Wednesday, May 28, 2008

HCMC day 2

Just spent the day busting around city on a cyclo and the back of a motor bike. Glad to be alive! just kidding it dindt seem too dangerous but saw a few ambulances with sirens blasting and the cyclo driver said, "ah, a lot people die in ho chi minh!". Then he proceeded to try and rip me off. good times. I then took to the streets again on the back of a scoot and while blapping up streets the wrong way and being blasted by horns we crossed town to try and track down a motorbike to buy. After tracking down saigon scooters i find that the story is that the city may have the most motor bikes but its all a mono culture of chinese, taiwanese and japanese scooters and even the russian minsk motor bikes are hard to find. So ive got them to send their little vietnamese boy out to look for good bikes and i;ll see how he got on tomorrow. I spent the rest of the day trying to get some visas but i have to get my vietnamese visa extened first which travel places said would take about a week(ive read it should only be 2 days) and gave various inflated prices. So i decided to track down the vietnam consulate place/thing myself and get the real story(or another tale). Unfortunately upon arrival they were all 'now closed' for the day. Will try again first thing in the morning. Once i get my passport back from that i can go back to cambodia embassey and drop of the form i picked up and wait a day for a visa or get one at the border (along with any bribes they try to sting me with). After that i just kicked about and found some food and ended up with some noodle soup thing with grissly bits of meat and chunky peices of fat and tendon in it. It wasnt too bad but i think i should find something with a bit less animal products and a few more spices next time. The spring roles were nice and made all proper so wernt oozing with oil. I had lost half of my big buckle off my pack on the way back from the airport the night before but after walking only a few metres from where I ate i found a little shop with knock off bags(think Lowe Pro but changed to read Lowe Peak!) and found enough buckles to suit any bag. Thats the cool thing around here - you dont have to go far to find what your after.
Need more rest. Hopefully do touristy stuff tomorrow and talk to more people.

Cruising low on a cyclo:

Wires and wheels:

Fancy a pickle?

lane where I'm staying at mo:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ho Chi Minh

Well, a first quick post.
Finally made it to Vietnam albiet a month late. I should be well into the start of the rainy season now! It was all dry once i landed at 8pm (12 nz time) and a lush 27'C which seems about right though a bit humid. I think its going to be a bit hot for me tomorrow though. Flying over HCMC at night still looked amazing with all it coulourful shop lights and its splattered array of yellow house and street lights which made it look a lot different than your typical city night scape. Even from the plane you could see all the thousands of motorbikes hooning all over the place. It shouldnt be to hard to find a bike in this town! After landing i got too tired arguing with taxi drivers and gave in to paying more than twice the normal fair. Still, kind of fun trying to get proper prices and still managed to pay way less than they were originally demanding. It was a very cool taxi ride into town with heaps of bikes, motorikes, big trucks, and cars coming at you from all directions though it wasnt at all (well mostely) scary and everyone seemed very couteouse and gave you plenty of warning toots. After finding a good hotel i did a quick walk around and it was pretty full on with lots and lots of people, busy shops and people trying to sell you stuff or themselves and homeless folk. After getting a meal for a couple of dollars i thought it best to get back to hotel seeing as it was 4 in the morning old time, meaning i havent been to bed in a couple of days. So if all goes well i should wake up without the squits and be able to start sorting some more visas i check out some m-bikes whilst also taking in some sites.
Ka kite