Thursday, July 8, 2010

Saigon, Vietnam

I've been here for a couple of days now but don't have much to report. Severe exhaustion struck me again while I was in Phnom Penh. I don't know if it's the dengue fever or heat exhaustion or a combination of both but I felt so tired in PP that I just rested in my hotel and saw almost nothing of the city.

Two days ago, I caught a bus that went through the border from Cambodia to Vietnam. My hotel had arranged a Vietnam visa for me but the formalities at the border took nearly two hours but once in Vietnam it was only a couple of hours to Saigon. My cousin and her family live here and so I'm staying with them and resting up. The first night here, I slept for over twelve hours and still felt tired the next day. Today I can feel I'm getting back to normal so I might try to explore some of Saigon but only very lightly.

I'm going to book a ticket today on the train that runs from Saigon to Hanoi, a train sometimes known as the 'Reunification Express'. It takes 30 hours and I will probably do it in one go leaving tomorrow since I have to hurry to get to Beijing by the beginning of August. Hanoi is a very hot and humid place. Yesterday the temperature was 38 degrees there and sometimes it gets into the 40s. I think I will probably not venture out much and rest up some more in an air-conditioned hotel.

Update: all the trains were booked up for the next four days so I've booked a sleeper on a bus instead. I never knew there were buses with sleepers. Not sure how comfortable it will be, but I guess I can always hop off if its terrible, stay in a hotel, and then get on another bus. Its about the same speed as the train, taking 34 hours from Saigon in the south to Hanoi in the north.


  1. Isn't it called Ho Chi Minh City?

  2. Officially it is called Ho Chi Minh City but everyone here still calls it Saigon. Sometimes 'Saigon' seems to refer to the inner city while HCMC refers to the greater city with the suburbs included.