February 5th 2019.
Writing to you from Saigon, Vietnam after a month, already.
I stayed in Saigon for 15 days before leaving for the first part of my road trip around Vietnam. I bought myself a motorbike, helmet, a bag for my stuff (my travel roller case is too big for my motorbike) and started my road trip around the south of Vietnam, in the Mekong Delta region and the island of Phu Quoc.
I will split this series in 3 parts. Might be more or less, we’ll see.
Really loved Saigon more then I expected, I am not sure why, must be the food, but this city had something special going on even if there’s not much to do. Anyway after feeling how people drive around here I got myself a motorbike, as planned, to travel the country. I bought a Honda Wave RSX 110cc. Motorbikes are part of the culture here, here’s some panning shots of the locals driving around:
After driving around town for a little bit off I went for my first little road trip to Cu Chi Tunnels, 65km outside of Saigon. Already I could see I would have to be patient on the road, I was driving for about 5 hours for round trip, for a total of 130km, average 30km/h, wow ok.
Here’s a photo of the forest aroun the tunnels, didn’t really take pics in the tunnels, lots of people and we were rushed around the tunnels:
A water well in one of the tunnel rooms:
A farm house on the way back to the city:
A couple days later I visited Ba Thien Hau Temple in the city, pretty cool inside the temple:
The city at sunset:
The tallest building in the city, Landmark 81:
Saigon is very active in the night, here’s some pictures around the city in the night:
Time to leave the city for a little bit, first stop, Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta, I went for a drive around some islands and this is what I saw:
Kids playing “beach” football:
Back in the city for sunset the next day:
The work boats are adapted to the Mekong waterways:
Next day I went on a sampan boat tour in the small canals around the city :
After Ben Tre I decided to go to Can Tho, another city in the Mekong known mostly for it’s floating market, here’s a picture of the downtown area:
The next morning I went to the floating market, very entertaining but not as big as it once was, nowadays you can drive into Can Tho on a bridge, most of the stuff comes in by truck so the market lost a lot of customers and sellers, still a cool place to visit, very nice people to talk to and photograph:
The next day it was time to go to Phu Quoc, the island was once considered the paradise of Vietnam, now it’s overruned by tourists, mostly from Russia for some reason. Drove from Can Tho to Rach Gia, from there I took a ferry, which cost 400 000 dongs for me and my motorbike.
Phu Quoc is really a tourist destination, you don’t see many locals around, none at the beaches except for workers, it’s totally invaded by tourists, resorts and so on. Not my style but still enjoyed it and took some pictures around the island.
In the city center, there’s a beach with a little island that has a shrine on top of it, Dinh Cậu Shrine :
Unfortunately the next two days I was ill with some food poisoning, still went on a visit of Sao Beach on the south of the island, here’s a drone picture:
Here you can see an example of how touristy this place is getting:
The next day I went to Starfish Beach on the north of the island, pretty nice beach with starfishes all around the beach, impressive:
From the sky:
Sunset on the beach:
On the last day I went to the north of the island again, to Gành Dau beach and another place I don’t know the name of, couldn’t find a name on the map, there’s a nice pagoda around there, Đình Nguyễn Trung Trực Pagoda:
Here’s some drone shots from the area:
Happy fisherman at Gành Dau beach:
The next morning I took the ferry from Phu Quoq to Rach Gia at 6am, and drove all the way to Saigon, pretty crazy drive, my ass was hurting on that motorbike seat! But I wanted to be in the city for the Lunar New Year.
That is it for now! I am going up north in 3-4 days and part 2 will ensue!! See ya.