Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mekong Delta Mama Blues

Immediately after arriving in Vietnam at the Siagon airport Peter and I knew Vietnam was going to be a difficult leg of our adventure. While at the Visa station they gave us an incorrect currency exchange, from yen to dollars. So Peter was already in a bad mood, then we tried to pull cash out of our bank account containing most of our money to use on this trip, and it didn't work. Come to find out our bank card had expired 1 month before our trip (the one thing we forgot to check). This made for a very interesting trip. Finally, while trying to catch a taxi we found out that Vietnam is a very aggressive and sassy country. Nobody would cut us a break. They all wanted to overcharge us for their services. We had only been in the country for 2 hours but we were already exhausted.

Our first day out was spent exploring the Cu Chi tunnels. This is me getting into one of their entrances. As you can see, it was extremely small. I was the only one brave enough to do it.

Although, you can't really see how small these tunnels are they are super tiny, you had to squat to walk through. They have even been enlarged to allow us oversized westerners to crawl through them. Unfortunately, due to my fear of small spaces and some really strong B.O. coming from the couple in front of us Peter and I weren't able to make it all the way through the tunnel. These tunnels were used by the Vietcong to hide from the American soldiers. It was a very difficult place to visit being the only Americans on our tour and having a tour guide that openly hated Americans. But we love America and held our hands high when our tour guide asked, "Are there any Americans here today?"

After an extremely disturbing stop at the Vietnam War Museum (Seriously, I really don't even like talking about it. I thought that it was terrible and completely biased) we took a ride on a couple of cyclos. I was really enjoying being among the chaos of the streets of Siagon, but Peter was very suspicious about his driver (notice the furrowed brow). That guy ended up short changing Peter by giving him back 4000 dong instead of the 40,000 dong he owed him. It's really the difference of like 2 dollars, but that's not the point.

The streets of Siagon are out of control. They say there are 10 million people in Siagon and 8 million motorcycles. This picture doesn't really do it justice, but the number of motorcycles was blowing our minds. Crossing the street would just about give anyone a heart attack. No one ever stops. You just have to throw caution to the wind and walk while the motorcycle swerve around you. You would see 5 or 6 people on one scooter (i.e. a dad driving, a mom behind him with an infant in her arms, a toddler in very front standing between the dads legs, a child pinched between the mom and dad and quite possibly another child behind the mom holding a dog.

Ever seen a cock fight? We have. Don't worry it wasn't to the death, but it sure was strange.

While on our tour of the Mekong Delta we stopped by a couple island villages. This one is big on raising snakes to eat and make into cute wallets or snake skin boots.

Peter is the cutest. Just look at that beard. Isn't it beautiful? This photo was taken while riding from island to island on long boats. I now understand why these hats are worn all throughout Asia. They are extremely functional.

Vietnam's love of Ho Chi Minh was out of control. Doesn't he kinda look like C3PO in this photo?

We were able to visit a floating market. The kids are extremely cute, but their parents use them as a marketing tool to lure foreigners in. And, of course, our sympathies made us all buy at least one bushel of bananas from them.

Better late than never on the vacation posts I will try and get the Cambodia section up soon.


Kylie said...

HAHAHAHA SOOO know what you mean dude. vietnam. loooove it. miss it. loove the adventure. love the stories. they were very aggressive, and i agree, being american at that museum made me feel like crap and like people wanted to shoot me,

NEC said...

Hey its cousin nikki I love reading these updates post more!

Cicily said...

Those tunnel pictures make me want to throw up. Who the crap is cousin Nikki?

stacie and geoffrey... said...

I'm sweating real hard after looking at those tunnel pictures. you guys are braver than I.

Jenna said...

I have always wanted to go to Vietnam, but I am second guessing this now, I don't know if I'd be brave enough! Yet, I'm still jealous!

Heidi and Bryan said...

I started hyperventilating aftr the tunnel picture I'm glad you are still alive! Vietnam sounds like a crazy adventure, Bryan's coresident was from there, and told us all these crazy stories about how they got here and how cruel and horrible it as to live there. Hope you are having fun!