Sunday, February 10, 2008

pho soup, so much pho soup. it's good, but damn, it's everywhere!

we arrived safe and well this morning with a connection flight from Singapore with will nason and his family. singapore airport is so clean and friendly apart from the military guys with the machine guns. we got picked up from the airport by a guy from the hotel we booked. when we arrived we found that the "deluxe" suite that we booked was at the top of 6 floors - no elevator! so we're gonna be very fit by the end of the trip.
but, our room is awesome. we've got a single room, double bed, tv with 64 pay tv channels, very powerful (read: very cold) air con, our own bathroom, and a massive balcony with a potted plant garden, water feature, table & chairs and two sun lounges - for 20 bucks a night in district 1 on ho chi minh. it's mad.
we spent all of today walking, eating from road-side stalls, and drinking cheap beer. i'm actually quite drunk as i type this and have spent a lot of time going back over this email correcting my drunken mis-spellings.
vietnam is much the same as thailand. except the people are friendliers, they don't drag you into their shops and bartering appears to be a no no. we have to check on this, but i tried to barter at a few shops and they flat out refused it.
it'a still tet (vietnam new year) here so most shops are closed and there aren't many people in the streets here, but that will all change come the 14th. it's been good to experience the city without the craziness. we're planning on coming back before we go to see what it's like with everything at full throttle.
we're going to book a me-kong delta tour tomorrow, then head to na-trang the next day. tonight we're going to have dinner in a little "restaurant" in an alley opposite our place and then drink on our balcony garden until we pass out.
we've learned some key words from the locals:
hello - tsing chao
thank you - can ungh
happy new year -chuck ming nam moi
have been taking lots of pics and will post to the blog once we fill up some memory cards.
most people here hare much friendlier and more sincere than Thailand. but i have to say that there is a lot of bootlegging. pretty much anything you want, you can get as a copy. the biggest thing here that they didn't have in Thailand is books. there are so many fake books here that it will blow your mind. every second person is flicking through a bootleg lonely planet. lucky we have ours already.

the bad news is that everything is closed because of the "tet-new year" so we're gonna take a few tours up north and see the sights when we come back.

anyways, will post when we have a chance. off to the me-kong delta tomorrow, then de-lat, na-trang, miong and back to saigon after that.

peace, love and anti-americanism.

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