Sunday February, 28th, 2016
We prepped for our departure before grabbing Veggie Benedicts and coffee at “Angkor Mithona Guesthouse.” A tuk tuk took us to our bus, which would be transporting us across the border into Vietnam. During our ride, Trevor was thoroughly amused by a man taking a poop on the side of the highway. We hadn’t seen people casually pooping in public since India!
When we got to the bus station, we got onboard our bus and began our journey. We watched a kung fu movie with English subtitles called “Memories of a Sword,” which Trevor gave one thumb up. I’m not really into kung fu or action movies, but it wasn’t too bad. Next was the action flick, “San Andreas” which they paused in the middle of so we could utilize the rest stop. When we returned, Trevor started making goofy faces at a cute little girl sitting in front of us on the bus. She responded with some goofy faces of her own and offered to share her candy with us. The next movie was “Jurassic World” which we would sadly never finish because we had reached the Cambodia-Vietnam border.
We got processed in two separate places before we were allowed entry into Vietnam. All went smoothly and we were stoked to have a new stamp put in our passports. A few stops were made to drop off some of the other passengers on board, including the cute little girl, who we waved goodbye to as she shuffled away. Right before reaching our stop in Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, I overheard someone puking on the bus behind us, which was delightful.
Now it was time to track down an ATM to get some new currency (new country), coffee (because coffee), and WiFi (so we could use the GPS), then tried to find “Koniko Backpacker’s Hostel.” Our given GPS coordinates weren’t correct, so we used hand gestures, charades, and the address as it appeared on my device to hopefully locate our hostel. After asking ten or more people, and a lot of confusion later, we’d track it down.
Sweaty and tired, we booked the room for two additional nights, dropped off our laundry, then went out to explore Bui Vien Street which was full of bars and restaurants. A place called “The Donkey Bar” was where we grabbed dinner; Cà ri chay (vegetarian curry with tofu potatoes and carrots) for Trevor and Nám rom dau hu kho to (carmelized mushrooms and tofu in a clay pot with rice) for me.
We window shopped under the many neon signs lighting up the street, then got a couple beers at a place called “Crazy Girl.” A Vietnamese man approached our table from the street and began giving us unwanted shoulder massages. We laughed uncomfortably, telling him “no thank you” through hand gestures with hopes that he would get the point. He clearly didn’t, or rather, he disregarded our rejection, then held out his hand for money. We declined and he was on to his next victim.
It was a noisy night at the hostel. The party outside didn’t stop until 5-6 in the morning. Fortunately for me, I was tired enough to sleep right through it.
Jump Back to Cambodia: Part 14: Bracelets, A Hit-and-Run & Suspenders
Jump Ahead to Vietnam: Part 2: ‘Nam, Funny Laundry & An Awkward Pickpocket Attempt
Start from the Very Beginning at Part 1: Don’t Forget to Pack Your Anxiety