Steamy Saigon II – some salutary lessons

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A free day in Saigon….

Had a good sleep and had a yummy pho brekky. We made our way to independence palace, a shining example of “70s architecture. Then we got into a marked, metered taxi. The drover spoke English and seemed keen to show us around, stating that his other job was as a tourguide. He showed us the sights of cholon (China town). I began to get apprehensive when the meter read 500000 dong (AUD 50) but in my naivete thought it was a mistake. After he dropped us off, he quoted us 1000000 dong (AUD 100 for about 10-12km in travel). We told him no and all of a sudden his brilliant english escaped him. He said his boss would get angry, and I offered to have a “chat” with his boss (angry transcends language). Mr Sassy gave him 400000 dong – we were stil ripped off…..

We then went to the big market and got dragged into stalls; occasionally it was necessary to prise the stallholders fingers off my ar. we practiced  our haggling skills and bought some great chrissy pressies. I bought a pretty “louis vuitton” handbag…They even put a certificate of authenticity inside! I was probably charged an exorbitant amount but what the hey. On the whole it has been a cheap holiday.

Good cuisine, manhandling, getting ripped off, risking serious injury crossing the road – all part of the charm of Saigon! 🙂

Tomorrow we are on Vietnam war overload – Cu Chi tunnels and War remnants museum.

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