DISCLAIMER: all the following are iPhone photos.
After Hoi An we got on our second overnight bus to Ho Chi Mihn city. These buses are crazy. They stop at these places in the middle of the night that made us feel like we'd entered the twilight zone. This bus trip was particularly hard because we passed through some incredible places that we would have definitely stopped in if we had had more time. I was also squeezed into the five-person back row with a Russian family who did not like sharing space with me. But all this was remedied by the fact that the only English language book in the Hoi An hostel was Gallant Match, a romance novel set during the Mexican American War that provided hours of entertainment.
Saigon was immediately incredible. We sat on the roof of our hostel, drank beer, and watched the city at night. We met some nice people, ate some cheap sushi and passed out early. The next day we hit the town hard - from the Reunification Palace to the War Remnants Museum. It was really interesting being in Saigon and getting a feel for the attitude toward Americans/the ways in which the war has affected the South. We decided that now is a great time to be in Vietnam because there are still people to talk to about their experience but at the same time the country is doing so well economically and socially that there is little animosity toward American visitors.
We watched the sunset from a swanky rooftop bar on the second night. It was incredible and I'm bummed I didn't have my camera with me...but here are some iphone shots:
We then had the most incredible pizza ever - its a restaurant owned by two Japanese men who have spent their lives perfecting the art of mozarella. Toni used to live in Italy, I've eaten pizza everywhere - THIS WAS UNREAL. Seriously the best ever. Please tell me if you ever have plans to go to Saigon so I can force this place on you.
We then went dancing to shake off our post-pizza-blues and ended up joining a public Jazzersize class at 6am. Nice.
The next day we toured the Cu Chi Tunnels (where the VietKong lived and conducted guerrilla warfare). It was eerie... and not only because we watched a video venerating the "number one American hunters". Here are pictures of us looking like Gollum:
I loved Saigon more than I can say. We had about 100 people tell us that we were going to get brutally assaulted by motorbike muggers with knives who slash your purses off of your shoulders, so I never took my camera out with me. In retrospect, I would have probably been fine. Guess I'm going to have to go back to get some real non-iphone shots of the city.
Well while we were disappointed to leave Saigon, we were also STOKED to get to Cambodia. Phenom Pehn here we come.