We first though, the bus took a wrong turn and we ended up somewhere north.
Where are we?
Na, still in Vietnam.
Nha Trang, a beach destination. Developped by the french, then used by the US GI and now a Russian favorite.
We went snorkeling (OK), some Cham temple (no arch, but 6 m span) and to the beach.
Now a first: a multi day booked tour, to the highlands ho chi minh trail and such.
(für Leser die es besser wissen, der Titel ist nicht phonetisch geschrieben, ev. nicht mal russischer Skript)
Leaving Saigon. We try a night sleeper bus. Leaves now 20:00 Arrives 6:00. Ada has 1 of just 2 places with a TV.
PS: arrived. The problem with the night sleeper. We kind of had wait and could not do much until it left. When arriving early morning we were not sure we could check into hotel. We could.
Sleeping was OK.
We now have to think about how to go to Hanoi. Originally we planned to not fly till Vientiane.
Saigon or HCMC Ho Chi Minh City.
Well, it is as chaotic as the guide book makes it.
Crossing a road is an experience of another kind and we are used to Asia by now.
Nobody is stopping at all, the only chance it to start walking an hoping the motorcycles really are going around you.
It is said the city has 8 Million inhabitants and 5 Million motorcycles.
We are also missing the TucTuc. The only thing below a taxi are motorcycle taxi and that is impractical with the kids and dangerous.
With our good luck for being at the right place at the right time we visited the reunification palace 30-April, the day Saigon Fell (or was liberated) at precisely that place. Tank 843 crashed through a gate of that palace which marks the end of the war.
So half of Vietnam was at that place too.
The place is now only used for tourists.
We also went to the basement, there is a large bunker.
Compare this (check sign on left!)
War-Room Doctor Strangelove
In case you do not know the scene, listen to the last words (spoken by the president of the USA).
Went onto a city tour to see all in one day, here the central post office. The kids wanted to do another search picture. Make it bigger before you search.
You have to find:
-Lena (difficult, you can only see her hair)
-Uncle Ho (very difficult because in plain sight)
A must do in Saigon are the Cu Chi Tunnels, where there are over 220 km of underground tunnels system from the American (Vietnam) War. The system is explained one can see traps, other stuff and pass through one of the tunnels (enlarged for tourist). Lena could walk upright. They would not let me go in the smaller tunnels.
Ada in einem stylish Restaurant : “ich würd’ nöd schöön choche, sondern guat”
We then went to the Vietnam Water Puppet Show, very neat.
That is also where the following took place:
Lena : “warum händ di da Saili um de Chopf?” (why do they have ropes around their head?)
Here is what she saw:
Nui Sam is the highest mountain in the Mekong. We just had to climb it. So we took 2 Bikes including driver. Visited a strange cave temple first, Buddhas with glasses and statues with a Mother Mary likeness.
A granite monolith 200 m high.
The way up the stairs was halfway inside Restaurants (had no chairs just hammocks) and the other half inside shrines and temples.
Stayed till sunset.
Following and old tradition we tried to reduce our luggage by sending home some stuff. 15 kg, new record.
The total amount sent home is about 50 kg and we still have substantial luggage left. But it is now greatly reduced.
And now a challenge. What is the package that has the maximum Volume matching this criteria:
Astrid found a better solution then I did.
We then embarked on a ship to Vietnam down the mighty Mekong. Here the promise
and what we got
Mekong, bye bye Phnom Penh
Finally in Vietnam, Chau Doc
bye now, have to brush the kids teeth.