I’m in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. I arrived yesterday, 35 minutes after midnight, and I’m leaving the city tomorrow afternoon.
It’s my first time in Vietnam and so far, I’m loving it. I’m loving the food an awful lot, though I seem to be the only one not enamored with the ban mi (baguette sandwich).
I love walking around Saigon. Admittedly, I had great trepidations about going to Vietnam after reading about how crazy the motorcycle traffic is. Crossing the street is not my strong suit, and the prospect walking in a city swarming with it is just too much.
Still I ventured out of my room and out into the streets of Ho Chi Minh. I was so glad I did because HCMC is a lovely, walkable city, crazy motorcycles notwithstanding. The city (the parts I’ve walked through anyway) is surprisingly green. Trees line the streets and there’s a number of public parks where you can sit down and rest after all that walking.
Of course, the hurdles come with every intersection. While there are zebra crossings in most streets, the motorists will not stop for the pedestrians unless there’s someone directing the traffic. Traffic lights help make the crossing easier, though only for a little bit — a red light doesn’t necessarily mean that the motorcycles will stop. Most will, but you can count on a handful making a turn as soon as there’s a break in the traffic.
The freaky thing is, it all seem normal. Yesterday, while crossing a big intersection, in the midst of a sea of motorcycles flowing in one direction, there’s a few caught in the middle, slowly inching their way through. Crossing the streets of Saigon is pretty much the same ordeal — wait for a break in the traffic and just walk. Be mindful of the oncoming traffic, but don’t be scared. These drivers are used to pedestrians. They will not stop to let you pass, but they will avoid you so just keep walking forward.
And that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to keep moving to overcome this blog slump. I’m sure you noticed I’ve been remiss with my blogging duties. I’ve been feeling uninspired lately and just can’t bring myself to write or create anything. I had every intention of doing my usual daily recap for this trip, but I thought it’d be best if I give myself a break and try to write little by little, take more pictures and heck, draw even though I don’t know how.
I do however, update my social networks more frequently. Pictures are already uploaded in my Vietnam set on flickr, and I’ve been posting updates on my Twitter and the Just Wandering page on Facebook. If you’re looking for trip updates, just follow me in any of those pages 🙂