To tell the truth, I didn’t like Saigon at first. I got ripped off by the taxi driver from the airport to my hotel. He charged me $30 while the receptionist told me it should take just $10. It took me 20 minutes to cross the streets here under the crazy heat. And my camera was stolen 5 minutes after I left the hotel for a walk-to-explore-around. OMG, I didn’t have the mood for anything else here and I was feeling annoyed at Saigon. Those were enough experiences for the first day here.
I took one tour here with the thinking that this would make my day faster and easier. Thanh - the driver came and collected me at the hotel. His bike looked a bit weird to me but it was fun getting on and off. The first impression was good as he was friendly and asked me to put my bag into the box behind the bike for safety. We began the tour with me not wanting to speak but he just kept telling about the city all the time like the first Starbucks, the tallest building, Banthanh market, no McDonalds here until next year and bla bla bla. Then he made me speak by asking me questions and we started to joke around on the way. We also stopped for local drinks and meal, which were very delicious.
I told him about my first day in Saigon. He was not happy to hear but we just continued the tour anyway. The tour finished with me feeling different (in a better way) about Saigon and Vietnamese people. But what made me really moved and warm was that Thanh suggested taking me to the police station with the hope they could get my camera back. I couldn’t refuse his kindness. We were there for another 45 minutes and he did all the translations, interpretation and paper work between me and the police. And they said they’d contact me if they found it.
I didn’t have it back anyway, Thanh (and I was pretty sure about this the time I lost it). But HOW KIND were you and thank you so much for trying to help me, Thanh! There is no word that can express my appreciation to you. You had changed my mind completely. Now I love Saigon and I want to come back someday.
I definitely, highly recommend Saigon on Bikes to everyone. The riding on the bike is fun. Food and drinks are also good. Guides are nice and communicate well. Finest service ever!!!
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