Imade it to Saigon this afternoon after another lovely bus trip in Vietnam, running people off the road, passing rigs on the right, the usual.

There are two Vietnams. There’s Saigon, then there’s the rest of the country. This city feels much more modern than the rest of the country by a wide margin. I had no wifi in Mui Ne, where I was previous to Saigon. That’s why I haven’t posted in a while. I think I have 8 choices of wifi from where I’m sitting right now writing this blog in Saigon.

Mui Ne certainly has its charm as a beach resort town. Also has its challenges. The other day I biked about 20 km to a very remote fishing village up the coast. I don’t think they get many white boys in that area. There were a lot of surprised stares. I eventually ended up on a very isolated stretch of beach where they bring the fish in from their little boats. Most of the catch looked like sardines. They had the little fish drying in the sun everywhere. I had a lemon drink with three old Vietnamese women who had set up a makeshift shack on the beach. Nice enough way to spend an hour. Chatting in very broken English with these three ladies.

As I was walking my bike back up the final stretch of road to the beach an absolutely massive snake startled the beJesus out of me. The Vietnamese say ‘No more soul!’ when they’re that startled. In this case they are not more afraid of you than you are of them. It’s the first time in a very long while that my pulse actually went up based on something happening around me. This thing could literally swallow my leg. He slithered away and I continued up the road, much more aware of my surroundings. The place I stayed at in Mui Ne had palm tree leaves for a roof. It’s not wonderful to open the bathroom door in the morning and go okay, new record, THAT! is the biggest insect I have ever seen in my life. I saw a few millipedes that I’m sure would make you dizzy if they bit you as well. It gets old after a while, all the remote, tropical stuff.

Saigon certainly doesn’t give the initial impression of having to dodge large snakes or poisonous insects. Although I’ve heard the city gets pretty slimy after dark.