Seas of Scooters

There are about 9 million people in the city of Saigon and about 3 millions scooters.  You do the math!!  That’s a lot of scooters.  Now, try crossing the street in this sea of scooters where pedestrians are the lowest part of the totem pole in Vietnam traffic.  Real-life frogger!!

Ho Chi Minh City is the official name but everyone calls the city Saigon.  We said good-bye to our Cambodian tour leader, Poleak, and picked up a new Vietnamese tour leader, Son, and two tour-leaders-in-training, Phat and Dung (pronounced Doond and not how you think!!).  The highlights of Saigon were outside the actual city- the Cu Chi Tunnels and the Mekong Delta.  My dad would like the Cu Chi Tunnels visit because it had a lot of war history.  Learning about the “American War” from a Vietnamese perspective has been interesting.  The Vietnamese are very proud that they beat the “imperialist Americans and their lackeys.”  Vietnam has been fighting for it’s independence for many years beginning with the French.

The Mekong Delta was a highlight as well.  We got to don pointy hats while being rowed in a rowboat, taste tasty coconut candy, and ride through country-side villages.  It wouldn’t be the quintessential Vietnam experience without rain!  And it did not disappoint.  Luckily, the tour company had ponchos for us.

Prepare to be jealous ladies!!  I’m now in Hoi An… the custom-made clothes capital of Vietnam, where since I’m doing really good with my budget in SE Asia I decided to splurge a little.  I got a tailored-made wool-cashmere suit made in less than 24 hours for $105!  It fits perfectly!  And because I couldn’t resist the incredible coats, I went to another store and got 3 wool coats custom-made for $120 total (for all 3!!).  It’s so hard to find coats that will button up on me properly.  I also got a pair of custom leather shoes for $20.  It’s a shoppers paradise!  There are around 400 custom shops in a one square kilometer area and everything can be made is less than 24 hours.  Hoi An is a highlight of Vietnam and is a stop on the cruise ship circuit (and you can tell when the cruise ships come in).  All this shopping and fittings has made me want to get pampered at the spa.  One hour facial including scalp, hand, and shoulder massage for $15- yep, that’s what I’m doing next.

Tomorrow, we leave for the imperial city of Hue (pronounced “way”) and then after that… Hanoi and Halong Bay.  I’m really looking forward to Halong Bay.  It’s a good thing we’re leaving Hoi An tomorrow because I’m might be tempted to get more clothes made.

Until next time…


6 Responses to “Seas of Scooters”

  1. 1 Margaret L. September 15, 2008 at 6:58 am

    Way to go Stacy – you’re right – I’m soooo jealous of all those made to measure clothes and shoes – can’t wait to see you model them. Sounds like you’re having a wonderful tour of ‘Naam’ – watch out for those scooters!!! Take care, M.

  2. 2 Meaghann September 15, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Now how are you supposed to fit those in your little back pack?? Or did you bring another one along??

  3. 3 Kathy September 15, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    I want the new suit……damn such a deal.

  4. 4 Enlight September 16, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Hi Stacy, thanks for your comment on my blog. I just read your experience in Egypt. Nice travels you’re having, I did subscribe to your blog.

    I will be traveling Vietnam once I get to the East.

  5. 5 Amy September 17, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Did you happen to pick up any amternity coats for me??? I am bigger than a house!!! Can’t wait to see you

  6. 6 mandy September 18, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    ok, i am going to plan a vacation JUST to get tailor made clothes for cheap! thanks for the tip! haha, we get to see you soon, right? RIGHT??

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Stacy is in West Virginia and totally amazed by the power of Math. (Nerd, I know!)


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