18.03.2011 36 °C
"We're having a heat wave.....a tropical heat wave...."
The Heat is ON! Oh miss Saigon Miss Saigon. Another great city with so much to see. We arrive earlly in the morning at 6am after only a 10hr night bus with no glitches thank-goodness and settle into a horrid hotel room. Because of our exhaustion we didn't realize how dreadful the place was until we woke up at noon from our nap. The place smelt of fumes, which may or may not have added to our deep and dream-less sleep. Needless to say we packed our backs and got out of there fast. This really old woman had my passport and a death glare on for both of us since we arrived...and smiling did not help our case. After a few moments of discussion with a translator to help we attempted to explain our reason for leaving saying it wasn't safe. We gave her 20,000 dong for her time and smiled. lol I think she put a curse on us.
With clear heads and rested bodies we found our place for the night...down a back alley. Lol I know that sounds bad to those who have never traveled to Asia before but honestly, most of our hotels are down back alleys. All streets and spaces are used and they're not dark and creepy....like in the movies
We always try our best to see the main attractions of each town or city we travel to and have been trying our hardest to avoid tours. The last tour we went on I fell asleep and wanted to leave after we saw the first temple....and don't judge, I promise you would have fallen asleep too! Long trips inbetween stops, poor english with broken grammer meaning you have no idea what you're seeing, tours running late, not showing up on time, risky food and loud Americans...HA. Anyways, we ended up on another agonizing tour where near the end everyone was so tired we skipped the last stop. On our tour of the city we saw the palace aka their parliment buildings, Notterdam (Cathedral) and drum roll please......the post office! What a day I tell yah. The parliment building was really neat though showing the bunkers and pictures of the parliment being invaded by multiples of tanks from the Northern Communists. We just spent way too long there and then the rest of the day dragged on from there. But we saw it!
The following day...guess what we did....another tour....ha ha. This one was pretty cool if you weed out the boring bits. We went to the war tunnels. Over 250km of tunnels created underground in the jungle for ten's of thousands to live for years. The traps made by the Vietnamese in the jumgle to injure or kill the American soldiers were inventive and terrifyingly gruesome. I can't imagine the excrusiating pain one would feel from running along and falling through a trap on the jungle floor onto foot tall daggars....toast!
Even though the actual tunnels that the people lived in were small (so small you're on your elbows inching along....down 3 levels) tunnels were made for the tourists to fit our size. They weren't that big though. Diana and I both ventured through the 150m of these tight dark spaces. After crawling down a steep set of clay made stars we entered the tunnel and within moments our bodies were covered in a layer of sweat, it was so hot down there. Slowly we crawled forwards, laughing periodically to make light of the situation...not being able to stand or go back was a little more than daunting. We took pictures and video to show how dark and small the space was that we were in and were more than happy to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Showered and Safe back in our hotel...we packed our bags for tomorrow's early journey to our fifth and final country: Cambodia!