Sai Gon

Visited post office (and booked Cambodia bus!), whizzed by cathedral on bike, saw the palace (government) including a bunker.  Went to Chinese temple but no photos as capacity full; saw another big Bhudda and tried to charge a fortune, but haggled to half.  Visited Ho Chi Minh Campain museum which isn’t on the tourist maps, after sorting ticket at Vietnam Petro Building.

Went to Strictly night which was funny, then to Long drive almost 10 hours (1800000 dong = £50), to Cao Dai temple, then Cu Chi tunnels which was good. Even walked 40m bent double which amused the guide that I was trying it!  Interesting to learn communist propaganda and history and joint faith ‘cult’, with Helen, Patricia’s friend who is Shaheena’s friend from work.

Ate at De Tham, backpacker area in Quan1, very alive, crossroads restaurant with prices reflecting tourism aware city.  chatted to the waiter about his life, sadly they think we are all rich but comparatively, probably are!

 

What an interesting day today!!

 

I didn’t like where I stayed last night in Da Nang after choosing against the great looking hostel online via hostel world or booking.com, so decide to try the beach having sen My An which was lovely.  

However, Looking for places I realised there was one a little higher up ( the map) from me so booked another ‘lovely looking’ hotel, just £9 a night, on the sea front! Great, sorted!!

Morning came, not the best sleep with noises, not comfy bed, and air con as ever.

Packed and out for 10, a walk on the beach on a cloudy day, exploring and eating seafood, before going to Saigon tomorrow.

img_0838

Taxi came, took me not far, on a main road, no beach i. sight! Checked the address, tried to explain unsuccessfully I wanted the beach I (thought) Id booked, and then he called them to check. She came over, confirmed the beach was there, over the wall, and hotel could see it!!  Asked to cancel then changed my mind and drove back – nearer the airport, there was a beach to try and hotel looked ok. Tall and thin, called ironically Ca Voi (blue whales). Continue reading “What an interesting day today!!”

Chill Out Zone

As part of being ‘a traveller’ I am learning to take down time.  That is slowing down, sitting and watching, sitting and thinking, wandering the streets with a vague direction but no definite plans, and even just staying ‘home’ – wherever that might be at the time – just pottering, playing, writing or resting.  Although people refer to my trip as a holiday, that is never how I viewed it, and still don’t.

Its a learning, personal and even professional development trip.  Not so much rest and relaxation as stimulation and ongoing change.

In Ttis way I still discover – new drinks like Saigon cold Vietnamese (strooonng) coffee with milk and ice, or in this case I think just ice!!  I met a Vietnamese psychologist who lives in France, and speaks French as well as clear English. We made eye contact as I walked along the Son river bank, just wandering and looking around; he said Bonjour, I hello and then we sat a while and chatted, making vague arrangements to, possibly meet tomorrow.  I thanked him for the chat and hugged him, he held on tight and kissed my cheek, saying he believed the English are reserved. My reply is I’m different, I offer hugs and make the personal connection we were discussing. Continue reading “Chill Out Zone”

The Path of Least Resistance

Something I’m learning from Asia, take the easier route if it comes to choices.  That’s not say don’t chose but sometimes you may be like me and go for the choice that is ‘right’ in a social sense, or win for all.  But this doesn’t always benefit me in the end, although I don’t lose either, I am generous (to a fault at times hence I don’t tend to benefit as much as I should.

Haggling does not come naturally to me, nor is it much more comfortable if I think its cheap already, but if I think I’m being take. advantage of then I will stand my ground.  But too often, I still give more than is ‘right’ in the sense of values and expectations – honesty and integrity are not words I feel I can use for Asia. Continue reading “The Path of Least Resistance”