For details of the places I visited in Vietnam along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, with GPS Coordinates, see my book Vietnam Caves.
For details on motorbiking in Vietnam and Cambodia, from buying and selling a motorbike, to border crossing, see my book Motorbiking Cambodia & Vietnam.
Having arrived early the morning off the train from Hanoi. I walk the 2 1/2 km to the hotel I stayed in when I first visited Saigon. Last time when I stayed at the Backpacker Club, they wanted $15 a night. Knowing that it is always cheaper booking online, I told them then that the online price was $12. They then agreed to drop the walk in price and let me stay for $12 a night including breakfast. (Tip, walkin prices are almost always higher than booking online due to you already being in the place and less likely to walk out. I have actually negotiated hotels down in price by showing them the online booking price and told them frankly if they do not give me the same deal I will just make a booking now online, even when I had no internet connection. The online bookings was a screencap picture I took when I had internet.)
So I got the same deal again, and the same room, 5th floor. Suits me as it is quieter. All I wanted to do at this point was get a shower. It’s been about 52 hours or more since I last showered, mmm, I normally take two a day.
Get to my room, and there are no toiletries. Good thing I took the unused small soap and hair shampoo from the previous hotel. The hair shampoo is one of those small sample hair shampoo packages, that either leaks in your suitcase, or is bomb proof in opening. It has a picture of a girl with long black hair on the front, and writing I do not understand.
Struggle as I may, I just cannot get the package ripped open. In the end, I bite on the edged and tear a piece off, almost ripping my tooth out. It is funny that this package is made by Unilever, a company I used to work for, years back in my IT days. The shampoo tastes crap, but hey, I got it open. I squeeze the contents of the package in my hand, and look worrying at it. It is pitch black with some silver traces in. Is this shampoo or hair dye, or shampoo with hair dye in? I decide that o well, if it is dye, then I am just going to have black hair for a while.
The shampoo does color my hair a bit darker, but does not change it black, nor do I get the long hair shown on the packaging, mmmm, false advertising.
I get a few hours rest, then go and find Simon from Saigon minks. My bike is supposed to arrive today, but i have decided i will go to the train station tomorrow to check myself. I find Simon at the Mexican restaurant he loves to hang out, and i squeeze some more information from him for my book. The time flies, and soon it is bed time.