This will be the first post in a looooong time not talking about hiking. I am for work in Vietnam for 2 weeks, and what better occasion to do some foreign geocaching?
There are not many caches in the city (5 of them in total), but I will go in as much detail as I can for each of them (no, unfortunately I did not log all of them!)
The first day I was actually able to go for a walk in the center of the city (Saturday) I decided to go for the Saigon Soul pair of caches.
The main issue I found are the smuggler: there are really a ton of people walking on the sideways and riding motorcycle everywhere, so it’s not easy to not be spotted while searching.
Saigon Soul I was pretty easy to spot, and I was able to gather it without much effort.
Saigon Soul II required me a bit of time to be found, because I could not search for it with all the effort I wanted, due the huge amount of people in the surroundings.
Near this GZ, however, I found a bench with a look on the river, probably the most refreshing moments in all the days passed in the hotness of the city.
Song Sai Gon River
I tried to log the third cache of the day, Saigon Turtle Lake, but once I arrived the number of smuggler was uncountable. I think I understood where the cache was hidden, but there was NO WAY for me to search without arising suspicions on the people around. And since my english was not very understood here it would have been really difficult to explain what I was doing!
The cache was in the platform at the top of the stairs… too many people to search!
The following day I decided to go for the multi, Green Monster Walk. This was surely tthe most funny of all of them (I always like multi-caches in the city center) and took quite a walk to find it! The first step was at Bến Thành Market, really quick to spot the animals and count them. I inputted the resulting coordinates and headed to the second stage. This time the indication was pretty unclear, because it talked about a statue with a man and a child, and the only statue there was of Ho Chi Minh alone.
No children in sight
Moreover, the stage description talked about a number, while there were two on the statue. The owner had, luckily, prepared an extra question. The only issue is that I was only able to find the answer online (was it intended) and was the construction year of Hotel de Ville (or Ho Chi Minh City Hall).
After finally finding the answer, I proceeded to the last stage, where I actually found the “Green Monster”, an old tree merged with the wall. It was hard to look for the cache due to the high number of smuggler, but after ~20 minutes I finally had the container in my hand!
I will not post any picture of it to avoid spoiler, even if you can find them in the cache listing page.
At this point I had to decide if I wanted to proceed to the last one, Building People to Build a Nation, but it would have took ~25 minutes by taxi to reach it and it was on the opposite direction of my next tourist stop, the Jade Emperor Pagoda, so I did not search that one.
I hope that geocaching will become more known in Vietnam, since Ho Chi Minh has a lot of potential places for a cool cache (even with all the smugglers around).
That’s all at the moment, stay tuned for some more news about hiking-mapping-geocaching once I will be back at home 🙂