Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Salut Saigon!

First impressions of Vietnam?

Well, I didn't think much of HCMC. It's ugly, dirty, chaotic and the traffic is insane. Some people will probably disagree with me and say it's vibrant and buzzing instead (I suppose it depends on how you interpret the noise and crowds).

For me, the soundtrack of the city is screaming motorcycle engines and bad karaoke.

Dusk falls and the karaoke bars come to life

It probably doesn't help that the city has such a reputation for petty crime. I'd heard the reputation before I came, and thought "must be exaggerated." But the first night in my hotel, I got chatting to an elderly American woman who'd had her purse snatched the day before. My third day in HCMC, I got chatting to a young British man who'd had his wallet lifted the same morning he arrived.

It doesn't particularly fill you with confidence, does it?

Nothing at all bad happened to me, but I have to admit that I felt constantly on guard in HCMC. It wasn't a place I could relax.

On the plus side, the air pollution results in some pretty impressive sunsets!

No photoshop required

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