Thursday, December 9, 2004


I've finally managed to escape Saigon and have made it to Hue (just south of the DMZ). I don't want to say I hated Saigon, but I wouldn't recommend it for anything more then a quick stop over. You definitely have to stay on your toes there. Walking is a constant headache as there are very few sidewalks, or where sidewalks exist you have to constantly weave around food stands and motos. And the motos are more dangerous then on the street, since they pretty much have free reign on the sidewalks. Basically, nobody looks to see where they are going. On the streets, at least the motos will weave around you as long as you keep a nice steady pace. Bargaining is expected for almost everything, and there are enough people who want to scam the "rich foreigners," you have to be pretty good with your quick calculations. And after all this travelling, I sometimes get confused. It's roughly 15,000 dong/$ and a couple times I almost got upset when I felt the internet place was overcharging me by 500 dong. Of course, that works out to about 3 cents. At the market, I almost ended up paying 650,000 dong for a shirt, when the price should have been closer to 65,000. That woman wasn't too happy to see me run off once I figured it out. Motos drivers will try to charge 100,000 dong for 10,000 dong rides. Like they say, the Vietnamese are much more tourist savvey then the other Southeast Asians.

Here in Hue, I have reached the climatic north. It's about 70F and quite gray out. I have a few days of sight seeing here before heading east. Hue was the capital of Vietnam and has the Purple Forbidden City, plus lots of tombs around the city. I'll bike about 5 or 6 days east before heading up to Vientenne via bus and then taking the train down to Bangkok. Just over two weeks left.

No comments: