Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


It is a real pity we only spent two nights in Saigon, aka Ho Chi Minh City, as it is even moreso than Hanoi, a real city, and very European. This is the financial powerhouse of Vietnam, and it shows. It is also a treasure trove of sites infamous from more turbulent times, with places like the Rex Hotel (used by the CIA) and the Continental (used by press and Graham Greene in his novel, 'The Quiet American'). To get a little taster we hired cyclos (bicycle rickshaws) and toured the city. It seemed like a harmless jaunt on paper, but cycling through raging traffic with me on front, was almost scarier than the motorbikes of Hue. Nevertheless my cyclist driver, Ou, got me to Notre Dame Cathedral, the GPO, the Reunification Palace, the Opera House, etc. intact, and it was good to see them lit up at night.

I began to feel a little bit of a stomach ache and feared I was coming down with the same thing Phil had, but I have never let that deter me from a good meal, so I joined the others for dinner in the backpacker area. Good or not it took forever to prepare, time I spent chatting to Sabrina. Everyone seems to be a film buff, and she was no exception, so we had a pleasant few hours.


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