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Saigon and Mui Ne–a lil’ late

March 17th, 2011 by

Mid-February 2011

Saigon is insane, but feels oddly manageable…once you figure out how to cross the street, that is.  (Slowly and deliberately, fyi. Nobody stops for you, but thankfully they swerve around you.)

It's hard to tell... We took our first and probably only Cyclo ride–a bicycle with a little cab up front–which was terrifying and uncomfortable, since Ryan and I both crammed into one tiny compartment. I only wish I’d been quicker with the camera to take video while we plowed through the red light at an intersection while a wall of motos came rushing at us.

We stayed in the backpacker’s area–Pham Ngu Lao. We thought it would be annoying like Bangkok’s Khao San but we ended up really enjoying the area. Street-side beers, lots of good food, and the biggest, craziest yogurt place I’ve ever seen. They go ga-ga for fro-yo!Yoghurt Palace

One thing we did that won’t be leaving my mind soon is our visit to the War Remnants Museum where you get a big dose of reality by learning about atrocities of The “American War”-as it’s known here. There were some exhibits I couldn’t even stomach, like the birth-defects-due-to-Agent-Orange-preserved fetuses. Very eye-opening, shocking and sad. Some of the literature was hard-core propaganda (here’s an example: referring to VC photographers as “Vietnamese Martyr-Journalists”) and very biased, but all you have to do is look in an American history book to see our own biases/views of what happened. <big heavy sigh>

We moved on after a few days to the beach town, Mui Ne. IMG_1740 A gorgeous stretch of beach turned resort haven.  At the risk of sounding like a spoiled brat, we are pretty much over beaches at this point. We get bored and sweaty, so then we try to be active and get pissed off because it’s just too hot to do anything. What really kills our desire to stay in a town like this is when you can’t find good food–especially in an area where fresh fish is in abundance. We never found it. (Sad trombone.) The best luck we had was at a stall of shacks, which was high on ambiance but came at the cost of raising your feet off the sand to avoid rats. I’m amazed at how accustomed I’ve become to those little buggers! (Not to say I don’t still squeal when I see them at say…the internet cafe…running over my keyboard…)

Sorry for the delay in posts–if anyone is actually reading this. Internet has been slow or non-existent in Vietnam. I’m at a speedy cafe now though so I’ma bust some out!

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