North from Saigon to a guesthouse…somewhere, via Cu Chi tunnels


So, the thousands of Santa Claws on motorbikes didn’t materialise, however tens of thousands of people did come into the city center for the evening, all on motorbike – apparently “just to look around and see the christmas decorations” as the owner of my guesthouse said. When even the locals are taking pictures of thousands of people on motorbikes, you know it’s busy…

Quite the experience crossing the road I can tell you...

Quite the experience crossing the road I can tell you…

Having seen/heard/smelled enough scooters, I returned to the area I was calling home for a few days and got chatting to a bunch of europeans/Mexicans/Columbians. This was the bar of choice on the street as it was half the price of anywhere else. I say bar, it was just a load of children’s plastic chairs set out on the road, but it was a cracking atmosphere. The normal street vendors selling you sunglasses and ripoff books were replaced by ones selling santa hats and fake snow in a can (the poor girl selling the snow ended up covered in chemical ‘snow’ every time she sold one, much to the amusement of, well, the entire street. Mexican waves, a countdown to christmas day, all very jovial.

Sore head the next day. Not a lot to say about that really….Oh, it was Christmas Day!!

I set off today (boxing day) towards the Vietcong tunnels at Cu Chi, and somehow stumbled upon the quieter of the two complexes (there can’t have been more than 10 people there). Quite interesting, though really set up for mass tourism, which takes away from the whole experience. I passed on the opportunity to fire an M-16 machine gun at 1GBP per bullet, and headed north hoping to get to Tay Ninh, though managed to get completely lost instead – a mother and child of 6ish (child with exceptional English) pointed me in the right direction though – they even drove out of their way to show me the correct road.

Not really many interesting pictures at the tunnels, though this in the gift shop caught my eye...  All rather strange.

Not really many interesting pictures at the tunnels, though this in the gift shop caught my eye… All rather strange.

I stopped just as the sun went down at some place, well, I’m not quite sure where it is. I think it’s near Tay Ninh, close to the Cambodian border. Looking it up online, there appears to be a good temple to visit there, which I’ll try and hunt down tomorrow showing a picture of it to random people and pointing in various directions with a confused look on my face.
Finally, here is a conversation I had with the owner of the guesthouse (and brothel by all appearances, though very clean) tonight over Google translate which was rather entertaining, and a bit uncomfortable towards the end – for me that is, she was perfectly happy.

are you asking what country i am from?
i live in Scotland. Do you know Scotland?
It is part of the United Kingdom
North of England
What country
Chassis human
this is very funny to me ….
you said “frame of a car, person”

OK, Thank you very much
No Chilli though … no hot spice

I am cycling around asia for 3 months.
 Where Bicycles
I started in Thailand, down through Laos, to here, then back to Bangkok via Cambodia. Then I fly to New Zealand and spend two months there cycling
Where is Bike to o
Tomorrow? II cycle to Cambodia
eat delicious mi

How long have you lived here?
That makes no sence … You said locker, closet.
Have you lived here all your life?
You must have lived here through the war, yes?
You are to young!!! sorry.
you were born after the war?
but first Go online 55
I do not understand – you first use internet at 55?
55 years
You are 55 years old.
you were born in 1958

The war was not over by 1958 …

Because here was safe?
No fighting here? No bombing here?

I understand

At this point for some reason I felt uncomfortable, following the sights I have seen in the last couple of days thinking I shouldn’t have brought up the subject of the war. Khong, I’m guessing refers to the Vietcong.

Tomorrow I think I’ll head into Cambodia. I just checked in a panic that I can actually get a visa-on-arrival at the border crossing I plan to use!!


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