On our second full day in Ho Chi Minh we went to organise a trip to the tunnels and one of the big temples quite a bit out of town. Instead we ended up booking a trip where you cycled through the city to the outskirts, joined a local family to help cook lunch, then went out fishing on a boat in the afternoon.
Cycling through the city was the best part – we headed across the mad roundabouts in the main part of the city during rush out traffic, which is mayhem. If you stop and start you’re more likely to end up roadkill, but if you move across slowly and confidently, you’re sorted. Unfortunately the rest of the tour fulfilled our doubts when booking. We met up with a local family, in their tenement house, went to the market with them (always interesting) and watched our snake head fish get battered on the head with a wooden stick (hey at least it was fresh), then went back to the apartment to cook lunch.
While lunch was cooking we ended up playing cards with the tour guides for the best part of an hour introducing them to cheat and various other games. It was quite a laugh but not really what you want to pay money on a tour for. In the afternoon we eventually left to go to some crappy restaurant place where we tried to catch fish which you can then cook. The setting was a really naff local’s restaurant with manmade pools of water, with eating platforms over the middle of them. We could hardly leave quick enough, but too late for me to make the post office to get rid of more of my gear! Not exactly the best use of $15 in Asia. I think the companies other tours of the Mekon g Delta would be quite good, they just didn’t seem to nail this one.
In the evening I spent most of the time drinking, eating, and trying desperately not to overload myself with a selection of the excellent counterfeit photocopied books….
Local kids in the park :