Boston 4:45AM Eastern Standard Time, Wednesday February 16, 2011 – As I walked out of hotel onto Dalton Street, the city had a strange chill to it. Yes it was cold, very cold but it was the lack of people that sent a shiver up the back of my neck. All the regulars who make up the insane predictable madness we call Boston were gone along with the traffic, which made for a short and uneventful taxi ride though the city, to Logan.
31 hours 15 minutes I am in a completely different world that is defiantly not cold or lacking for people and traffic – Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon, HCNC or HCM – I have arrived, should somebody wake Ho Chi Minh?
Ho Chi Mhi City In Vietnamese: Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh
Saigon In Vietnamese: Sài Gòn
By any name it’s the largest city in Vietnam and the former capital of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). Let’ start by clear up the naming question around the city. Based on my limited knowledge and my investigative skills that included my time in the security line (another post all to itself – Did you know Porn was not allowed in a communist country), not so short taxi ride and a few misc. conversation, I have confirmed my understand of name. Following the fall of Saigon in 1975, Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City. However the old Saigon name is still used by both Vietnamese and foreigners, especially when referring to the most central part of the city, to which I currently find myself.
Now after a flight that I substantially napped though, I have to go to sleep yet again. Before hitting the medication and my pillow and an actual bed, I would like to talk about the food on Japan Airlines. At first, when my tray of “goodie” was delivered to me by two very nice young flight attendants the only thing I could recognize was the greens, but then after a little investigation and tasting , I found the main course was a bed of sweat rice, covered with a beef mixture and top off a soft-boiled egg in the middle . The other dish was made up of pasta, smoked salmon and something else that was some kind like pickled seafood, and yes the salad.
Tomorrow morning the plan is to figure out what the heck (see mom, I keep it clean so you can show Aunt Callie –but no future promises) I am actual going to do and when. I have lots of idea but nothing confirmed, no reservation or plans. I know I will spend some sometime in the city for sure, but also outside the city at places like the Cu Chi Tunnels and in and around the Mekong Delta. It’s the Mekong Delta part of the trip that has caused me not to pre-book any trains, flights or hotels simply because I do not know how much time I want to spend on the Mekong and think I will like the freedom. I met a guy on this flight who said he could not get a flight tomorrow to Nha Trang – all sold out, this could be interesting…
Let the adventure begin!
Travel Tip 1: Scan a copy of all your import document. Then e-mail them to yourself and maybe a friend! This way you can always have access to them via the internet if they are lost or stolen! Before e-mail, I would keep a copy with someone who could fax them, but the internet is open 7 x 24 x 365.242199.