Ho Chi Minh – The capital of Vietnam was our last city before we left for Cambodia.
From Nha Trang we did two 4 or 5 hour trips with a stop off in Phan Thiet as we were in no rush to leave and wanted to make the most out of having our bikes one last time.
Once we arrived in Ho Chi Minh we decided we had 2 main objectives, number 1- going to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels and number 2- selling our bikes.
We took a few pictures of our bikes and posted them on the Vietnams craigslist and printed of posters to stick up in hostels to try and get our bikes sold as quickly as possible so we could move on. Me, having the newest and most looked after bike had the first call. After a quick check with the young guy who was planning on doing our route backwards, and explaining how my bike had got all the way from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh without any problems and confident that with a little test drive he would buy it, he asked if he could take it for a little spin around the block ‘sure!’ I said as long as he took me on the back so I knew he couldn’t do a runner on me! And just like comedy sketches I had seen thousands of times… my bike failed to start!!! ‘Seriously?! After 6 weeks and 1000 miles, now is when you decide you don’t want to work?!’ Needless to say after a couple of failed attempts at starting the bike the guy decided he didn’t want the bike and I was back to square one.
I asked the young guy that worked at the hotel where the nearest garage was so someone could have a look at my bike. After pushing my bike round to the garage and having a limited English conversation with the guys that worked there, they soon got to work on my bike. 2-3 hours later after watching 4 or 5 guys completely strip my bike to pieces, change parts and refurbish parts they told me my bike was complete, started it up a few times and brought a calculator over to show me how much it would cost (which I was dreading after seeing how much work they had done) the guy typed in the calculator and showed me a figure… 100,000 Vietnamese dong!!!!! That roughly converted to £3!!! Before I let them change my mind I gave them around 200,000 and swiftly went back to the hotel.
With no luck selling our bikes we decided to have a few days of doing things. We knew we wanted to go to the Cu Chi Tunnels but we had been reading up and decided we’d also like to do one the Mekong Delta tours. We found a couple of decent tours and booked up.
The Cu Chi Tunnels tour was amazing! They let you go in to the tunnels to see what the conditions were like. It was sooo cramped and hot down there! They also showed you all the old traps the Vietnamese made to keep the Americans at bay and at the very end of the tour they give you a chance to shoot a few guns for a small price!
The Mekong Delta tour is also a must! You get taken on small rafts around the Mekong delta and stop of at various places along the way for lunch and a bit of sightseeing. There was 4 lads on our raft with a lady that could have been no younger than 70 rowing for us. We felt so sorry for her we gave her a tip of around £5. When we got back to the bay she was flashing her cash and laughing at all the other women who were rowing the boats! They were definitely not impressed!
After a couple of days with no luck of selling our bikes we asked the hotel staff if they hand any advice for us or knew anyone that would want to buy our bikes… their answer being ‘we’ll buy them’… they all went down to the cashpoint, withdrew the cash and came back and bought our bikes! Why didn’t we think of this sooner?!
After another day of wandering around Ho Chi Minh we booked our overnight coach to PHNOM PENH!!!!!!
Accommodation – Budget hostels from £3 ($5) and hotels from £10 ($16)
Food – Meals from around £4 ($7)
Getting around – We mostly walked around but the option for a motorbike taxi is available
Things to do
Cu Chi tunnels – Half day tour with pick up and drop off included costing around £10-15 ($16-24)
Mekong Delta tour – Full day tours with pick up and drop off included around £15-20 ($24-32)
War Remnants Musuem – Entrance fee 70p ($1)
Shoot a real gun! – This can be done at the end of the Cu Chi tunnels for about 70p ($1) a bullet