Saigon—off the bike

The wheels have stopped rolling and changing scenery has slowed down. Our final week has been spent passing away time like we have an infinite supply. Shopping for practical items— towels, flip flops, chopsticks, shirts, a rain poncho. We are unsure what sort of tourist-on-foot activity to commit to, that will sufficiently punctuate the tail end of what has been more of an adventure than a vacation. Maybe it’s best we stick to what makes us happiest—exploring around the next corner, discovering hidden alleyways, seeing mundane daily life which to us, is anything but.

We took a double decker open air bus trip around the city at night, the evening breeze a welcome reprieve from the stifling daytime heat. As the bus passed under trees, and alongside structures close enough to de-limb reckless passengers wantonly hanging arms out, we marvelled at how much onus is on individuals to self-regulate for their own personal safety. Use your heads, people. Apply common sense.

It’s a noisy place. All of Vietnam is. If it’s not horns honking, it’s people yelling (albeit jovially). Should you find a quiet little spot to sip a cool drink they’ll crank up the music before you are done. Karaoke is everywhere. Loud, booming, uninvitedly reverberating into the depths of  your consciousness. Volume perhaps sufficient to pentrate hearing damage likely acquired from a lifetime of horn-honking. More than a few convenience stores have mega-sized speakers situated outside the entranceway, attempting to break one’s sound/sanity barrier. Occasionally while walking the street we become aware of a moment of peace. Tranquility. Only to be interrupted by a guy sauntering, singing into a microphone and blaring it to the world. We are grateful for our shielded, hidden away hotel room to which we can escape.

The relentless vendors! Holy shmoly! We now employ a modus operandi while dining—wear sunglasses (do not make eye contact). Look the other way (ignore). Say “No” (firmly). Never “No thank-you” (it invites negotiation.) Don’t smile. And when they stand in front of your dinner table trying to attract our attention….keep staring at that bird in the tree. The moment will pass.

Randy’s son Ben who resides in Osaka has joined us for a few days. With the natural energy and enthusiasm of youth, we’ll rely on his first-hand experiences to report on Saigon nightlife, which is sure to be lively.


Posted in Uncategorized, Vietnam 2024.


  1. You truly have a gift with words Anita. You transported Pam and I back to HCMC with your vivid descriptions that we left 13 days ago. We recognize many spots in your photos, certainly a vibrant city. We’ve been home 3 full days and are still fighting jet lag. It seems worse on the way home! I’m sure you are both looking forward to getting home, even though part of you doesn’t want the adventure to end. You both are truly brave adventurers and we have thoroughly enjoyed following along. Have a safe trip home and take a well deserved rest.

  2. Wow what an experience you have in your memory banks now. Your pictures and way with words puts me into the moment.
    Amazes me what they can carry on those bike and the weight they must balance. Muzzled dogs yikes.
    The city certainly looks vibrant with all the lights and glory. But I know you would have seen the not so pretty sections too. You will be happy to listen to the sounds of silence in your back yard with the odd tweet tweet of birdies and reflect on a world that is very different. Not better or worse, just different. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

    • Deana, you hit the nail on the head. It’s neither better nor worse, it’s just different. It’s the differences that call out to us, and inspire us to turn over as many stones as we can. Sometimes we find treasure, other times it comes up empty. But when it’s all put together into one big adventure the reward for us is priceless. Ironically it’s the “not so pretty” moments that make the shiny ones glorious. And we wouldn’t want it any other way.

  3. We still marvel every day at your indomitable spirits and can’t begin to imagine where your next adventure will take you! Continue to enjoy your time especially with Ben and we wish you safe travels and much relaxation when you get home. A very happy Easter from us both, Adrienne & Rita Mary 🐣🐥🐇♥️

    • Thank you so much Rita Mary and Adrienne. Yes, the relaxation begins when we get home. We appreciate your coming along in spirit on our journey. As long as good health and life circumstances permit, we’ll continue to find new adventures to share. 🙂

  4. This is a fantastic trip. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!!! Where will you go next???? Enjoying life!!!

Comments are closed.