Good morning Vietnam

Thursday, February 19, 2015
Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Landed a bit late, but as it was 11.30pm body time, 6.30 local time it was all a bit iffy. Went to see the Notre Dame cathedral, built by the French long ago. Impressive, but not as plush and high church as others we've seen. Then off to the Post Office designed by Eiffel of the tower fame. Impressive colonial building.
Then to the independence palace built for the president of south vietnam, together with a huey helicopter, still in place .
We then visited the pagoda. As it is Tet, the Vietnam else new year, everyone was there to pray for health an wealth in the coming year. It was PACKED. We were warned not to let anyone touch us as there are pickpockets around, but there was no way you could avoid it in the scrum.
The tour included lunch, a fancy affair with 8 courses. I like this way of living.
We were then dropped at the hotel, where we had a short nap (not having slept well on the flight). Then we went for a walk around Saigon. Once again,the people. And the motor bikes. Everywhere. 10 times more than the bikes I hated in Amsterdam and just as uncontrolled. Had an ice cream and then bought a cake (delicious) to have with coffee in the hotel.
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Presumably the pickpockets have seen to the wealth part of the reason for going to the pagoda - do they raid the doctors' surgeries next? All sounds pretty hectic but you've arrived safely. Don't get too used to this colonial stuff - you will start regressing. (Regress? I've had a few but then again....)

Peter Wightman

Nice to hear you are in Viet Nam. I was hoping that while there you might have found a very ancient vehicle to hire, something like "Stanley", guess you will have to make do with a Citroen, or else join the fray in a Yamaha - bon chance mon ami