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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Views from Vietnam

To all my Chinese friends around the world, I hope you had an enjoyable New Year. For us the year has started with a bang with a few trips to Asia, the most enjoyable being speaking and visiting in Saigon in Vietnam.
It is one of the countries that I have always wanted to visit. I added some days onto my speaking engagement and decided to explore.
Firstly, I love shopping (especially for gadgets and electronics) and visiting the indoor market was fascinating. I returned with piles of things, 20 beautiful ornate business card holders (which I will now sell on Ebay), wine racks, shirts and plenty more. I then visited the Cu-Chi tunnels where the Vietcong lived and fought the silent war.
There are over 200 miles of tunnels with underground hospitals, shooting ranges, sleeping quarters and virtually enough to hide an army. I decided to go down the tunnels and it was the scariest thing I have done. With my size I had to crawl on all fours in the pitch dark and halfway through had a panic attack. I came out pouring with sweat and shaking like a leaf. To think that people lived down there for years is astounding.
It was also scary to see the weapons of war with the barbed spikes and pits with razor sharp spikes. I also had the opportunity to buy some bullets and shoot an AK47 on the shooting range. This was pretty cool as the last time I used a gun was when I was in the army.
Saigon has the craziest traffic I have seen, thousand of motor cycles, no traffic lights with everyone converging from different directions and managing not to have accidents. ( I was told before I arrived there that if I wanted to cross the road, I should just walk slowly across the road and the traffic would go around me, (and they did). In the afternoon I hired my own boat for $40 and was picked up by a tiny Vietnamese woman who indicated that my transport to the river would be me sitting behind her on a small motor cycle and braving the traffic. Well, when in Rome.
The afternoon was wonderful, just three crew and myself on the boat, cruising the river and drinking beer.
To get over this difficult ordeal I then visited
Phuket. This was my first visit and as expected the service, people, beaches and food was excellent. Take a look at some of the photographs.
Over the years I have spoken in 48 countries, taken time to enjoy the places, people and cultures and captured so much on video and film. I’m currently setting up a website, blog and newsletter of my travels and experiences as well as tips on how to do business and places to see. Let me know if you would be interested in receiving the newsletter which
will be totally different to my normal one. Take a look at the Saigon photos

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