“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” - Lao Tzu
Saturday, 30 October 2010
Last day in Saigon
Well today was my last day in Ho Chi Minh City, aka Saigon. What an amazing place it turned out to be. I couldn't imagine I would have gotten so much from it. Thanks Uncle Ho!
I'm not sure how much of my experience was due to the city itself and more importantly its people, and how much was due to my own state of mind when I arrived.
Because of all the preparation and goings-on of things in my own life back in Australia prior to me leaving, I definitely arrived here ready to immerse myself in something new, and that attitude combined with the flexibility of traveling alone with no set itinerary enabled me to be totally spontaneous. Vietnam has exceeded every expectation so far, and I'm also learning a lot about how to travel in a way that suits me better as well.
As far as today went, I went for another final exploration around the city on foot and this time stumbled on the main tourist drag. Wow... I had wondered why I'd seen so few tourists so far and now I know where they all were. It was chaos, and much of the authenticity and charm of Saigon was stripped back to pure commercialism and competition for the tourist dollar. Sadly this is the way of the world, and I better get used to it because I'll be banging up against it time and time again on my travels. But it did make the rest of my stay in Saigon where I managed to avoid places like that all the more special.