We boarded the plane from Christchurch to Melbourne at 5.45. We knew the deal with the aeroplane get one, watch movies, get bored - the usual! We were so excited when we figured out that our tickets included breakfast. However plane breakfasts = the worst! Lunch and dinner are generally fine, it's normally some form of hot stew thats really hard to stuff up!
We arrived in Melbourne to do some more waiting before we boarded our flight to Ho Chi Minh! The food was delicious, the movie selection was ok - not great, but there was something to kill the time!
I will never forget flying in to Ho Chi Minh. The clouds were towers of fluff and the city stretched on as far as your eye could see. The wave of heat hit us the second we got off the plane - going from single digit degrees to this muggy, hot was the most amazing feeling!
Getting through customs was a weird and nerve wracking experience! The fact that the customs agents didn't speak English was something I had never come across before, and we had no idea what we actually needed to show them.. Passport and boarding pass? or just passport? That said absolutely nothing to me, but the guy Nick had commented on how handsome he was! AHAHA!
The enormity of what we had just embarked on didn't really hit until we got into the taxi and into the traffic... It was chaos! Organised chaos to the locals, but to us it just looked like there were no road rules at all. The amount of scooters so insane, but what was weirder was people ridding scooters "side saddle" and carrying huge things on their scooters.
We got to our hotel in one piece, it was down a small alley way and we had our first road crossing experience. The major key was to walk at a steady pace and avoid cars. The hotel was nothing flash and our view was the wall of another building. By the time we were settled and set out to explore it was dark. There were people everywhere and large rats! After being awake for so long and having never experienced anything like this in my life (Nick has been to Nepal so he understood more than I did!) I was so overwhelmed. Even having to brush your teeth with bottled water was overwhelming, let alone the fact that there was so much that could make you sick!
After a toss and turn kinda sleep (the air conditioning just turned off and wouldn't turn on again #asiaproblems) we were up for our only full day in Ho Chi Minh. We both woke up at 4am, with the 5 hour difference meaning it was 9am at home, so had breakfast and were out of the hotel by 7.30am. We hadn't had our cameras out at all at this point, mainly because our carryon bags were so full of stuff!
There wasn't much we wanted to do in Ho Chi Minh, hence the lack of time here, but there was a temple we wanted to see that was a few kms from where we were staying. Feeling like I was about to be overwhelmed again I got out the camera and everything else seemed to melt away and I had something else to focus on. The heat was unreal and we mowed through a lot of water. We overshot the first time round, and found the temple down a small alleyway. It was a pink structure with the most beautiful twisty trees. We saw cats, and it was hard not to want to touch them! There was a pool with so many turtles in it! We found out near the end of our trip that turtles were one of Vietnam's sacred animals, due to the fact that they live so long!
We walked back and there so many people around, at 7.30 it was a lot quieter! We stocked up on water and snacks for the bus ride to Da Lat that we were due to get on the next day...
We found the most amazing place that served Pho, all different types! We got beef brisket and what we didn't know at the time was that this would be the best Pho all trip! We managed to barter a pair of sunglasses down to around $4NZD and then proceeded to walk around the streets taking in a bit more of the city.
We found this American style burger place for dinner that was run by and American-Vietnamese guy called Chuck, and it was awesome! They had a jasmine infused beer and the most delicious burgers! They also had a funny set of rules on the wall:
So thats the first place we were in Vietnam and how we got there, planning on blogging a new place every week. In The next piece you can read all about our first 8 hour bus ride!
We have a mix of unedited iPhone photos, iPhone videos and videos + pictures shot on our Canon 50D and our Canon 5D Mark 3!