I AM IN BANGKOK AGAIN
I think I set a record for me, I spent less time in Vietnam than any country I have ever visited, and was really trying to visit. The place just sucks so I decided to move on to better pastures.
VIETNAM AIRLINES SCAMS
I got to the airport early went to check in and they tell me that my ticket is a standby ticket and not a regular ticket. I was not happy to say the least and by the time I even got to what the lady said was the standby list she already had my name on the list.
A short time later they put another name on the list, but it took one-half hour before the guy showed up. To say the least this is a scam by the Vietnam Airlines. Luckily they was two seat for us to Bangkok,
I will tell the whole story about how Vietnam Airline runs a scam in my tips section of newsletter 157.
TRAVELED BACK TO SAIGON OR HCMC
Friday July 30, 2004
I am back in Saigon as most people call this city and the Ho Chi Minh City is just to difficult to say so they use Saigon instead.
I am leaving for Bangkok in 5 hours by airplane, I have had enough of Vietnam, and could see no reason to roam around in the country further. The beach at Mui Ne was on the low end of beaches I have encountered, so if I am going to sit on a beach, it would be better to sit on a Thailand beach. There is nothing cultural about going to the beach, Vietnam people do not sit on the beach and sunbathe.
The plane cost 152 dollars U.S. There is a 4 dollars Taxi fee, and 12 dollar departure fee, so the total cost one-way from Saigon to Bangkok is 168 U.S. Dollars. I have asked every single place here and the price only fluctuates between 147 and 152 for the ticket. I paid the high end because the other places seem sort of fly by night an the Happy Tours is the big boy on the block, and I purchased my ticket at 8:00 last night and leave today.
The girl ask me,
“Why do you leave so quick?”
I looked at her, and then slowly said,
“I do not like Vietnam,”
“Vietnam is OK.”
“You are right, Vietnam is ok, but some places are better.
If I am going to go to a beach and I know beaches have nothing to do with culture and I am returning to Thailand to fly out, then I might as well go to good beaches.
I would think the best places to explore Vietnam and would be very interesting would be in the Mekong Delta and north of Hanoi towards China, the bigger cities are just extremely congested cities.
If a man wanted to find a wife quick though you could do that pretty easy as lots of Vietnam girls want to marry to leave the country. I think they would probably make ok wives and being you can purchase them, all the easier. The do not seem to be all prostitutes like most of the Thailand girls and this is better. Lots of Vietnam people either seem to have no religion or are Christian, I see almost no Buddhist stuff, and have seen zero monks.
Thursday July 29, 2004
I am in Mui Ne, Vietnam, I was about to say a small village along the beach of lower Vietnam, but this place is not really small as I remember the time it took driving through here to the beach. I really have no idea where I am on the beach and really do not care as I am leaving today, I have ended up in some sort of resort hell and really do not care to explore more. Plus and a few of my friends that know me in Thailand would laugh about this as some have seem me eat Chicken Fried Rice and ask for Soya sauce or very adamantly ask,
“Is this fish sauce?”
In Thailand and I suppose most Asian countries they have as a condiment this fish smelling sauce or juice of some form, I really do not know what it is, but I have almost vomited one time when they put it on my chicken fried rice. I cannot eat or smell this stuff or I will literally get sick, my body just reacts to this fish sauce.
Well, guess what I think the make this stuff on this beach, the whole beach smells like this sauce. Everywhere outside the resort has lines of stands with bottle upon bottle of this sauce. I smelled the drying of fish smell as I entered the area by bus, and for sure there are some really good fishing ports here where you can look at hundreds of boats in the river or bays that are great. I will try to take photos from the bus on the way out of the place.
Lots of places near the ocean smells like fish, and go figure, that is how the people make their living, but when there is large scale fish industry, it is maybe like Cannery Row of John Steinbecks book and who wants the crap.
THE TRIP FROM SAIGON TO MUI NE
Saigon or HCMC as they seem to abbreviate Ho Chi Minh City is for from 7:30 to 10:17 a constant city, and you do not see anything but factory and more factories, there appears to be some steel, but I cannot be sure as I was in a bus, there were organized industrial parks and very large building along the way, but for almost two hours the city never ended. This is not normal, but does tell me why I think the Vietnam people seem pretty prosperous.
The bus from Buffalo tours which I would NOT recommend or I have no idea how I would recommend any tour company in Saigon sucked and this made the road worse, the bus did not have air conditioning that worked and luckily it was early in the morning and the cool air was ok, but the smog is very bad and we drove through a haze for two hours. I am constantly realizing that other travelers are in some for or over stimulation phase and cannot see what they are looking at, or cannot analyze the situations. I said something about this being the worst stretch of road I have almost ever been on in my travels and they seem to think that Cambodia was bad, they must have been talking about the bumps in the gravel road. I was talking about the scenery out the window. The great thing about a gravel road is normally outside the window can be great or full of beautiful things in a way, but I am sure most city kids do not care about rice or grains.
When we finally did clear the city enough to see a field I was surprise to see large fields of corn. This is the first time I can remember seeing fields of corn outside the USA like this, I am sure there are some in Europe and maybe in southern Brazil, but the normal and constant crop of choice is rice, and very seldom is there fields of corn, but Vietnam has machine planted fields of corn.
I think I left the Mekong delta and the water situation is not so easy for the growing of rice, so this is probably the reason.
We drove slowly from a flat area into a rolling hill area as we went north.
Well I am going to leave this fish smelling Mui Ne area and go back to Saigon, then catch a plane to Bangkok. I can fly back to Bangkok, then over to Manila, cheaper than I can fly to Manila from Saigon. Saigon is not a good base for much of anything.
I think I have completely missed any good parts of Vietnam, by staying on the backpacker path. I think I should have went down into the Mekong delta area and went to the beach or small villages along the way. But the truth of it is I really do not care to see Vietnam, as the only thing they sell in mass is the Vietnam War and that is like Cambodia, they only sell the torture and killing of Pol Pot, this is not my idea of a beach vacation or fun trip. I will go find nicer places on the planet.
30 Day Visa. This is the huge problem of Asia, every country makes it such a hassle and 30 days will not let me see a country the size of Vietnam, plus the only way to get to the place is across Laos or Cambodia and you have to pay for that visa. I would almost say to traveler to give Vietnam a pass and forget the place, not worth the hassle of getting here, you can go south to Malaysia and end up in Singapore, or keep going to Australia, but to go north here you just end up in china with some 30 or maybe 45 day visa and you need 6 months to explore China. I am thinking that they have to be fly in fly out countries to enjoy or I need a round trip ticket in and out so I do not feel trapped.
Mui Ne bus.. I purchased a bus, that too me to Mui Ne Beach, I have no way of leaving the hotel I am located at or moving around because they have me trapped in resort, there is no one here and the water has trash in it, there are sand dunes. This is resort hell.