Day 16 Ho Chi Minh City
Today was our first official day in Vietnam and if we had thought the traffic in Cambodia was crazy, this was even worse. There are 10 million people in this city and 4.5 million scooters! They are literally everywhere. Kinda funny but we started off our time by actually leaving the city, going to a different province and seeing the Mekong River which is a river that runs through China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. To be honest, I didn't know it was so far (2.5 hours each way) so we were a little bummed out. We biked (bicycles) around a few islands where is was incredibly hot, and stopped to have some fruit. One of the fruits is called Durian. Its saying is "its like you're eating icecream while in the toilet" which means that it smells really bad but tastes good. I would agree with the toilet part for both the smell and taste, I couldnt have more than a bite...whereas Tyler said he couldn't smell or taste anything. I'm not sure what's wrong with him. Apparently resorts ban people from bringing this fruit into the resort because they are so foul smelling. We ended the afternoon by taking a boat down the river, seeing a floating market and having lunch at an "ancient house". We ate elephant fish, and what we were worried was dog (but was actually pork..apparently). We felt a little disappointed by this tour, it was really expensive, I think they ripped us off. We got back to the hotel with just enough time to get picked up for our night activity. We went on a "Saigon after dark" tour where you ride on the back of scooters and they take you to local Vietnamese places. The guy who runs it is from the States and so it was nice to have someone who speaks English well. Well Tyler got to ride on the back of his scooter and I got "Bop" who didn't speak any English. Being on a scooter in the traffic is actually less scary then watching it, it was actually fun. They first took us to a restaurant (by restaurant I mean food stall at side of street with tiny plastic chairs and tables) for appetizers which includes scallops, crab legs, clams, and snails! It was honestly so delicious. I hope we don't regret this in the morning. Next we went to another place for the main dishes. This consisted of "pancakes" which are massive fried things filled with bean sprouts and shrimp. When it comes to your table you wrap it in lettuce and dip it into fish sauce. We also had sausages that again you wrap in lettuce and beef that you cook on a little BBQ and wrap in rice paper, lettuce, basil, green banana and star fruit. It was again all very yummy. Next we headed to a secret cafe. It was in an alley, through a gross kitchen, through a car wash, past a barking rotweiller and up a set of stairs. Upstairs was all dark, lit by candles, with lots of silent people sitting and watching a pianist, violinist and singer. It was cool actually until a massive rat ran out of the kitchen past my feet, and I was ready to leave. Last stop of the night was a Vietnamese rock bar for cocktails and the band was actually pretty good. It was a really fun night, and we're very happy we did it.