Phnom Penh to Saigon

Travel around about’s these parts is not too much of a problem as long as you happen to be on the biggest thing on the road. Other than that it’s a bit of a lottery, people will ride motorbikes the wrong way up the stream of traffic, pedestrians dance across the road with surprising confidence and most people get where they are going.

I paid $17 for a ticket all the way to Saigon, I was given an alarm call by the hotel staff and nipped onto the 8am bus. We stopped in one of those roadside eateries for lunch where all you can do is point at buckets of delicious looking food and recieve some welcome surprise, but by early afternoon we were in Saigon already, looking for a hotel.

The first hotel I found that said it had an internet connection was speaking with forked tongue. I had a shower then tried to connect but not a sausage, so I packed my bag up and went up the road to yet another expensive hotel, so right now I’m tapping away in a room built to house a family in semi luxury – they even have two packets of smokes on the table neatly balancing in an ash tray.

My first impressions of Saigon – and I have only taken a walk around the block and eaten – is that it is a very busy colourful S.E.Asian city that I could grow to like a lot. The food seems to be the best in the region and people are full of energy. I had a run in with one feller though as, to get my financial radar adjusted, I ask a few people what prices things are, then compare with other places for similar things. So to this end I asked about the price of a book, which he then ran up the road after me making the price smaller and smaller until, frothing at the mouth, he stated that ‘foreigner want everythign for bleedin’ dollar’.

The internet connection I have here in my room seems to be as fast as back home in London. Cambodia could be slow sometimes because they tend to pay for bandwidth a lot more than here, so only the better internet cafes had fast connections, I get the feeling that from here on in things will be pretty much up to European speeds.

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