It was still humid at 3am in Ho Chi Min City. This vast metropolis is far from silent but compared to the raucous din of the day it was peaceful. In the glow of countless neon lights a few western drunks staggered home. Mosquitos frenzied around the naked light bulbs of street vendors while impossibly beautiful gilrs hitched skirts on slender thighs as they cruised passed on mopeds. I am looking for a ride but in the early hours of a cool Saigon morning all is not as it seems. Like everyone else in this city, my driver rides a moped. The helmet he gives me smells of a thousand foreheads and soon we are on our way. Past skyscrapers and slums, over empty flyovers and silver canals the air is cool at 30 km per hour and I cherish the refreshing dampness of my sweat drenched shirt on my skin.
A thick mist blows in off the South China sea. Headlights beam in the distance before passing. The roads are almost empty outside the city. Time passes and lulled by the hum of the small engine between my legs my mind drifts stimulated by the sheer thrill of where I am at this very point. My driver indicates to the right and the Chanh Hung Night Fish Market Saigon appears under bright lights on the horizon. It looks like an airport in scale and as we get closer countless trucks thunder past us. Its 4.30 am. I give my driver some dong and the promise of more on my return. I have no idea where I am or how to get back if he fails me. I hold up seven fingers and he nods in agreement.
For the next three hours I explored the fish market that feeds the biggest city in Vietnam. My driver was waiting when I got back. Here is a collection of images from my visit.