Not done too much today, slept till 10am, which was brilliant needed to catch up on some sleep! Was feeling a bit hungover to be honest – had a few beers with some lads I met on my Mekong Tour. It was a guy from England, Lewis, last night of a one month holiday in Vietnam – so ended up being a boozy one till the early hours! Beer here is between 25p to 75p, the best I’ve found is ‘Saigon’ sold in a 500ml bottle, at 5% its pretty powerful too!
Lewis works in his Dads bakery in Bideford, Devon – he says if I’m ever passing I can pop in for a free pasty! I said I’d give the bakery a plug, so if your ever in Bideford go to the Country Cottage Bakery for any bread product needs you may have!
Travelling alone is cool, strangely (sadly?) enjoying it! But your not really on your own, I’m in a 7 bed dorm here and there’s at least 5 other solo travellers – it’s dead easy to get talking to folk. I’ve met people from all over the world Australians, Brits, Scots, Irish, Swedes, Germans, French, Canadians, and even a few ‘decent’ yanks! Most folks I’ve met in Cambodia and Vietnam are doing similar trips to me, seems everyone is headed for Sydney at Christmas! I’ve seen people here I met in Cambodia. Of course some people can be irritating, met an American today who was very arrogant and self-righteous – “USA, USA, USA” – but you just move away quickly!
When I’m on my own I also pay more attention to what’s going on around me, and I notice that locals are keener to talk to me, which is good. It’s also good to be able to do what I want and at a pace I want. Of course there’s disadvantages – rooms cost more in guesthouses (no one to split the cost with) although I usually go for a dorm if available, also the frequent table for 1 can be a bit boring but I’m not the only one doing it! In England I was a little apprehensive about going alone, but I’m really enjoying it – getting really good at small talk now! Also developed a good knack of sleeping on bus’s, trains, planes, and boats – as soon as we start moving I seem to start dozing off, all good as it makes the journey go quicker!
Today went to a market where they sold pretty much anything you could ever want. Had a bit of fun bartering with the vendors, they basically grab your arm as you go past and don’t let go! Or they say “handsome man, you buy t-shirt” all amusing. Got myself a Vietnam footie top for about a pound – don’t think there’ll be many of those back home! After the market I walked round Siagon a bit, passing the Notre Dam cathedral complete with statue of Mary on route – didnt realise but a lot of the Southern Vietnamese are Catholics. I also went back to the Reunification Palace for a tour round the inside – some interesting photos of the day the Americans left from the roof by helicopter and the North Vietnamese tanks stormed the gates – in fact the tanks still there as a monument. Lots of Anti-American war crime stuff too, will Iraq be the same about us in 30 years time?
Had some photos developed off a disposable camera (quality not great unfortunatley) I was using, some in the Cambodia gallery here, Vietnam here. Will upload the Vietnam ones from my ‘new’ digi camera soon.
Heres me on the ferry from Siem Reap to Phnom Phen last week (got sunburnt and my ears were ringing from the loud engine noise!):\
And here I am at the War Museum in Saigon getting my war fix:
Last night in Vietnam, really enjoyed it and I’ll deffo be back! Shame I haven’t got time to do more here, but you cant do it all! Tomorrow I’m flying back to Thailand (2 hour flight compared to 3 days overland travel!) to meet Tom for a few beach days R&R, should be good – haven’t actually seen a beach yet on my travels!!!