Vietnam for one week

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This year we made a visa run to Saigon, as a Nordic citizen you do not need a visa to Vietnam if you stay 15 days. Just show your return ticket to the passport control and you can stay 15 days.

This is the first time we have made such a short trip, normally we stay 3 month. So how did we spend our days? Coffee, Beers and Crocodiles.

Vietnam have probably among the best coffee in the world, and as usual it is best enjoyed at a small street cafe so that you can enjoy the vibrant life around you. But since we very visiting for so few days, we did not enjoy the street life at all, it was in our ears only a loud annoying traffic noise all the time, combined with high pollution leading to sore throat and red eyes.

Beer – this was much more easier to enjoy. Quite many new and exclusive craft beer pubs has started, we visited only one of them, Pasteur Brewing Company. The beer was good, but expensive, and with the lack of any Vietnamese customers in the pub, this could have been located anywhere in the world. Everything has become more expensive since our last visit (2014) except the microbrew bars. Here the prices was the same as before, but the number of Vietnamese customers had really increased. Our favorite this time was visiting at Bigman Beer during lunch time and observe all the different business lunches. You could see some bring tons of paper and documents to hand over to their business partner, but after the first hand shake the other part will just drink beer and do not look at any of the documents at all. On some other tables you find the small company with the boss celebrating some special occasion with their staff. After a while many around the table are rather drunk and we wonder who will fall asleep first. When leaving, they all go down to the garage and drive out on their motorbike(!)

Some years ago we visited a very strange theme park outside Saigon. Time for a new visit to Suo Tien theme park, including everything from temples, water park, amusement park, zoo, crocodile farm and of course a lot of restaurant and food stall. I wanted to revisit the crocodiles and feed them. Last time we visited we were almost the only one there, this time the park was rather crowded, and the crocodile not very easy to tease with a bit of red meat.

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Feeding the crocodiles

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Much more fun was actually the horror house, if you were able to go by yourselves and not have any young Vietnamese in front or back. Why? They go with the torch light on the phone, destroying all the fun. The idea is to get into the dark and be scared. The Harry Potter house was great, with a mix of dolls and humans grabbing you. The Buddist Hell (Unicorn palace) would have been great if the light on all the phones had been banned. You kind of mising the point going into the darkness, bringing light with you.

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Time for power-naps

 

 

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Bumper Car – the perfect way to release travel stress

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Our First day in Saigon we started out with a bus strip (local bus #11) to end station Dahm Sen Park. From previous visits we did not really remember what kind of park this was, but as the bus had its bus stop just outside our hotel (on our favorite street in HCMC – Nguen Tray Street) this seems as a good idea.

At the park we paid 1450.000 vnd and got a paper band around our arm. We where not really sure about what we exactly had paid for, as our Vietnamese reading skills had been resting for a while. Early in the morning, very few visitors, and almost no attraction is open, most of them seems to be under renovation, our mood is decreasing a bit…..

Then we see some young people heading toward ad “mystic” house, and we follow. A lot of warning signs on the outside, do not enter with broken arm, heart disease, high age etc. We got gloves on our hands and in we go, hearing the youngster in front of us. Everything is dark but as we can follow the voice and noise we manage to get through the first room. Then it stops. Everything is dark and we are inside an empty room with mirror – believe it or not – we can not find our way out!!!!!!! Where did the other go???? We go back through the tunnel again to see if we missed a hidden way, nothing, back into the mirror-room, starting to examine each wall, still nothing. What is this????? Then we hear voices again, and a group of teenage girls are entering. We follow them closely, and of-course they hit the way forward immediately. The purpose of the glove is that you shall “see” with you hands and by touching all mirrors you will find the way that is the door. How could we miss it??? Don’t know, but after we learned the trick we managed the next two rooms on our own. Then we hear the girls again in the next room, screaming and laughing and playing with the mobiles. We want to wait for them to move on, before we enter, but they never seem to leave…..We put our heads into the room several times, but the girls are still there. Then they put their head back to our rooms, and asked us to join. Inside the room, wee need to pass by a new tunnel, and suddenly we have 5-6 girls hanging tight to our arms and clothes. That was the reason why they never moved on – they were actually scared to enter the last tunnel and was waiting for us to follow.

On the outside again, the security guard was laughing and laughing as he had followed everything on the monitors, first the two of us getting lost, and then the girls being to scared to enter the wind tunnel. Coming directly from Thailand it is quite a cultural difference being approach to this kind of close body contact with totally strangers. But now we are in Vietnam so it is just to get used to that people will get close and touch you.

Next attraction we wanted to try was a single car rolling coaster – but nope, we were to big (maximum weight 80 kg and he didn’t think we matched that) so mood getting down again. Burt then we found one of the many bumper cars – up and running – and this was fun. Rather big area, and we did what we could to get high speed so we could hit all the Vietnamese youngster. In the beginning they were a bit surprised being hit by us, but after some rounds it was all of them towards the two of us. FUN – but we didn’t manage more than 4-5 times (so little people so when the ride was ready we went out and into the line again and ready for next run).

When we found the weather to hot, wee cool ourselves inside the exhibition hall with ice-sculptures. The young children visiting was very impressive of us going inside without wearing the winter coat supplied. Honestly it was nice for a couple of minutes, but more than 5 minutes we could not be in there. Again, we notice this close body contact with stranger, some of the kids ask if they could take photo of us, but when accepting we didn’t expect having all of them climbing on us!!!!

In one part there was a bird park. We were very impressed how natural the “plastic” stork was, looked almost as it was “alive”, then they started moving and we met one of them on the walk-way. Also a nice and unusual experience

Even if most of the attraction was closed during our visit, we still had a good time, trying the roller coaster (security was just as scary as the run itself) and also had fun in the ghost house, listening to all the scream (yes – I thing they actually were scared for real) but the winner was the unlimited number of bumper car drives, highly recommended – specially after a day of traveling.