Made it to Saigon! Some say Saigon, some say Ho Chi Minh City. I say “SIIIIIIIIIIII – GOOONNNEEE! HIIIIYYYAAA!!!” then throw a karate kick over my head in the mix. No, not really but it is tempting to say it that way. Think of Saigon as being the center and the main districts of the town and Ho Chi Minh City is essentially the annexed larger area surrounding Saigon. Vietnam has been adventure, challenging, kicked my butt at times but it definitely rewarded me with some of the most incredible scenery, great new friends, and a new little baby belly from gourmandizing on fried spring rolls, asian noodles, and incredibly cheap beer. I will be ruminating about this country for a while. I think as far as traveling goes, it had its highs and it had it lows for me. Injuries, grueling long dust and exhaust chocking bike rides, very aggressive driving, and plenty of near death experiences. It had a way of poking me at times saying, you are going to earn this. We aren’t just going to give this to you. But that is NAM baby!! Nam baby!!
Vietnam War Museum. It was definitely an interesting experience seeing what the Vietnamese government says about the war. There was a little propaganda in the mix.
This was probably one of the top 5 meals I had in Vietnam. It was so good. It cost like $1.36 in USD.
Round two at the hospital in Vietnam. I got bitten by something and the infected area on my leg swelled up to a half golfball sized welp with sharp pains shooting down my leg. After a couple of ineffective visits to the pharmacy and a google search on horrifying poisonous insects of Vietnam, I decided a visit to the hospital was necessary. They ended up carving into the wound, removing some tissue, and cleaning it out in the most painful way possible. As I was gritting my teeth, he kept asking “are you okay?” “Yes, I am good. Urrrrgghhh! Keep digging that out!”
After a little a research, I found a poisonous vietnamese spider that is attracted to the smell of gasoline. ahh…that’s not good! All my clothes smell like fumes and fuel from riding the motorcycle. I’m sure these hungry predators think of me as a thanksgiving feast! They are probably like “Gasoline, where is that coming from? Oh I’m so hungry. I have been craving me some fuel marinated westerner!” Think of taking a bath in blood and jumping into a shark tank or covering yourself in hamburger meat and running through grizzly bear territory. Nobody would do that, right. I wish I would have known about that before. All motorcycle riders of Vietnam should be warned about this. “WARNING MOTORCYCLE RIDERS: Deadly spiders: Please take a shower and wash all fuel smells off of your body. Please hang your clothes at least 150 feet from where you sleep.”
I had the pleasure of driving in this before I managed to sell the motorcycle in Saigon. The “beat up pickle” carried me around the country and did a good job escorting me on her back. In the end, I had my fingers crossed she wouldn’t fall apart before I was able to sell it. Luckily in Saigon, I found a nice mechanic who was willing to take it off my hands for a good price. So I took him up on his offer and said my goodbyes to “the green pickle.” “Goodbye pickle….I will think of you often. You be good. Hang in there. This mechanic will take nice good care of you. You don’t go changing. Thank you for everything! Remember the good times we had.”
Nice thing about big cities is that they have amenities. Cup of joe on the Hario V-60.
I heard about a brewer from Upslope Brewery in Colorado that opened up Pasteur Street Brewing Company in Saigon. Really? Colorado beer in Saigon? You mean I can get an IPA in Vietnam? A real microbrew? Okay I have been traveling 5 months now and haven’t had an IPA since the USA. Colorado is home of too many breweries to count and everybody knows a Coloradian loves a good beer. Anybody who is traveling for an extended period of time is going to say “oh I wish I could have a …….” So I was excited to have this little taste of home. This is in no way saying I am tired of traveling or ready to come home yet. That answer is definitely NO. This trip is my dream and I’m loving it. But it definitely was nice to sip on that pint of Colorado!
My second westerner fix in Saigon….a good burger at Chuck’s Burger. Imported Australian beef.
Goodbye Vietnam! Next stop Indonesia!