Category Archives: Vietnam

Miss Saigon and Viet Cong

I took the bus to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Ho Chi Minh City is the name given to Saigon, after 1976. However the Vietnamese still call it Saigon.

The bus to Saigon stopped in Nha Trang, where we had to wait for two hours to change busses. I decided to go for a little straw. I saw people drinking thee and coffee at these little parlour shops along the street. I started to crave for some hot cup of sweet morning tea. I went to one of the parlours and asked for a tea. They explained me that it was only possible to have tea AND coffee. Strange! Ah well, I thought I could always leave the coffee and only drink the tea. Haha. I ordered. Already fantasizing about my hot cup of tea, I got served an ice coffee and an ice tea. Really!? I decided to drink it all up and leave this quest behind. And when I drank up the ice tea the parlour owner poured me some more, because he thought I really liked it. Hahaha.

After a 26 hour bus trip I arrived in Saigon by evening. Saigon is the true metropole of Vietnam.  Crowded streets, billboards, more neon lights. I hadn’t booked a ho(s)tel yet. Together with a guy from Germany and 5 girls from Argentina we searched for a place to stay. They settled with the first place we came across. I decided to search further. I had an address of a Capsule hostel scribbled down. I would try that one, but as I was walking through the crowded streets of Saigon with all my belongings it suddenly started to rain heavily. I was tired, didn’t had no proper sleep for two days. Luckily the capsule hostel was just a few 100 meters away. I decided to go and stay there! Because I had only two full days in Saigon I booked two tours. The Mekong Delta tour with the floating Markets and the Cu Chi tunnel tour. I mostly stressed the importance of the floating markets, which I really wanted to see.

The next day I was picked up by a tour guide really early. A mid-aged Vietnamese man who introduced himself with the words: “My name is Dong! Easy to remember, because it is the sound that you hear when you beat the drums..” and subsequently did a loud impression of this sound: “Dong!! Dong!! Dong!!!” One thing for sure, I won’t forget his name. Hahaha. I was on a bus with predominantly Vietnamese people. The guide would tell a long story about a sight in Vietnamese and then give a short translation in English. And believe me when the guide says: “And right from you, you see a beautiful rice field” after a 5 minute long monolog in Vietnamese, that can’t be the full translation. That’s the really, really short version Hahaha.

Watching at the scenery passing by, I noticed the main building style in Vietnam. They are normal buildings, just like every other city. The only difference is that they are really narrow. Like you squeeze two street lengths to fit in to one. Also I noticed that many rice fields had graves in the middle. Later on I found out that it was normal for Vietnamese to bury their ancestors in the midst of the family owned rice field.

I got in a conversation with the only English speaking people on the bus, a couple from England. A fireman and policewoman. They told me that they did so many tours already, that they decided to do this tour without the Floating Markets. Huh!? I thought this was the one with the floating markets? I checked it with the guide and indeed. This tour didn’t include the floating markets. I regretted really, because that was my sole reason to go on this tour. The guide called with the hotel back and forth. Came out that I was put on the wrong tour, through an error at the reception. Damn!! I still tried to enjoy the tour, but was far from happy. However we sailed the Mekong Delta and rode horse and carriage. A lot of the Vietnamese people wanted to go on the picture with me. And a little Vietnamese boy functioned as translater between me and his family. Turned out that he had learned some English at school. His family members would talk to him in Vietnamese and then push him to translate it to me. “Do you like it here?”, he asked. “Yes, I do”, I replied. “My mom and sister, say they want to sit in the same boat as you.” “O… Kay…”, I replied. Hahaha. It was funny though. The whole boat trip the little guy kept asking me questions. “What is your favorite color?” “What is your favorite music?” “What is your favorite food?” and just when I thought he was finished he asked “Ok and now ask me?” Hahaha! We fed alligators, holding a piece of meat as bate on a wooden fishing rod. To get there we had to walk over a provisionally constructed bridge made out of bamboo. I went cycling through an native village. I learned about water coconuts. I even bought a little bottle of snake wine. Yes, there is an actual snake in the bottle. I had to taste it. It has a real strong taste to it.

Even though the tour was pretty nice, it was a real disappointment that I didn’t get to see the floating markets. Even though I know there is not much to see, it was one I really wanted to see. Even when I had the chance to see the most famous floating market from Bangkok, I declined it, because I was going to see them in Vietnam. Not! The guide made an effort to explain me in words, what I would have seen at the floating market. He also down talked the experience. It was really nice of him, but it didn’t really help Hahaha. Back at the hotel I explained my disappointment. They apologized and I got refunded. They even offered me to go again on the tour with Floating Market tomorrow, free of charge. This unfortunately was a no go, because I had only one more day, and was going to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Guess I still have a good reason to revisit Thailand or Vietnam now ;-) Hahaha

That evening Holland was playing against Mexico. 11 pm local time. I went to a bar to see the match. There I bumped in to Tom, the German guy again. The bar was full with orange shirts. Me not being a great soccer fan, I realized this was my first time watching a game in a bar, ever! I really liked it! But after Holland reached an disadvantage of 1-0, we really went bonkers when the 1-1 was scored. I liked the tension in the bar and the relieve when the 2-1 was scored out of a penalty. I won a bet against Tom. After the 1-0 he was sure Holland would hit the plane back home. Man was he wrong! Hahaha. Một hai ba, yo (one, two, three, yo)! The Vietnamese way of saying Cheers! It literally means 1, 2, 3, Cheers!

Viet Cong

Today I had a tour to go and visit the Cu Chi Tunnels.  One of the most famous tunnels used in the war against the Americans. The Viet cong had a super sophisticated tunnel network, consisting of three levels 3m, 6m and 10 meter deep. It was one of their main advantages during the war. The entrances of the tunnels were hidden. They could pop up out of nowhere and disappear out of nowhere.

I got picked up at the hostel by a guide and put on the bus in the main street. As the bus started driving the guide started talking on the microphone. “Welcome people, today we are on a tour to the Mekong Delta, and the floating market…” What!!? On the wrong tour!!? Every inch in my body said, not again!! And that’s exactly what I yelled out interrupting the guide. The whole bus stopped and starred. I explained my story for everyone to hear: “I have booked a tour for the Cu Chi tunnels, not for the Mekong Delta. Yesterday I got put on the wrong tour, and today again!? I can have one mistake, but this is really too funny for words!” I wasn’t even mad, more in disbelieve and I could still laugh about the incident. The guide stopped the bus, made a phone call. He then asked me to wait on a certain place in the middle of a busy crossing and told me I would be picked up. The people in the bus supported me fully, giving me thumbs up and wishing me good luck as the bus drove off. There I was, in the middle of nowhere, waiting for a.. bus. After ten minutes, still no one came. I asked a passer-by to use his phone to call the hotel. Luckily he agreed. The hotel wanted to send a taxi to come and pick me up. I explained them, that I don’t want to go back, I wanted to go on this tour… and at that moment a guy on a scooter arrived. He took me to the bus and I was on the right tour now. Wow!

The tour started with a polygon 50s documentary of the Vietnam war. After the documentary the guide made a joke: “You felt a sleep already!” He also knew the documentary was lame Haha. After that we visited a hidden tunnel entrance and even got the change to go in to the tunnel entrance and hide. By means of being funny, the guide made sexy noises while people dipped themselves in to the tunnel hole. Like really!!? Especially the woman looked at him like: Is he actually doing this? Pretty awkward. Hahaha

We walked past a B52 bomb crater and also saw a real tank that had been active during the war. The site was full of jungle and in the background you heard constant war noised of shooting guns and explosions. It really gave you a feel of the background sounds during the war.

The guide seemed to have a deeply rooted hate for Americans. He asked if there were any Americans on the tour. No one replied. “Good!”, he said. When we got to the boobytrap section the guide explained the working of a number of real life used booby traps. He sadistically seemed to enjoy telling us the detailed inflictions the boobytraps made to American soldiers. This one, would cut away all the flesh in your legs and then it takes three hours for you to die slowly and painfully. Looking at the mechanics of all these traps and imagining what the spikes and knifes could do to a human body, shivers ran over my back! Horrible!! Some had the sarcastic nick name: “Hotel California. Check-in oly, no check-out.”

Later on I found out there was actually an American guy on the tour. Guess he was too afraid to come out. Haha.

Then I noticed the war sounds becoming louder and louder.  It seemed that these war sounds were real! There was a shooting base where you could fire an actual M16, AK47 or bazooka. Even though I am not a gun lover, I saw this as a once in a lifetime experience I had to experience. I choose the AK47. I got to fire 10 bullets. The sound and the kickback are super intense. But if you imagine the killing potential of this gun it is also a bit creepy!

After the shooting we went to the final part. The actual Cu Chi tunnel. The tunnel was 140 meters long, with an exit every 20 meters. I’m truly not a fan of small spaces. We entered the tunnel and came in to a small space. This wasn’t that bad, until I noticed a small black hole in the corner of the room. That was the actual entrance to the tunnel. What!? My heart started pounding as I got in to the tunnel squat. It was warm, I started sweating and slightly hyperventilating. I felt the ground pushing on me and felt really, really cramped. After 40 meters I decided it was enough. Not my cup of tea. And then to imagine they made the tunnel 50% larger for tourists to be able to go through them. Respect for the Vietnamese those days! The American soldiers didn’t dare to enter those tunnels to fight those days. They had a special unit with their own rules and values. These guys must have been insane!!

After the tour some of us asked to be dropped off at the War Museum. So did I! Not knowing what an effect this Museum would have on me. The entrance was only 15000 Dong, which is like 60 euro cent. The first impressive thing about the museum is that the museum terrain was full with war vehicles used during the war. Tanks, helicopters, artillery and the most impressive the Chinook, which I knew from movies like Platoon and Television series like Tour of Duty. What an experience to stand next to it and even be able to look inside. The war still feels like it happened recently, so you get a real feel of what it must have been like. You think about the young soldiers, getting in to this vehicle having no clue what kind of atrocities the future had in store for them.

Inside the museum you learn a lot about the history, about the protests against the war and also about Agent Orange. Agent Orange and how the Vietnamese people still feel the effects of it. One gallery is full of second an third generation victims of the Agent orange. People born without eyes, legs, twins stuck together… horrible. And then you see a concrete well standing there, surrounded with stories and pictures. At first it looks like a normal well, but then you discover that it was a hiding place for the three grandchildren of Mr. Bui van Vat who got massacred.

As if this wasn’t enough I then went outside to the section about the imprisonment, conditions during the war. You can see the real life prisons used. Even the infamous Tiger cage. You read about the torture methods which were inhuman. People having to roll over a cooking iron plate, until their skin was completely pealed of and bleeding. One prison had a peephole. Already excited I looked through the peephole not expecting to see anything. Then I suddenly saw and old neglected man sitting on the bench in the dark. I scared up and soon discovered it was just a doll. Wow!! Quelle horreur!

Heavily disillusioned I left the museum. I must admit this had been the museum with the deepest impact on me ever!!

Hoi An Couture

I took the bus from Hue to Hoi An, which is only a 6 hour bus ride. Nothing compared to my previous bus ride. But then when the bus stopped and we got a chance to have something to eat guess who seemed to be on the same bus as me? Alan!, the Chinese guy from England I met in Koh Phangan. We went to the Full Moon party together and parted ways not knowing about each others’ upcoming travel plans. How big are the odds that our paths would cross again! Later on, Peter another guy from our Full Moon party group also arrived in Hoi An. Crazy!!! #unreal

Hoi An, the culinary capital of Vietnam and also famous for its tailor shops and couture clothing is a lovely peaceful city. The traffic is minimal, so you can easily travel the city by bicycle. It is even prohibited to enter the Old Town, an ancient part of the city, by motorized vehicle between 3 pm and 9.30 pm.

Because it was my fourth day of heavy loose stool, I decided to go to the hospital. Just to check if it was more than just bad luck with food. I ended up 2,5 hour at an infuse and got an antibiotic cure. Wow! And I’m still not sure if it was really necessary or that they used a bazooka to shoot at a mosquito just to make some money of my insurance. However, every possible inflammation I might have had in my body will now be killed. :-) And the good news was, that my toes were almost healed. Hahaha ;-)

It was becoming dark now, the lights were going on all around town. The streets were full of beautiful neon lights in every color imaginable, from green to orange. It almost looked like a Christmas circus.  I got hungry from waiting at the hospital. I drove around town and then suddenly I smelt a BBQ. My nose followed the aroma like a cartoon character and before I knew it, I was sitting in a downtown restaurant between local people. There was no menu. Everyone got the same plate. BBQ meat with vegetables and steamed rice. It was delicious. So delicious I ordered a few pieces of meat just for take away. I later on stored it in the fridge I had in my room.

Then my eye cought a tourist couple. They woman came to talk with me, showing me all the exact restaurants, places, shops I need to go, because they were lovely. I was more like, I want to find out myself Hahaha. but she was just being nice. She concluded with the sentence: “I like it here, because I hate tourists!”

Even though the cities really differ, I constantly mistake Hoi An for Hanoi. They don’t even look similar, but they got some strange similarity to them. Because Hoi An is the culinary capital I had to try all it’s delicious dishes. I tried Cao Lau, which is the most famous local dish of ‘m all. It is a regional Vietnamese dish made with noodles, pork and local greens, which is only found in the town of Hoi An.

The toilets are also somewhat funny. I sometimes ended up in the woman toilet because some of them only say: Nam and Nu. Which one am I!!??? Lol! Nam is man. Just reminded it by spelling man backwards ;-)

I stayed in a guest house with a nice family. The grandma sometimes scared up when she saw me, but each time greeted me with a big smile afterwards. Hahaha Here I finally solved the mystery of the flower-texture hoodies on the scooters. I asked the daughter and she explained me that they do it for sun protection. It is way cheaper than buying sun cream each time. Ok! Guess the flower-texture is just the fashion-statement. ;-)

I went to the Old town which is entered by the Japanese covered bridge. After that I went to the Quan Cong Temple and the History and Culture museum. Next to these buildings was a market. At the market I was approached by several woman, who all used the exact same script, identical to the letter. It went like: “Where you from sir?” “When you arrive in Hoi An?” “How long you stay in Hoi An?” “Come have a look in my shop with beautiful shoes, custom-made suit. Only watch!” After three times, it really started to become unreal. They must have been following the same course or something. One woman however was inventive. She saw that I was looking for a place to park, because I wanted to visit the Quan Cong Temple. She waved me over. Free parking sir, free parking here. I parked there and then she came to chat with me normally. And just when I put my guard down she also started about her shop. I politely excused, but when I came back from the temple and the museum to pick up my scooter she was still sitting there next to my scooter. With a straight face she said, “50 dollars sir”. I was completely surprised. She kept looking at me with a straight face and now raised her hand to receive the money. “50 dollars sir for the parking”. I was clearly flabbergasted and just before I repacked myself and was getting ready to start an argument with the sentence: “But you just said..” she helt her belly and almost fell to the ground, laughing! “Just joking sir, just joking! Hahaha” She had fun, and she got me. I had just been pranked by this Vietnamese woman. Lol! Hahaha.

In the old city I spontaneously decided to buy a kite. I wanted to go kiting at the beach. That seemed like a fun, silly thing to do and also it would cater to my child within ;-). Full of excitement I drove to the beach. Took the kite out of the package, constructed it and let it up in the air!!! Only to find out that the string was only 1 meter long. :-( The wind was pretty good though, so if I had had a longer string. However, I can officially say I kited on the beaches of Hoi An ;-)

The next day I got up and wanted to eat the BBQ meat I saved in the fridge… it already had a rotten smell to it. I skipped this one, because I didn’t like the Vietnamese hospitals that much hahaha. I rented a bicycle instead of a scooter. I realized it had been a while since I’ve ridden a bycicle. It was real nice. I went to the beach to relax and swim and after that it was almost time to catch my bus to Ho Chi Minh City!

Hue that Durian smells

At the exit of the Mausoleum in Hanoi I got in to a conversation with a guy from Israel. He had just returned from a trip from HCMC all the way up to Hanoi by manual motorcycle. He had never driven a manual motorcycle before, but learned it in a few minutes, he stated. He made it seem soooo easy, however when I looked at his arms and legs, they were full of injuries and flesh wounds. Still I was thinking about doing the trip from the North to the South by motorbike. I could buy one here in Hanoi or in Hue and then sell it in HCMC. It is pretty easy! I even did a test drive on a manual motorbike and learnt it pretty quick. A nice lady of the hotel let me drive hers up and down the street. I even arranged an address where I could buy the motorbike for only 250 USD. I would be able to sell it for at least 150 USD in HCMC. However eventually I made the wise decision not to do it. Most of all because I don’t like driving that much and I would spend more than 24 hours on the bike to get all the way to HCMC. That is not my view of relaxation. Secondly I’m a bad driver Hahaha and currently a lot of road construction work was going on in the south. Last but not least bikes do break down and I’m not a good mechanic as well. Hahaha. Noo, I stick to my bus.

But the Open Bus…. that is a whole other story. The busses are so called sleeping busses. Meaning the seats are almost horizontal, layed out behind each other in a train-like position where your feet are in a cabin under the back of the person in front of you. The front of the bus is reserved for local  people. A litlle woman dictator stayed in one seat at the front of the bus and any tourist who dared to go and lay in one of the seats in the front of the bus was screamed to the back of the bus. “No! No! No! V.I.P. go back! Go back!” Some tourist still had the nerve to ask for an explanation: “Why can’t I lay here. I have a ticket, I…” “NO! Back! Go! Go!”, she would reply politely ;-) Mad woman! Lol! Hahaha. And believe me every bus had a person like that. I guess they got hired on unsocial behavior. No footwear is allowed in the bus, so you have to put your shoes or flip flops in a bag before entering the bus. The foot cabin was just a little too small for me to fully stretch my legs. The inside and outside of the bus featured bright neon and Christmas lights. In the bus there were two Tv’s with Vietnamese dubbed Hollywood movies. And the Vietnamese dubbing is the most basic I have ever heard. One woman’s voice impersonates all the character in a monotone voice. Imagine Tom Cruise in an action scene screaming out “Watch out for the bullets!!!” followed by the emotionless, dry translation of the woman’s voice. Funny! Hahaha. Also the volume of the Tv’s was so loud that you could feel your stomach vibrate with the sound. And each time we arrived at a stop, the driver played corny Vietnamese ballads on an even louder volume! The bus had Wifi though! :-) Hahaha.

The ride to Hue was a 20 hour ride, and the day before, I started suffering from an immense loose stool. I have travelled India for a month, with hardly any problems, but now Vietnam got me!!?? Wow! I would spare you the details, but a 20 hour ride with loose stool and your aching toes in a just too small foot cabin is… not your relaxing bus ride. But I managed!

In Hue I had a wonderful hotel and the staff was real nice. The city was also warm and full of good energy. And again I saw a lot of woman on scooters all wrapped up in flower-texture, hoodies.

I visited the Dong Ba Market, which is huge!! There I bought a whole Durian, the famous stink fruit. I had to taste it. It was ok, but not really my cup of tea. I put the remainder of the fruit in the coach luggage compartment of my scooter. “How bad could the smell be?”, I thought. I also went to the Imperial City, Old city or Citadel as people call it. It is a huge site with palaces, tombs and also the forbidden city where the emperor housed his many mistresses. Eventually I went to the evening market under the Truong Tien Bridge. After 7 pm the bridge is completely covered in all sorts of lights, which is loved in Vietnam.

I read about the Vietnames history and found out that the Vietcong was only a small part of their history. Vietnam knows a long history of oppression by different countries like the Chinese and even the French. The Americans just happened to be the last ones. And the way the Vietnamese people see it, is that many countries tried to oppress the free founded Vietnam, but no one succeeded, because each time Vietnam produces a hero that saves them from oppression. That’s a proud vision! I immediately looked different at the Vietnamese people.

Also, to realize that anyone older than 50 has experienced the war is unthinkable. It is soo fresh, but still you don’t see any real signs of it. When I see older people, in a restaurant, or have a small talk with people on the streets I wanted to ask them about their experiences in the war, out of pure curiosity, inquisitiveness and involvement. But I feels inappropriate to do. Mostly I think, because I am afraid it would open chambers they haven’t opened themselves yet. I guess the trauma’s are suffered in silence.

After driving around for a while I opened up the coach luggage compartment of the scooter and a penetrating smell beat up my nostrils. The Durian!!

Ha Long Bay & Hanoi the Northen start point

When I think of Vietnam, I think of Platoon and Tour of Duty… the Vietnam War. Images of American soldiers, Chinooks and Apaches fighting people in rice fields with conical Asian hats. Of course these images are way to limited to depict modern day Vietnam.

My plan was to start in Hanoi in the North and then move through Hue and Hoi An all the way down south to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), former Saigon. I bought an open bus ticket for only 40 Dollars. You can travel a lot of cities with it and can decide when you want to move from one city to the other. The only rule is that you have to travel in one direction. Fair enough!

As soon as I arrived in Hanoi, I didn’t feel none of the heavy energy of it’s relatively recent war. Instead, the streets were crowded with people and the atmosphere had a sugar sweet feel to it. The street view was filled with these conical Asian hats, called nón lá (leaf hat). Later I found out that they dip these hats in water to wear it as an evaporative-cooling device while working the land for example. You also see a lot of people walking with ??Stengel met weegschaal?? holding their fresh products they want to sell. And just like in India, the overloaded bikes are a common part of the street view. They literally transport anything on their bike from dozens of boxes, TV’s to dead pigs. The streets had actual clear street signs and all the houses were numbered, which I can’t say for each country. The traffic lights show the number of seconds until they will jump to another color. Which I think is handy ;-) And just like in Costa Rica you can pay with Dollars as well as the local currency: Vietnamese Dong. Everywhere, from the airport staff to the streets you see the Ao dai, Authentic Vietnamese silk dresses. I loved the design of it! Real nice! There are also a lot of art stores here, selling Vietnamese art. One particular design I liked was the one with the pink flowers on a silver silk background. One thing I didn’t understand were the thick hoodies with flower textures, which Vietnamese woman wore on their scooters. They were completely wrapped around in it. It must be freakin’ hot!

When I arrived at the Hotel, I got to meet the slightly darker side of Vietnam. The first thing I noticed was that Facebook was blocked. The government says that it is an error in their networks they have to fix, but the truth is that it is probably done on purpose. However with a little effort it is easy to get past the block.

In Hanoi I just walked around a lot. At night Vietnam is covered in Christmas-like lights in all sorts of colors, green, orange, red… they love it here! I love it! Hahaha. Also in the streets, you had these street food restaurants, with colored, tiny, plastic stools where you could get delicious, street food.

The next day I did a day trip to the famous Ha Long Bay which was one of the main things I wanted to see in Vietnam. On the bus I met an Indonesian couple who travel the world a lot. The guy was saying that he travelled almost the whole world etc. etc. I have an iPad app that let’s you fill in the countries you have been through and calculate the percentage of the world you have travelled. I invited him to fill in his countries. He was shocked to find out that he had only travelled 14% (which is still a lot). After that the conversation changed to more real life personal subjects. Hahaha After a two hour bus ride we finally arrived at Ha Long. There we took the boot. On the boot we had a great lunch. I sat at the table with the couple and three girls from Singapore we had just met. We talked about both the countries and also my experiences there. The woman of the couple had a conversation with one of the girls in their mother language. This seemed pretty normal, until I realized that the girl was from Singapore and the woman from Indonesia. Curiously I asked how they could understand each other. They explained me that they speak Malay in Singapore and that the Indonesian language originated from Malay, so the two languages are so similar that they can understand each other for 80% or so. Amazing! But the thing I found even more Amazing were the rocks that were suddenly entering my view. We were there Ha Long Bay!!!

The sight was just as in the pictures and I can tell you it is a real unreal feeling to suddenly stand in one of the pictures you were admiring on your computer at home. Lovely! We took a bamboo boat to sail under the caves. Breathtaking! The boats were floating lightly and we had to get on them one by one. They were really small boats actually. When I got on to the boat I was supposed to put my foot in the middle. However I stepped slightly on the left. My weight almost made the boat tilt counter clockwise and me fall in to the water. Hahaha Lucky me! We sailed past the water villages. People who made houses on the water, out of their boats, because they were not able to afford land. The village even featured a school for the children.

The guide also took us to a cave, that was enhanced by red and blue ambient light. Instead of telling us about the history, he pointed at seeming figures you could see in the rocks. “Look there, if you look closely you can see a kissing couple, and there the same kissing couple when they are older” “Look… there you can see an elephant” etc. etc. Super lame!! Lol! Hahaha. I eventually started to play along searching for figures. I discovered a heart! Even the guide was surprised. He hadn’t seen that one during all his tours. Nice!

On our way we drove on the Long Biên bridge passing the red river. Left and right we saw many couples who stopped on the bridge sitting on their scooter, looking romantically at the water or kissing in an intimate hug. This seemed to be THE place for a romantic getaway. It had a nice view over the river and it featured a cool breeze.

My toes were bettering, but I still had to go to the hospital to change the bandages. This time it was free, but they did it so bad, that the bandage just fell off my toes the moment I left the hospital Really the just fell on the street. Hahaha. I decided to use my own medikit and fix it in a makeshift way. Haha. That would be the last time I would go to a hospital to get my bandage changed.

The next day there was no power in the hotel. Here in Vietnam power outs are quite normal. I brushed my teeth in the dark and went down stairs to the reception. “Yeah, power down between 9.30 am and 3 pm”, they said. Wow! The government can just do that. I went to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum there was literally a line of at least one kilometer, but it moved real quick. The tempo was the same as a normal walk, so before I knew it I was there. The closer I get to the Mausoleum the stricter it got. Soldiers were walking around, fiercely telling people to keep silence. Then the line entered this big building and in to the room where he lies. You see him laying in a glass coffin in an heavily air cooled space. Impressive! but also kind of sad if you think about the fact that he really wanted to be cremated. However the government decided else. In the same walking pace, the line passed the glass coffin and before you knew it, you had left the building. However with a sight on your retina that was there to stay for a while