Last night after arriving the 6-hour bus trip from Phnom Penh to Saigon, we checked out the local salsa club per Nick's request. We ended up hanging out with the salsa group and going to dinner with them. They took us to a seafood restaurant where we had some amazing food. They ordered three different kind of snails, some clams, scallaps, noodles, and some other delicious food. Definitely our best meal yet. We ended up picking up the tab. For 13 people, food and drinks, it cost us 1,000,000 Dong! Nick couldn't count all the zeros up, so he just paid the bill. Fortunately, that amount is approximately $50. Not bad.
We had a little twist in our "plans" today. We got up fairly early looking a little staggard. After breakfast, we went out to get our motorcycles. Unfortunately, our motorbike connection in HCMC turned out to be a moped connection. After some scrambling and some research, we basically figured out that they do not rent anything more than 125 cc moped. So we went out to talk to a travel agency, this led to us talking to a moto driver, which led us to get into this situation:
The moto's took us to District 7, in search of a "good" moped to buy for our trip. We all tested a moped out and bargained a bit. The deal was $380 per bike and they'd buy it back when we return for $360. Needless to say, we were pretty damn close to becoming moped owners in Vietnam. Last minute though, we decided that the situation was too sketchy and we'd come back later after we talked to some more people.
After some debate, we ended up renting three moped's for $60 for the week. While these are nice, its kind of deflating to go from our Honda Baja Dual Sports to these dinky things, but they will do.
In HCMC, we checked out the war museum, which was pretty amazing. Lots of really cool photos, info, and weapons. Here is a pic of Charlie at the museum:
HCMC is a crazy place. Very crazy. Its beyond any other city I've ever been to before. Oddly enought though, it kind of reminds me of Las Vegas in the sense that if you stay there for two days ,its just the right amount of time, but if you stay longer you want to get the heck out of there. Additionally, in Vegas you hear the constant sound of "ding ding ding ding ding" from the slot machines. Here it is "honk honk" or "honk honk honk" or sometimes if the moto's or taxi's palms are sore from hitting the horn, they just go "honk".
Tomorrow, we're getting on our "motorcycles" and heading to Mui Ne for some beach action. We'll make sure to think of everyone back in Seattle while we're laying on the beach or bobbing in the ocean, soaking up the 85 degree weather.