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Sun, 13. Aug 2006 13:29

From Can Tho to Saigon (with photos)

Mathias, Nina and Daniel In Can Tho we first found out that Vietnam is different. Everywhere in Asia, people bargain with you over the price of taxi rides. This usually involves the driver telling you an outrageously high price for the ride, and you countering with a ridiculously low price, until someone finally comes up with a price that the other party is willing to accept. Well, in Can Tho it didn't work that way. The drivers tell us their price, and didn't lower them. This was hard, because we had to go through a handful of drivers to find out what the correct price is... (Is that a result of communism?)

But it just took us three taxi drivers to reach the nearby floating market, which was really nice. After a handful of water-taxi-drivers, we got a quite nice boat tour through the market, where big boats sell almost everything (Water mellons, ducks, scrap metal,...) to smaller boats, and these in turn sell their goods to the people without boats.

From the market, we zapped back to the Can Tho bus station, and hit a five hour bus to Saigon. (This time the driver was no maniac.)

Greeted in Saigon with a friendly "Fuck You!" (by a woman whose hotel room we didn't want) our first impression of the Saigonese people was not too good. Honestly, the people here are quite different compared to Cambodia and especially Thai and Laos. The Vietnamese are by no means reserved (like many other Asians) especially when they want to sell you something. As soon as you step out on the street from your hotel you find yourself in a big crowd of taxi drivers of all kinds (car taxis, motorbike taxis and "cyclo" taxis, a kind of rikshaw) who want to sell their services. They communicate this by shouting "Hello Sir!" or "Hello Madame!" all across the street, then they run towards you and tip you on the shoulder (of course they continue shouting while they do this). Sometimes this gets really annoying.

Saigon is a huge city (6 million) and bustling with life. There are thousends of motorcycles on the street at any time, which makes it quite a challenge to cross them. The food is great and cheap, if you don't go for cocktails in a "western" bar like we did yesterday.
The sights are - uhm, well, let's call them not so great. The "Reunification Palace" looks like a eastern european 60's communist building. The botanical garden is equiped with loudspeakers, that constantly play modern, annoying, Vietnamese music.

Another interesting part of our trip is, that we are confronted with our opinions and sometimes end up in quite intensive discussions. During our boat trip in Laos we discussed our diverging opinions on givig tips, how to help the local economy, and which negative impacts money can have on the local culture. Today, we ended up discussing everything, from religious freedom in schools to the challenges of successful immigration and self-determination. Well, this discussions sometimes get really heated up...

And by the way: We've finally got a local cell phone number here! You can reach us under +84906356838. Looking forward to hear from all of you!

Onkel Ho s(Chi Min) schaut wohlwollend auf die Main Post Office in Saigon

Reunification Palace. Ein Plattenbau.


Fuer ganz kurz wirde ich zum offiziellen Pressesprecher...

Chinese Quater, In einem Chinesischen Tempel

Chinese Quater

Chinese Quater, bei einem Gewuerz-Shop

Sie muessen wirklich alles umbringen! Im Hintergrund Haifischflossen.

Waidmanns Heil. Wass soll man zu dieser Behandlung sagen? Chinesisch?