Saturday, 5 January 2013

Saigon

After another long bus journey we arrived into the Southern bus station of Saigon. Even as we got close the traffic started to get insane as we were expecting. Saw a very squished moto underneath a bus which did not bode well to using that form of transport in the near future.
Asian Alana with crazy traffic in background
 Eventually we found our way after bussing and walking through the crazy maze that is Saigon, to our hotel and ditched the bags. Went on a long walk around the "block" to just absorb Saigon at night. The crazy traffic did not diminish. Could just sit and watch the chaos for hours, so different to anything that we had experienced until then (even made Bangkok look clam).

Inside the Saigon Post Office Building
Notre Dam
For our full day in Saigon we walked around seeing as many of the sites that we could. Quick look in market before heading downtown . The main highlight downtown was probably visiting the post office which is a massive old building with lots of interesting stamps on display and just an enormous building for no real reason. Stayed here for a while in the main square having different juice smoothies whilst we overlooked the Notre Dam Cathedral. Thats right, Notre Dame, in Saigon. Ohhh...back when France had a colony here.

To the riverside we experienced the foul tasty Duran ice cream, and enjoyed more Vietnamese coffee. Then came the hard part of the day. Bargaining for all our last min purchases. Got coffee prices down by 60%, artwork, other things that we dont really need but want. Spent several hours in the main market.

Martin bargaining for Vietnamese coffee
To top off our day, we then headed to the outskirts of the central part of Saigon (which is huge) to meet 20+ other couchsurfers local and travelers for a dinner that I had co-organised. Had some good laughs and learnt quite a bit about Vietnamese lifestyle and politics before calling it a night to prepare for our 4am wake up to get to the airport for our early morning flight.

*sigh* the end of SE Asia for now.

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