Anth in Phnom Penh

Monday, August 07, 2006

HCMC

A month ago I went to Ho Chi Minh City with a group of friends which I didn't blog about. Erik on the other hand did, here is a link to his post

It was a great trip, I hadn't been to Vietnam since 2002. I couldn't tell whether HCMC had changed and become bigger and more developed in the intervening period or whether my perspectives had changed. Probably both. After living in PP, one of the key things that struck me about the Hoch was the parks and the number of wide, green spaces in the inner city to hang out in. One of my nicest moments of the weekend, was picnicking in the park with Erik, Leah, Andrew and the kids and watching Arun's excitement about being able to run around on the grass.

HCMC is a lot bigger than PP, and the traffic was crazy, but in a slightly different way. Things went faster, but were more orderly. I got the impression that vehicles were at least somewhat likely to follow generally understood rules of road law. They certainly stopped at traffic lights too. Another thing that blew me away was how easy it was to get there! The first time I came from HCMC to PP, I seem to remember it taking an extremely long time. The road was terrible and the delay at the border was long. However, these days, leaving on our deluxe bus from PP it takes about 6.5 hours to get to HCMC and the crossing at the shiny, new border was smooth and fast!

I think the big thing about the weekend though was spending some time with my travel mates. Ben and Bec, as always, are a delight to be around and it was great to hang with Erik and Leah before they left Phnom Penh. It was a new experience to be travelling with children. But a fun one (from our perspective, where as soon as tears spring to the eyes, or a nappy needs changing we can hand the child back to its parents). All the best to Erik, Leah, Arun and Nahanni back in Minnesota. We are thinking of you and miss you all.

3 Comments:

  • At 5:46 AM, Blogger andrew_nm_yong said…

    Ok Anth, you were quite brief on your personal viewpoints on 'The Hoch', has it changed from your last visit? Do you still have some reticent ire for the southern city of the Yuen? You're surely not going to turn now and start to love it?! What would your Khmer colleagues think of you? Sorry, I'm just being ludicrous! I no longer harbour any ill will to that city. It's "sa'art", just like that house with the purple roof that looks like something out of a Sonic the Hedgehog arcade game on St 63 near Psar Thmei. Honest!
    - Yonga in Tonga

     
  • At 5:32 AM, Anonymous Erik said…

    Thanks to excessive Australian shyness, humility, or some other syndrome which mysterious has no affect on Americans, I never knew about this blog. But now that I do, I'll be reading it regularly.

    Love from Minnesota

     
  • At 9:28 AM, Blogger Anth said…

    This is true, i was kinda brief Yonga. I was just happy to get a post up after such a long hiatus! I no longer have any remaining resentment for HCMC... It has been a long time since my last trip and I suppose you could say both my perspective and the city itself has changed a lot in that period. Also, I was only there for 3 days this time round. Not to worry though, my Khmer affiliations still hold strong...the several kms between the old border and the new border were duly noted on arrival.

     

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