Life on the ship is relaxed. There are lectures, time for reading, writing and contemplation, and time to relax in the heat, cool off in the pool and sip a beer while looking out over the sea. The cooks kept themselves amused by making sculptures out of the fruit.
We were not disappointed. There were lots of containers in the container port. I’m becoming an expert on derricks and cranes. We are docked in a commercial dock miles from anywhere so we jumped a taxi and headed off to the city. We have spent the day going around Ho Chi Min City (Sigh gone). In amongst the bustle and grime, the millions of motor cycles and street sellers, there are the remnants of the old beautiful colonial city. It has been knocked about and suffers from neglect and wanton destruction; there are far too many people, too much poverty and too much pollution. It is hot, humid and dirty but the people are friendly. We did our usual walking around, seeing the sights, temples, architectural delights and observing the people. Crossing the road and dodging scooters was interesting even though we had done it before. It still amazes me how whole families all fit on one little moped, how the adults wear helmets but not the kids, the colourful face-masks and shades. Quite unique.
The city is exploding as the population rises – they are planning big expansions but I think the charm is lost in the polluted haze.
It’s the same story the world over – too many people generating poverty and environmental catastrophe.
An interesting place to spend time in though.
Having been here before, we revisited the Post Office and Cathedral but gave the fabulous War Museum a miss. We visited two temples that we missed last time. I find the religious artwork colourful and fascinating, the sacred rocks, pruned trees and flowers have a spiritual pull.
We then strolled through the sculpture park and over to the fish market where live fish are displayed in bowls.
It was fascinating to discover a totally different Hindu Temple in the midst of Saigon.
We went up the tallest building to the Sky View, had a beer and looked out over the expanding expanse. Then we went back to the ship.
As we set off from our wonderful moorings in the Premier Saigon Container Port I was reflecting on the beauty of the surrounds – pylons, silos, derricks, rubbish heaps, wasteland, containers in a variety of colours, oil slicks, muddy brown water, jetsam, flotsam and garbage. Very picturesque.
I try to imagine what it will be like when the population has doubled and the fish have all been gobbled up.
This is how it used to look!
Gonna have an easy day tomorrow – sauna, swimming pool, Jacuzzi and a beer!!
It’s a hard life in this 32 degree heat.
Looming is Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Phuket – it is going to be a busy four days – then we’re heading for India!!
Today is the halfway point!! Still lots of amazing things ahead!