juliet: (Default)
It is currently absolutely *bucketing* it down outside - proper torrential rainy-season downpour, next to no mopeds on the streets (this is highly unusual to say the least!) as everyone shelters. I am (obviously) in an internet cafe and thus can watch from inside. I would like to think that it'll clear the air a bit but sadly I doubt it.

Today I have spent pottering round Saigon, and in and out of cafes whenever it got that bit too hot. It's a nice enough city but it's not really grabbing me, so (when the rain stops...) I'm off to buy my bus ticket to Phnom Penh for tomorrow morning. (0630, to be precise - I guess it'll take 6 or 7 hours to get there.)

I was intending to go to the Fine Art museum this morning, but it's shut on Mondays; and did go up to the zoo & botanical gardens, but it turned out to be mostly zoo and very little botanical gardens, when I was vaguely under the impression that it was at least 50/50. I do not like zoos, so I headed off again.

Saigon is however pretty good for vegetarians, which is pleasing. I fear Cambodia will be less good, but never mind. PP does have plenty of international cafes so I can always get Western veggie food.

I'm not quite sure why I haven't been as keen on Vietnam as on previous countries, but it definitely hasn't enthused me to the same extent. The best bit has probably been the train journey down through the country, getting to go through jungle and paddy fields and all sorts. I suspect that if I was coming here again I'd want to spend more time out in the countryside and less in the cities - but of course I am supposed to be getting from A (the UK) to B (Australia) here, so I haven't really had the time. I might be able to manage an excursion whilst in Cambodia; we'll see.

edit: there is actually a river running down the street now, although the rain is easing off a bit. Maybe I'll stay put for a while...
juliet: (Default)
It is currently absolutely *bucketing* it down outside - proper torrential rainy-season downpour, next to no mopeds on the streets (this is highly unusual to say the least!) as everyone shelters. I am (obviously) in an internet cafe and thus can watch from inside. I would like to think that it'll clear the air a bit but sadly I doubt it.

Today I have spent pottering round Saigon, and in and out of cafes whenever it got that bit too hot. It's a nice enough city but it's not really grabbing me, so (when the rain stops...) I'm off to buy my bus ticket to Phnom Penh for tomorrow morning. (0630, to be precise - I guess it'll take 6 or 7 hours to get there.)

I was intending to go to the Fine Art museum this morning, but it's shut on Mondays; and did go up to the zoo & botanical gardens, but it turned out to be mostly zoo and very little botanical gardens, when I was vaguely under the impression that it was at least 50/50. I do not like zoos, so I headed off again.

Saigon is however pretty good for vegetarians, which is pleasing. I fear Cambodia will be less good, but never mind. PP does have plenty of international cafes so I can always get Western veggie food.

I'm not quite sure why I haven't been as keen on Vietnam as on previous countries, but it definitely hasn't enthused me to the same extent. The best bit has probably been the train journey down through the country, getting to go through jungle and paddy fields and all sorts. I suspect that if I was coming here again I'd want to spend more time out in the countryside and less in the cities - but of course I am supposed to be getting from A (the UK) to B (Australia) here, so I haven't really had the time. I might be able to manage an excursion whilst in Cambodia; we'll see.

edit: there is actually a river running down the street now, although the rain is easing off a bit. Maybe I'll stay put for a while...
juliet: (Default)
For really. Hot. I arrived at about 0530 this morning, when it was only a bit warm. Now it is midday and I am about to retire to my air-conditioned room with some kind of cold beverage. And possibly have a nap - see above re arrival time. I do however *have* an own room, which is pleasing me greatly. It has its own shower! And a little fridge! Awesome.

So far today I have visited the Independence Palace - which was the place from where the South Vietnam state was run, and has been left intact as it was in 1975 when the N Vietnam troops took Saigon. At least, they say "left intact" - they seem to have tidied everything up a bit and taken away all the really interesting stuff from the basement bunker (which is obv more interesting in itself than all the posh receiving rooms/banqueting halls/etc upstairs). There are some good maps, though. And there was a splendid video about the Vietnam War with lots of patriotic communist turns of phrase regarding the American Imperialists and so forth.

Then took myself round the corner to the War Remnants museum, which was predictably depressing, but also very moving in places.

And now I am going to have a nap.

(It's Sunday today, isn't it? It is getting complicated to keep track...)
juliet: (Default)
For really. Hot. I arrived at about 0530 this morning, when it was only a bit warm. Now it is midday and I am about to retire to my air-conditioned room with some kind of cold beverage. And possibly have a nap - see above re arrival time. I do however *have* an own room, which is pleasing me greatly. It has its own shower! And a little fridge! Awesome.

So far today I have visited the Independence Palace - which was the place from where the South Vietnam state was run, and has been left intact as it was in 1975 when the N Vietnam troops took Saigon. At least, they say "left intact" - they seem to have tidied everything up a bit and taken away all the really interesting stuff from the basement bunker (which is obv more interesting in itself than all the posh receiving rooms/banqueting halls/etc upstairs). There are some good maps, though. And there was a splendid video about the Vietnam War with lots of patriotic communist turns of phrase regarding the American Imperialists and so forth.

Then took myself round the corner to the War Remnants museum, which was predictably depressing, but also very moving in places.

And now I am going to have a nap.

(It's Sunday today, isn't it? It is getting complicated to keep track...)

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