Saturday, January 22, 2005


The bain of my life on this trip!!

Here's me thinking, how clever of me, I can save my back some trouble and send my camera charger and my ipod charger home with the parentals....after all, I can use batteries in them and they're bound to be easier to find than a plug point.


Sure, they're easy enough to find but are they ever any good?! HELL NO!! A lot of places sell AA batteries I've never heard of. These usually last 1 minute before my camera switches off. The best ones seem to be special enhanced AA ones made for digital cameras. These are a lot more difficult to find!

So what do you do? Stack up on batteries...there goes the back then! haha, am finding it quite funny really. I always seem to have about 7 half used batteries on me. Switching batteries from camera to ipod and vice versa constantly. Has also made me think up a positive thing about modern technology not being so good...I actually managed to really enjoy a beautiful sunset over some of Vietnam's lush green rice fields on top of Sam mountain without having to do so through the tiny view finder of a camera.

So much life!!

The Mekong river absolutely bustles with life...people making fish food on floating houses, people doing their washing in houses on stilts, people fishing, people bringing fruit, veg, tarmac and all sorts of things to another home, people watching TV, people carry TVs like back packs so more people could watch TV (yep, it's big stuff round here), people in the river looking for eels or something that looks pretty eel like, people eating, kids shouting hello to all the tourists, people just boating and people on tours taking pictures of all of the above!

PS. It seems I don't look vietnamese here. Apparently, I still look khmer and sometimes thai.

Crossing borders

We decided to book ourselves on a 3 day Mekong Delta tour which would start in Phnom Penh and leave us in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

First...we got a tuk tuk, then a bus and then a ferry to the Cambodian border. Next, we were back on the boat to the other side of the river...

Welcome to Viet Nam!!

Immigration, health checks, 2000 dong handed over to the immigration guards and we were through. All under the Cambodian/Vietnamese sun rather than the airport where you wouldn't be able to tell which country you were in. V. cool - I like this kind of travelling. All seems more friendly and natural ;o)

Getting ready for Tet - the chinese new year!! Posted by Hello

This is me - goddamn well relieved to be out of those tunnels! Posted by Hello

and Voila! Posted by Hello

Getting in the cu chi tunnels Posted by Hello

In the tunnels again. That's Bear (yep, that's his real name and he fights bears in his hometown too) from Idaho.  Posted by Hello

Inside a Cu chi tunnel made by the Viet Cong. Amazing really. 3 levels of these underground tunnels complete with hospital area, dining area, meeting areas, wash areas, cooking areas and not forgetting the important strategy areas. I managed to crawl through one 60metres of the way then cheated and took a short cut out. I don't know how they managed to stay there for so long and not get claustrophobic.

Oh, and there were a couple of bats to welcome us in tooPosted by Hello

22.01.05 1.00am

Yep, I made it - still with cocktail! Yo!! That's me, Malin, Matt, missy G, Julia and Doris Posted by Hello

We all hit the sack shortly after this though....(God, I really am getting old!)

Though we were having to get up at 6.30 in the morning to see if we could squeeze ourselves into the underground tunnels the viet cong made to help them during the American war (as it's called here)

All in all - a very lovely bday spent in Ho Chi Minh city.

Only thing missin' in the mix?? My lovely friends and family...Cam on (thank you in vietnamese - I'm so educational) very mucly for all the lovely texts and emails. Missed you guys lots and lots and lots xxxx

21.01.05 10.00pm (ish)

And even later...some more drinks! A dragon fruit cocktail at Allez Boo - more bamboo and fairy light loving than schizophrenic. Plus they played really great rockin' music!!Posted by Hello

21.01.05 9.30pm (ish)

For my bday dinner...the italian/german/asian cuisine place ( was nearby)

And then later...some drinks at a schizophrenic bar. It's called Guns n' Roses, they play Black Eyed Peas and have a picture of Westlife on the tables. Posted by Hello

21.01.05 3.00pm (ish)

For breakfast...pancakes with chopped bananas and hot chocolate sauce and a dragonfruit shake. Have decided I need to have pancakes a lot more often because, goddammit, they're tasty!

After a stroll in the Saigon heat to the market and deciding not to get a pickled snake as a bday treat (treats just ain't what they used to be...), we took a longer stroll to find the park, found a nice patch of grass to sit on under the shade of a couple of trees, bought some coconut juice, got kicked off the grass by the park guard (oddly enough, seems you're not allowed to sit on the grass here) and then found another patch of grass to sit on - but this time on red plastic chairs (see, it's all so civilised here)

And for lunch?? We burnt our lips with some hot beef pho noodle soupPosted by Hello

21.01.05 4.00pm (ish)

After the hot noodle soup?? Burn the hot noodle soup with some ping pong behind the hot noodle soup canteen.

This is me kicking Matt's butt........I'm older and getting better at lying! Though he did get his ass kicked magnificently by the woman working there.

PS. I don't see why trying to hit the ping pong ball through the net behind your opposing player is not included in the rules. What's the big deal with keeping the ball on the table area anyway?!Posted by Hello

A quarter century young!!

1 minute after 12. Bye bye early 20s. Am now 25. Yep, I still look about 12! haha. Posted by Hello do you celebrate your 25th??

21.01.05 12.01am

Start with a beer and some cheesy smiles

Hello even more motos! Yep, we're in Saigon. 8 million residents and 5 million mopeds. Posted by Hello

The funniest looking pineapple I've ever seen. It's great being different!! Posted by Hello

Making rice paper - I know you avid cooks would love to know how you could do it when Delia forgot to tell you how. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait a little longer coz I SO wasn't listening! Way too busy looking at the pigs. Posted by Hello

Watching eyes - every boat has them to keep them safe. We've even seen boats so heavily laden with all sorts of stuff where you just see the eyes peeping above water!  Posted by Hello

And when you're tired of all that buying and selling lark, they can even serve you some Pho (vietnamese noodle soup - yum!) Posted by Hello

Anybody for cabbage soup?? Posted by Hello

The outside motors of the boats Posted by Hello

Melons! Posted by Hello

Buying and selling Posted by Hello

 Posted by Hello

Dring king water - tasty stuff! Especially with fired chicken Posted by Hello

Sailing away along the Mekong Posted by Hello

Homestay at Can Tho. In the back...Christoph and Astrid, the Germans and Hunh, the guy foolish enough to let us stay in his house Posted by Hello