Return to Vietnam - Simon Monk
Watermelon vendor, bus to Hue.

Watermelon vendor, bus to Hue.

Bus travel through Vietnam in 1991 was insane. They were slow and uncomfortable: how slow? Well, when we left Ho Chi Minh City to head up to Nga Trang, the bus departed in the evening, and we rattled along all night. As dawn arrived, I emerged from a doze and asked "Where are we?" "12Km outside Saigon" came the reply. The vehicles were relics from the Americans or French, had no windows and were on their last legs. When they finally stopped working, they were left where they were and then picked to pieces for anything that could be salvaged. But at every stop, the buses were surrounded by vendors, usually kids, full of energy and joy, selling everything from cigarettes to Noodles to watermelons.