I just finished a 30 day stint in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietman. It’s the most high energy city I’ve ever been to. The coffee is rocket fuel over here, one cup of that Da Lat grown goodness and your fatigued,  jaded state is gone. The bikes are also a big part of it. In Bangkok there are more bikes on the road than there are cars. In Saigon it feels like the ratio might be 50:1. Just watching the traffic is a sight to see here. Bikes constantly wriggling past each other, so many bike horns beeping in such a big crowds of bikes that it would be seemingly impossible for any driver to detect which bikes are actually making the sound and who the warning beep was directed at. And bikes don’t stop. Even at zebra crossings. Pedestrians just have to eyeball the walk from one side of the road to the other.  So I definitely recommend doubling up on the coffee, you can never be too careful! 

HCMC is without question the dirtiest city I’ve ever been to. There’s loose garbage lying around in the streets on a scale that simply would never be seen in any big city in the developed world. Every city I’ve ever been to would beat HCMC for cleanliness, but very few big cities in the west could rival HCMC for it’s charm. Despite it’s undisguised garbage problem, it’s abundance of nice parks, street food stalls and friendly, welcoming locals will keep drawing you back outside to explore. This was my third time in Ho Chi Minh, and I still have received nothing but warmth and kindness from the Vietnamese people, which is strange because while I’m in Thailand I am constantly being told by expats and fellow travelers alike about how apparently dangerous it is and how unsafe they felt in Vietman compared to Thailand. I certainly won’t ever be telling people that whenever they ask me about Vietnam.  

It was another successful trip with regards to comedy. I got on plenty of mics throughout the city and caught up with familiar faces in the process. The comedy scene and opportunity is not as big or great as in Bangkok. There is no 7-nights-a-week comedy show here (yet) and the shows that are available are usually a little bit stricter with time allotment.  Still, it’s a pleasure to come there and get involved with the scene. The comedy community in HCMC is very tight, and there is some serious talent here as well. It’s also really great to have someone with an interest in photography and a very good camera showing up to almost every show in town take pictures of the performers. 

Photo taken by @orange.odyssey

Last gig of the trip. 

All smiles before we die on stage!

Overall, a very pleasant trip that validates my decision to keep returning to Vietnam on my Visa runs from Thailand, rather than visit one of the neighboring south east Asian counties that I’ve never been to. A small regret I have is that I did absolutely no  touristy things, despite being there for a whole month! Will definitely make sure I check out some of their main tourist attractions when I return to the city in Febrauary. In the meantime, while in up in Hanoi I will be making sure I spend more time actually seeing the city, instead of just going out to eat, hit the gym or do comedy, and spend the rest of my time inside my airbnb, writing jokes or grinding online poker. 

 

 

Best wishes, 

 

PG Craig

 

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