Saigon: Sheraton showers and a motorbike tour

There seems to be only one road law in Vietnam: ride on the right side of the road, not the left. Intersections are a fascinating study of physics: one direction has right of way until the other side builds to the point of critical mass and then they surge forward to take right of way… and so it goes, back and forth.

Seeing Saigon's sights by motorbike

Seeing Saigon’s sights by motorbike

You pay for, and expect, top notch when staying at the Sheraton. Saigon’s Sheraton doesn’t disappoint. It’s Starwood four star quality, with friendly staff, good amenities, a handy location in District 1, one block from the Saigon Song (river), an excellent buffet breakfast, and the room has a kick ass shower. I’ve seen some pretty speccy showers on my travels, but this one is an oriental pearler. The overhead waterjet is powerful enough, but there is a second lever that launches two separate, mid-level waterjets laterally to cross in the middle of the cubicle. The shower’s got you, left right and centre. I felt like Yoda, teleported into the middle of a Darth Vader-Darth Maul brawl. There’s no shortage of water in this part of the world.

The next hotel accommodation in this APT package, following a Mekong River cruise, will be at the Siem Reap Sofitel Hotel, in Cambodia. I’ve stayed at many a Sofitel with Accor’s media crew (Cynthia Dammerer, Gaynor Reid to name drop just 2) so I expect it will be good.

This APT package includes an optional motorbike tour of the local tourist sights. Do it. Perched on the back of a scooter with a highly skilled rider who possesses hair trigger reactions, it’s a hoot with a thousand toots. Saigon, like all Asian cities, is overrun by small motorbikes. This country of 100 million people has about  40 million motorbikes. The 75cc to 125cc sizes don’t attract the huge importation tax on bike motorbikes and cars, and costs only about $US400 each.

The daily national road toll for all of Vietnam is 25. That’s sad, but remarkably low given the circumstances. Sensibly, every motorcyclist wears a helmet.  As far as I can tell, there seems to be only one road law in Vietnam: ride on the right side of the road, not the left. Intersections are a fascinating study of physics: one direction has right of way until the other side builds to the point of critical mass and then they surge forward to take right of way… and so it goes, back and forth.

Sai

Saigon Sheraton’s breakfast buffet

This young Public Assistance officer does her bit to reduce Saigon's carbon emissions

This young Public Assistance officer does her bit to reduce Saigon’s carbon emissions

It's Sunday and these tradies are hard at work laying floor and wall tiles. I mentioned Australia's weekend penalty rates. 2 of the blokes fainted...

It’s Sunday and these tradies are hard at work laying floor and wall tiles. I mentioned Australia’s weekend penalty rates. 2 of the blokes fainted…

Vietnam's version of Wilson Carparking

Vietnam’s version of Wilson Carparking

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