m like oh gee thanks and what if we didnt have enough fuel left!  Apparently there was really bad weather on the ground, and yes when we landed it was pretty bad, so thank you air traffic for holding us a little longer.

Before the cyclo tour of HCMC i got a fruit shake from this stand next to the hotel, recommended by Andy.  It was real good.  The lady used mango-steen, sugar, creme and custard with ice, hmmm delicious and cheap only 7000 dong, after bargaining of course.

It had stopped raining so our cyclo tour would still be on, people were nervous because if it was going to be downpouring who wanted to be in a cyclo in traffic in the rain?  i certainly did not, but before you knew it the rain had passed and we were off.  The cyclo tour was comprehensive in that we had a guide and made various stops around HCMC.  We saw city hall, opera house, reunification palace as well as other city sights.  By the time we were done it was pretty dark out so photos really were not happening, but the tour did give me a nice introduction to the city.

The cyclos finally dropped us off at the famous night market in the center of the central district of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC for the slow ones).  The market had food, shops and other good things.  we all sat down at a restaurant andy frequently took groups too and for good reason, the food was good, or so I thought.  After dinner I felt a little weird.  My stomach felt full, and I wasn’t feeling so great.  I had safe food, but something must have been off.  After bargaining for a vietnam national futbol jersey, I had the sudden sensation that i needed a toliet.  Luckily the market was close to the hotel and I basically ran back, ran up to the room, Morrie was still out, had to take the elevator down 6 flights again and then back up.  At one point I thought i was going to crap my pants, it was ready to blow.

I finally got in to the room, ripped my shorts off, and ran to the toliet.  “There she bloooooowwwsss.”  It was not nasty and really the first time I have had this problem in all my time in Asia.  Just another reason I hate the food in vietnam.

The rest of the night I was in the toliet and walking around outside to try and get better, but to no avail.  Eventually i was able to get to bed at like 1am after sitting outside of the room on the computer trying to get over this sickness.


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