2014.04 Vietnam – Saigon

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5 2014.04 Vietnam - Saigonflagge-vietnam

Vietnam (Vietnamese: Việt Nam, meaning: the South Viet, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Vietnamese: Cong hoà Xã Hội Chu nghĩa Việt Nam) is a long coastal state in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China, Laos, Cambodia, the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea.

The first historically documented Kingdom in the field of today’s Vietnam was in the 1st millennium BC. BC. After that peaceful coexistence between the developed Yueand Han during Trieu Dynasty . 111 BC came the dynasty under the control of Han Chinese province of.. Han Dynasty and remained so – interrupted by brief periods of independence -.. N to 938 AD, when they claimed the Battle of Bạch Đằng River the independence won. This was followed by a golden age of culture, society, economy and politics. In the following centuries Vietnam expanded southward. In the 19th century, the area came gradually as part of French Indochina under French colonial rule. In World War II, Japan occupied the region, in a multi-year war France tried unsuccessfully then restore colonial rule. As a result of the French defeat Vietnam in 1954 in the Communist was North Vietnam (capital Hanoi ) and of the Western powers supported South Vietnam (capital Saigon ) divided. 1976, the two countries were after the Vietnam War reunited under Communist leadership, since 1986 carried out under the đổi mới market reforms, which have not yet led to a significant political liberalization.

Source: Wikipedia

Average age: 25.90 years
life expectancy: Women 74 years; Men 68 years
Population: 92 million
average salary: about $ 1960 / year in Saigon well over twice.


Monday, 04.28. – Sunday, 04/05, Saigon

When I wake up in the morning, we just left the Mekong and go short on the China Sea, close to the coast.

Again, fishing nets, many small boats and ships of all kinds We are heading to a port. Cai Mep Int. Port, near Vung Thau. Some containers are unloaded, my passport checked and then we wait for hours on the handling of customs documents. In two container port container ships have arrived, their customs documents are processed first before us. This can take the ships are in fact large. Therefore we moored a few hundred meters from the quay. At 17:30 we get the „go“ from the customs and I my dinner – a neat bite fish, with Lotus flower stalks. The food is very good.

We still get charged a couple of containers to and it is moored again. The other container terminal is still occupied. Today would tell you more arrive in Saigon. Not bad – the air is good, the sea is calm and in my bunk I can do all kinds of things at rest.
In the morning more containers loaded at night probably had no more desire. In addition we are already two significantly larger vessels (including CHUAN HE, 280 m long, 39.8 m wide, 22.5 knots, 5,446 TEU).

The few containers are quickly on the ship. We drive through small side arms of the Song Nha Be. Right and left deep green, mangrove, dense palms and other pristine forests and swamps. The chirping of birds reached the ship and drowned the engine Enge Grumpy. A few fishing boats and some container ships we pass on the way. The river is quiet and the ride through the lush greenery is beautiful. It is the „Can Gio Mangrove Biosphere Reserve“ that we pass through here. „Circa 40 km southwest of Ho Chi Minh City is the Can Gio mangrove forest. The biosphere reserve is one of the most impressive natural monuments in South Vietnam. The natural island is a wetland with an area of about 75,740 hectares of mangrove forest, more than 150 different plant species and rare species. Crocodiles, monkeys, bats and other wild animals to explore here. „(Source: http://www.entdecke-vietnam.de/nationalparks-in-suedvietnam.php )

We reached after a few hours the main branch of the Nha Be River (directly to Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon Saigon River flows past). Here dominate industry and power lines the image.

Then we reach Saigon New Port. Again the same as in the other ports. We go to the wharf, a few containers are unloaded and then we wait for the processing of customs documents. I have time to enjoy myself at the sign „Kranbau Eberswalde“ and to inspect the numerous signs such as „Safety First“ and „Safety for Life“. It also keep everyone in the workplace – orange protective clothing, hung the simple life jacket over his shoulder and slippers (half closed) …

When everything is finished driving the captain quickly the ship a piece downstream in the middle of the river, it is anchored and then come on the „water taxi“. The captain and I brought ashore. Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) – used both. The men from the ship waving nice goodbye. Your journey continues on Thursday back to Phnom Penh. Every week. Round trip.

In the taxi the captain told then – as we pass through one of the easily flooded roads – that every year the rain starts earlier and the water rises higher. The government also responded – the streets are increased. A disadvantage for residents who can not easily increase your plots.

Housed I’m here First time at a place to stay, I’ve found over couchsurfing.org. Private people the means at your sleep „on the couch“. Or just where there’s room.
Since I had not talked with the hostess, as we go to her house, I assume that we take the bus to her and she assumes that I do not have a lot of luggage. Thus, the arms must all my luggage and me maneuver on the motorcycle through the rush hour traffic in light rain home. From the center, about 15 km south. On the way she told me that her younger sister also lives with her and her brother and partly her father. Arises where everyone’s asleep or I the question. Once home, an approximately 90 m apartment (here costs to purchase approximately 40,000 € as I later learn) is in the living and dining room and the open kitchen a corner for the „Courchsurfer“ separated.With mattress. My home“.

On Wednesday holiday is in Vietnam – on 30 April 1975, the South Vietnamese government surrendered and all the power over to the Communists, units of Vietcong occupied Saigon. The war in Vietnam was over.

The hostess makes a day trip with me. We visit two pagodas, the Ho Chi Minh Museum and a little run through the city. Both pagodas are exceptional. First Phuroc Hai Tu Pagoda ( the oldest in HCMC) – Chinese Buddhism. Then the Chua Lam Pagoda Glac – typical of Vietnam. We live there a Buddhist ceremony at. Read Two monks or wear in front Chanting Buddhist teachings. Few listeners are there and talking eagerly.
In downtown arrived we look at a photo exhibition on the occasion of a holiday at. For the Western reader, the text on the posters are used to or political direction clearly.While we look at the posters, we are approached by a young woman. I had seen her in the corner of her eye with her camera crew. Whether I wanted to do an interview.Since I have reservations before my honest face and the „Press Freedom Index“ know I decline with thanks. I still need a new visa and that I would have liked.
In the evening I discover by chance a page on the Internet, which is completely contrary to the exhibition. The same people who are depicted on the posters in the city as enemies of the Republic, here are the advocates of peace (http://freedomforvietnam.wordpress.com ).

Everyone needs a few traffic experiences around the world. Given the roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Mexico belongs morning rush hour, left drive anywhere and the roundabout in front of the Ben Than Market in Saigon. As my hostess is of the opinion that I permanently too heavy for them would motorcycling, I drive.Respectively it learn. The traffic here surpasses all previously unknown.
So it goes in the Holiday evening rush home. You get used to everything. You get used to it, suddenly to be a part of the coil from motorcycles and cars, which arises in the middle of intersections. Especially if four or more directions all at once go off. Then it takes a bit and the knot dissolves. Basically, the space between the motorcycles at the traffic lights in the lower decimeter. Before then are times to 50-70 bikes and when you turn around again a few hundred. What with us are cars is here replaced by motorcycles. But just fit a lot more on the road.

An insight into the number of motorcycles are the following items – besides still in a fantastic plan:

„The number of motorcycles has exceeded 2020 planning

VietNamNet Bridge – As being planned by the transportation sector, in the next seven years the number of motorcycles in Vietnam will be about 36 million units. However, de latest statistics show did the current number is already more than 37 million.

In the first quarter of this year, over 691,500 motorcycles were registered, bringing the total number of this kind of vehicle in the countryside to more than 37 million, gemäß to latest statistics from the Ministry of Transportation. The decision to adjust the road transportation development plan approved by the Prime Minister one month ago, Identified did by 2020 the countryside will have about 36 million motorcycles.
The government’s so plan Mentioned administrative, economic and technical measures to restrict the increase of motorcycles in Vietnam , Accordingly, motorcycles will be used Mainly in rural areas, where there is no public transport system. While the big cities like HCM City and Hanoi are struggling with the problem-of reducing private vehicles, the number of motorcycles has surpassed the government’s plan for the next seven years just only a month after the plan which approved.
at present, HCM City has more than 5.6 million motorbikes, not to mention more than a million motorcycles Brought into the city by people from other provinces.
According to traffic experts, in the context of poor infrastructure and rapid increase of motorcycles, people in big cities, love especially Ho Chi Minh City, are facing the more severe congestion. “

(Quelle: http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/society/71917/the-number-of-motorcycles-has-exceeded-2020-planning.html , 03.04.2013)

It’s all written. The pure insanity for the western traffic participants. These noise, heat and dust. And of course, two-way traffic in the same lane. And permanently Einbieger from the right, the left generally not perform the shoulder view. Or a couple of plastic pipes that pass one and three meters behind then comes the bike to. Get used one must also still the fact that whole families are traveling on motorcycles. In front of Sohnemann on a Bambusstühlchen (standing in the garage to borrow ready) placed across the thighs of the mother and little sister behind. Dad drives. Gladly also feeding from the feeding bottle while driving. Or sleep. Lying down or standing up. Whether 200 motorcycles losknattern at the traffic lights.

Thursday, the working day here. This day, as well as the next two days I spend with sightseeing, errands, Internet research and all sorts of other things. Evening we will always eat somewhere with the hostess. It is very low. A local food is a couple for a few euros to have. The food is healthy, little sauces, often fresh vegetables. And eat each other, there is something new to discover here some:

·       Firstly, the typical soup with rice noodles and various side dishes such as beef, pork, chicken or shrimp. These fresh vegetables such as mint and unknown. Or instead of rice noodles a kind of very thin Reiscrepe.

·       Soup with gourd and shrimp.

·       For breakfast from the market a kind Soya yoghurt drink with sugar water, ginger and Kokonusmilch.

·       On one of the pagodas there is something sweet – bananas, French beans, cassava / manioc, coconut cream and tapioca (cassava starch) – all in the plastic bag.Nibbled a corner and then the unique blend is enjoyed. Tastes even.

·       A kind semisweet crepe, from the roadside with chili, sausage and all sorts things filled.

·       For breakfast baguette with sausage, chili sauce, cucumbers, tomatoes and a few more ingredients.

For all the love of the understanding and the acceptance of local customs in the form of sharing bed or the large mattress, I refer to a hostel in downtown. Another couch surfing host, from Italy, has arrived yesterday and we shared the mattress for the night.

Sunday drive the hostess, her sister, the Italians and I to Cu Chi Tunnels of Vietcong, about 60km north of Ho Chi Minh City. Another motorcycle ride. After all, here all wear helmet or something similar on the head. Only not the children and almost no child. Immerhim there is a kind oversized stuffed animals, which is designated as the head base on the „dashboard“ that the head of the small is „protected“.

A portion of the former, about 250 km long underground tunnel system has been prepared for the tourists. On three floors (in about three, six and ten meters deep) programs have been created with a height of 80 cm and a width of 60 cm, to spaces of all kinds. More than 20 years has been working on the cave system (from 1946).
The local leaders said that one year and 330 days of bombing have been flown ( “ by the end of the war, 7 million tons of bombs had been dropped on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia – more than twice the amount of bombs dropped on Europe and Asia in World War II. “ ( http://libcom.org/history/1957-1975-the-vietnam-war ). The tunnels were never completely destroyed or occupied. applied to ball. with ventilation system, not findable inputs and much more, making penetration for Unknown impossible.

For tourists the tunnels are widened to 1.20 m and 80 cm width. Once I push myself about 7 m below ground by a ‚typical‘ tunnel. The absolute hell. Then again 30 m under the ground by the tourist version. Amazing how one could live there.Approximately 2/3 of the 18,000 resistance fighters were killed here.

We drive back over land. On the way I am still learning the word for Western foreigners: „Tay ba lo“ – „western people with backpack“. The little sister uses the return trip for the English course and squeezes out all sorts of words from me.

Monday 06 – Saturday, 11.05 Saigon.

Through the holidays working life was paralyzed. Therefore, I could not do much. My visa expires today. Feel good. A little issue back and forth with the „Immigration Head Office“, the remarkably no visa. This can make just a tourist agency. And this can only do that if the proof of my hotel exists with police temple (the police leads kindly a list of all guests, if the ball disappears times, says the hotel owner …). Then a few extra dollars that the whole three and lasts seven days.

The evenings spent with different dinner, often with CouchSurfing hosts that can accommodate anyone. This often happens. Many take the opportunity to connect with travelers in contact and supplement their knowledge of English, knowing that they can not accept anyone. There are even statements that it is not approved by the police.

All meetings are very interesting. There are different people, although all the emerging Vietnam represent, but deal completely different especially with traditions and new matters.

·       Trifles – Facebook can be reached here, if you added an „o“ between the www and facebook. A tip of any IT species – also an IT-wall.

·       It is for women not customary to smoke or drink alcohol (I need to Australia …), at least for some.

·       One of the grandfathers has only long cooperated with the French and then the Americans. Then he has to decide to support the resistance fighters, with the money he had earned decades ago. Man communist or capitalist, Password – Impossible was only after the war remember it. He has fought for years for recognition with the government until sometime a little letter came that he is not a human being „bad“.

·       The one or the other works in the alcohol business. With wine, it is usually important that it is expensive, any flavor. The price counts. And for clubs oodles be ordered to champus – the bottle in the club costs $ 1,000.

·       Ten years ago, was a first in the coffee shop / cafes – a scandal for the family.Meanwhile, this has changed and sit in the cafes today women everywhere.

·       The impression one gets when driving in the city is confirmed. The development is too fast of Equip for many people.

·       And I have rarely been so often heard of the „hard way“ of experience as here – it is proud to have fought the French, the Americans and the Chinese. A tough people in a small country.

·       It is confirmed as evidenced from the Press Freedom Index already – everything is censored. A friend of one of the partners is food reporter and writes articles for newspapers. It appears only fits what. A critical article about the „taking“ of islands by China had to be adjusted (the meantime would be that certainly different, because the mood has changed).

·       A few girlfriends working for the state – who drink always time for coffee …

·       And there is criticism that is written in any of the museums of what atrocities have caused the North Vietnamese. And the oh-so-good Communism has only once confiscated everything after the country wrude freed.

Humans are creatures of habits. So I get used to the Asian faces. There are by now already a few months in the region. If then but the food begins is often the entire Asian beauty by eating volume there. Besides the fact that after eating the interdental spaces are thoroughly cleaned with a toothpick. If everything is done and the table still not cleared, the question arises where to go. take a drink or something. Bars there are few, at least go no where well-behaved young ladies. Alcohol is also rather less drunk. Thus, it is in one of the numerous coffee shops, in the meeting the youth and aspiring young Vietnamese. A strong coffee with ice cubes replaced at this time then a good cocktail.

It is striking that one hardly sees interpersonal contacts in public. In a few young people maybe. But very rarely. Man not embracing, on the scooters summarizes hardly one on. In parting gives me the hostess’s hand.

Enviously as viewed on our way of traveling. Here, apart from the financial one travel to other countries just extremely difficult. A plethora of papers has to be provided, a large sum of money be deposited with the bank and so on. Thailand, Laos and Cambodia can be easily traveled. That’s it with the carefree travel.

It is interesting how economic problems in southern Europe affect travelers. I have some from southern European countries met who have left Europe to come here first time to travel and make ends. At home, she does not think much.

On Friday I go again on the search for a ticket for public transport by ship. First, a freight forwarding or shipping company. After some back and forth a few days it turns out later that they can not help. I think they have despite detail email is not really understood what is at stake. Good English is here often in short supply.
The second visit brings me to another shipping company. Again, no one speaks English. Someone gives me to understand that I should come up with in an office – „President“ is over the door. The „President“ is then very easy and also invites me to sit down. The table is full of whiskey glasses. The man next to me is Captain. All are laidback and listen to my story. A few more come in and apologize on the way out that they are now invited for business dinners. Whiskey tilt empty and then it was the Again, there are unfortunately a few emails not getting ahead -. All ships are traveling.
It is from the interviews also shows how difficult it is to accomplish this with Vietnamese ships. If anything, it would go in vessels that have no Vietnamese flag.

So I’m doing it again detailed visits to pagodas. And thus there is always rides through the city. If you run, it is usually difficult for the driver channels balance twice own body weight.

Meanwhile, I have rented me one of the set of wheels and offer now on „I’ll get you for dinner from“. As you drive up in the city center adjacent neighborhoods, pushes through small streets and is definitely the only Europeans. At the traffic light then is always the common start all motorcycles. As with a car race. Funded and very practical support by the remaining seconds. Mostly it already is at „2“ los.

A few days is still a friend of Bangkok here what assures fun-filled evenings and given me more local contacts.

Saturday there is in the mangroves south of Saigon. My couchsurfing hostess accompanies me. I pick her up at home and after I kindly still get a lunch we head south. By ferry we cross the Saigonfluss. After leading a six- part, partly four-lane road toward mangrove and beach. The infrastructure is here, the vehicles are missing. We are partly alone on the road. Right and Left is placed sump dry. Another reason why the water in the city is increasing every year. Somewhere it has to go, yes.

A walk through a small piece of mangroves. Miraculous animals. Crabs in the brightest of colors and alternating with mud Springer. The mudskippers are amphibious live fish and spend most of their time out of the water (interesting information at:http://www.zeit.de/wissen/umwelt/2012-04/unterschaetztes-tier-schlammspringer ).
Some semi-wild crocodiles as referred to eke out their existence here and wait for feeding.

Then it goes to the beach – the end of the six-lane road. Here a port with ministries and Co. will be built. Overlooking the port of Vung Tau.
My hostel is in the backpacker district. Approximately one to two meters wide streets run through blocks. In between all hotels, small transhipment sites, food stalls – mostly in the „living room“ or in the alley. The complete life takes place on a few square meters here. Egel whether the children are raised, the food prepared, the nails cut or is like everywhere just sitting around. For hours. Every day.

Right next to it there is a party road. Evening all sitting on the floor of the sidewalks.From about 22 o’clock „may“ tables and stool are placed on the sidewalk. Then the police is no longer on the road and it controls none, whether chairs on the sidewalks (in fact, it is forbidden, but the police then falls asleep up …). And while young Vietnamese and drunk backpackers mostly women sell all kinds of things. And at half past twelve in the morning to sell children to the 10 even plastic flowers. Or the little boy who somehow to the 16, acting as a fire-eater and pulls a small snake through the nose and the mouth …

Sunday afternoon then have to be engaged on a street corner just one of the „screwdriver“. On street corners, these are men who offer an array of tools and a small generator to motorcycle customers. It will all be repaired, which can be repaired.
The chain slips through, the members of the gear in the form of waves. No problem – in a few minutes is bought somewhere a new and rapidly everything is replaced.While we will wait if the following wisdom to the best: „The World would be heaven if the chef is French, everything is Organised by Swiss, the boyfriend is Italian, the Policemen are English and the engineering are German.
The World would be bright if the chef is English, the work is organized by Italian, the boyfriend is Swiss, the Engineering are French and the Police is German. “

Weather: 35 – 37 ° C, humidity to 55%


Monday 12 – 19:05, Saigon.

Another week Saigon breaks. Through the holidays and misinformation regarding the visa I have „lost“ one week. But there are worse places to wait. So the now almost third week Saigon begins with a move to another hotel to get the hopeless attempt shoes in size 46 (maximum size is anywhere 44) and the usual visits to the cafes. And waiting for a response of the shipping companies.

By night it is eating. I am invited to the local food. While I still have my message „no problem, I pick you up“ in the ear is a look at the empty tank. To forget. It is already evening and I know gas stations have to. I think the first wrench. This raises a hand in the air and rotates in both directions – „we do not“. The next screwdriver is wanted.Only they also give me to understand that they have no gasoline. I stop because I can not imagine that the men have no petrol. Lo and behold, suddenly the little door is opened under the stall for (certainly legal) butts and a small bottle and a small funnel to emerge. A quick check in all directions – and then fueled fast. Is logically more expensive than in the gas station, but the evening is saved.
There are entrails of the cow (including kidney, stomach, etc.) as a kind of fondue.With fresh vegetables. And a bottle of whiskey. With the second half of the bottle it is still in a karaoke club. Over several floors different large rooms with plush seats and excellent acoustics technology equipped. Given a little light show. And ne cockroach on the wall.
I practice in Vietnamese karaoke. Thanks to the numerous bus tours in Cambodia is the mood of the songs that is similar here known. So is then confirmed to me at the end of the evening or early in the morning that my Vietnamese singing would be better than the English ….

Meanwhile, I’m almost at home here. You know what happens here. Every evening drives the police through the city and looks after illegal stalls and unauthorized street tables. It is always a small truck, on the part already directed by the owner „unapproved“ tables are cashed. The bits with the food tables, are usually carried quickly to the inside.
The ladies of the „Nail Studio“ will not give up and all the poor figures that their tour, the party route are nightly high and make down and face known. The Vietnamese alphabet goes the other way – Motorbike, marijuana, cocaine …

To acidify not quite in the city I take the scooter to Cai Be, in the Mekong Delta.Approximately 100km from Saigon. There is a floating market. A boat trip is another glimpse into life in and on the water.
Then I leave the beaten track and come with a small ferry to Vinh Long island located in the middle of the Mekong. A relatively large island for a river – endlessly lined with fruit trees of all kinds between there small water channels for irrigation.. A real Garden of Eden. And everywhere friendly people.

Otherwise, normal life. Local food, cinema and evening then „birthday parties“ or inaugurations of restaurants. In between there are a beautiful Rooftop Bar with views over the rooftops of Saigon. Here the subject is drinking also handled differently by Alholhol … Few French restaurants – it’s good times to drink a good wine again. Takes always a bit until it has warmed up, comes precisely from the refrigerator. ..
On the trees that are in the driveway, are like us beetle. Sorry, no beetle, but cockroaches. However, they have the same habit as beetle. You fly on everything that is near.

Promise full it is Sunday afternoon at a pool. Imagination and reality differ here again strong. At least a little better air, and rest. A small restaurant with outdoor swimming pool in the area in which live most foreigners.
There is hardly a town in the place where it is really quiet. In the cafes is usually anywhere music, like loud. Meanwhile further attempts for the onward journey to date indicate no success.


The first six months of my trip is over …




Monday, 05.19. – Wednesday, 04/06/2013, Saigon

The third week Saigon breaks. It’s not much, but it can withstand. Good even.

A visit to the police station with a German friend of the friend here locally. They tried a deposit back, which does not repay her a landlord. If you want to complain about the German police have to do here to work with the police to times. It is the third police station, which is already visited. The station near the old apartment strives not – bribed with utmost safety. On Saturday another police station was visited – there sat a policeman in Badeshorts shirtless: „one should not complain, it would, after all Saturday“. Thus, today, another attempt at a parent police station.
At the entrance of the security officers tugs at my pant leg knee-length pants. Only I wonder if he finds the pants great. No, it is a plea for the pant – next time please long.He is very nice and with a laugh and a handshake, he says goodbye me later.
We go to an office across the yard. A woman looks at the documents sent (all already translated and confirmed), then taps a long time again a new document. Absolutely pointless as exactly what is on the other document, is again written. Later please come and pay again – of course without any evidence. In between someone riding his scooter in the half-open office – is getting too hot outside.
It then goes into another office. There are still a few punches and we leave the building with the order to be officially certified all that now. Then, to go to the nearest police station … I jack me off. Enough experience.
I learn that the police deserve here in Saigon in multiples of the actual content to.Those who do not „join in“, thrown out.
So I have one evening then, at least a little, police experience. When crossing an intersection with the bike, I see a policeman, as is often the roadside waiting to be „clients“, waving a flashlight. He can escape I still. The next but I would have to go and so I stop. The light was (apparently) not to. He checks the German driving license (he has it the right way round held) and the loan papers. 150,000 Vietnamese Dong (about 5 €) penalty. It is to be deceptive short that the papers are written down and then made it clear that I should move away quickly. Document? None.

Besides a lot of research work and various activities I’m doing one or the other walk through the city. In areas that are outside of the center. And otherwise sometimes do and enjoy nothing. By night it is then usually eat locally. Really recommendable is duck tongue. already getting used to are chicken cartilage (here is not thrown away) and even further down the scale are goats breast and goat entrails.

The children here are not as happy as in Cambodia. For exhausting the city bustle. And it is probably common that children are beaten at home. In many homes somewhere hangs a floor. Well in schools.

Should be noted, the little drama that offers when paying in restaurants everywhere.The bill comes and the women take part in this. To accurately check what like to take a few minutes. Also often followed by a small discussion with the operator. Everything seems ok the bill is pushed back across the table to the man. Clear division of responsibilities.

Going out is also often a little challenge. One can recognize the faces of western visitors, if something has not worked again with the drink order. Often does anything else. Part another flavor – cold red wine, ice beer, warm Cola – some is a newly sold exactly what is here right now. It is amazing that the whole town of refrigerators is but one somehow rarely gets a really cold drink.
And everyone knows still something. Even with translators while a taxi ride is for continuous discussion. And even when eating the operator know then again much to tell what because that would be best.

„Viet kieu“ is the name for the Vietnamese who have somehow managed to go abroad and far-heeled come back for short or long time. It is clear to see them. And they get the same attention as Western tourists with local women on the bike.

The last two weekends I spend each in Vung Tau on the beach – fresh air and seawater. In Saigon, people must all be sick or be. The air is unbearable. At rush hour times one can taste the gasoline taste truly in the air.
Many Vietnamese go with T-shirt and leisure shorts that women wearing summer clothes into the water. Somehow I fall with my „bathing Lederhosen“ here a little on …
When I wake up on one of the Sundays in the morning at seven o’clock I wonder about the noise on the beach. The beach is full, proppe fully. As to Europe 12pm. Here empties lunchtime this and until the afternoon, the beach fills again. The sun is avoided if possible. There is also a lifeguard. Is also necessary because many can not swim here.
Vung Tau is a very neat and clean town, some with beautifully landscaped plants and waterfronts. There is money from the oil companies that are based here. But here live very many people from fishing. At night, the horizon over the sea is lit up. Fishing boat on fishing boat. What all do when there is no more fish …
After lunch at one of the seafood restaurants I sit down at the water. A woman collects from the rocks screw a. There are fewer become in recent years. She walks with a half-filled bottle of 0,5 l home.

One often looks for the separate identity of the country and the people, if you are traveling in Saigon. There is little between the Plastikstühlchen on the sidewalk and the European flavored restaurants. Will it be better, it is mostly European.
So you sit in coffee shops that look like us and listens to the South American music or French chanson. Evening in the club dance floor, techno and the same songs as anywhere in the world.
But there are also reasons for this – over 150 years of foreign rule have left their mark.And then the „liberation“, which is due one and just now is a permanent balancing act between communism and capitalism.
Consuming triumphs over everything and many an old colonial master, he would come here today, would think we would have had to use before, would have been easier with the Kolonialtum.

In the north everything is supposed to be a little different. Primal. There the people are still warm, friendly, classified by the South Vietnamese sometimes as talkative.Although Hanoi is the capital, it is quiet there and less hectic. There is much to discover and answer in Vietnam. About 50 tribes the country.

People are often confused and very cautious. So frequently discussed over lunch between the workforce, who for now serving the foreigners. Partial then someone comes out of the kitchen or else where, which can speak a little English or dips show in communicating with sign language and pictures.


As I learn Monday morning that the attempts of the German shipping company will bring no results on site at short notice booked the flight to Hong Kong on Wednesday.It makes no sense to wait any longer, also my visa runs out on Thursday.

The last evening. I’m going to a coffee shop last visit another message to the hotel.After I parked my scooter outside the hotel and am just entered the elevator pops a window from the third floor next to the scooter on the asphalt in the small alley.lucky. This would have the stay in Saigon extended a little. I then help even the hotel staff to sweep a little – in particular to avoid that my scooter is pulled through the shards.

It goes in the „snack“ – the name says it all. Except for the Emmentaler, which has become a little seasick otherwise all tasted like home. Including the Paulaner.Herrlich.

A population of 11 million city may be small – behind me I hear a familiar voice. It is the branch manager of the German shipping company. I experience then in addition to the morning run call again in detail that various shipping companies have been tackled but in Vietnam everything is simply difficult. A straightforward „I do fast times“ there are hardly any.

Tuesday morning I return my scooter. If there were, I would I think the Gold Card for 26 days get Dauermiete. Very glad I am that I have survived the entire time unscathed. One sees and hears everything – broken ankle, all sorts of other types of foot injuries and the road while waiting often seen burn injuries on the calves. These come from the exhaust pipes – in the old motorcycles they are not protected and quite hot. Also rides by monsoon – of course if you are at the other end of the city – were survived (the same as watering cans in the jungles of Cambodia).

The last pictures of Saigon showing streets where were my hostels and the „inputs“ in this. Often driven in the first days .. past
and a few impressions from the madness on the streets. I know of no other city in which we see so often tourists who simply photograph only the traffic. Justifiably.

For one’s own memories are a few names: T & R Tavern, Lush, Brome rooftop, chill rooftop, Le Jardin French Bistro, fish in Đường Cu xá Vinh Hoi Street and Cong Quỳnh Street, Barbecue & Beer in Võ Văn Kiệt Street, offal in office nearby and numerous small „restaurants“ in Hofeingängen, on street corners, on the sidewalk and in the narrow streets around the hostel.

Bye, bye, Vietnam.