08.03.2017 36 °C
We have spent the last 7 days in Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon) in the south of Vietnam and are flying to the beautiful ancient town of Hoi An, a coastal town in central Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh city is vibrant, chaotic, exciting and simply buzzing with energy with 21st century sky scrapers alongside narrow, authentic streets filled with street food stalls and live chickens! It was extra special for me as we spent time with my son Matt who lives and works in the city. It was good to go to some of his favourite haunts, including a fabulous sky bar, BBQ meats sat in the street in Bui Vien whilst having your shoes cleaned, a river cruise on the Saigon River and a traditional Vietnamese lunch in a hole in the wall, amongst fighting cockerels in cages and bike parts! His lovely girlfriend Yori showed us how to cook and eat 'Lau', a traditional regional Vietnamese dish where boiling spicy broth is placed in centre of the table on a gas ring and noodles, meat, seafood, beansprouts and a plethora of green herbs are added and gradually cooked then eaten with chopsticks from little bowls. Delicious.
We visited the Mekong Delta, passing through the 'rice bowl' of Vietnam, paddy fields surrounded by palm tree groves where several different varieties of rice are grown. A boat brought us to Coconut Island, where coconuts are grown and harvested to make everything from candy to baskets. A tuk tuk ride through the island ducking to avoid palm branches and wires and a sampan boat through the water groves gave us a small taste of this part of rural Vietnam.
The traffic in Ho Chi Minh city is manic, especially the scooters and bikes. There are hundreds of bikes and rush hour is a sight to behold. To cross the road as a pedestrian is an art that has to be learnt and quickly! Yes, you literally step out in front of the bikes and walk steadily to the other side of the road, no hesitation and they stream around you like a shoal of fish. Unnerving to say the least.
We have loved our time in Ho Chi Minh City and experienced such a lot. Looking forward to the next, hopefully quieter few days!
Love from Si & Steph xxx