Today we went on this random day trip out to Can Gio. This trip involved: a van to the harbor, a two hour boat ride to the area, a rickety truck, a tiny boat where we were basically sitting on the water, a bus, and a speed boat. That was just getting there.
Can Gio has a set up akin to Jamestown (the tourist one, not the historical one) where they have recreated a North Vietnamese special forces resistance camp. It was from here that the North Vietnamese would take apart old unexploded bombs (dropped by the Americans) and remake their own. Once a new one is made, they would swim underneath American boats and using a magnet, attach it to the bottom of the ship.
This camp is in a swamp and getting there involved the speed boat going around many, many sharp turns. There is no way I could have found the place if it weren’t for the driver knowing where to go, and until you are practically sitting there you can hardly see it. It was interesting, but only for about three minutes.
However, it is because of this trip that I now can say I was attacked by a monkey.
Three of us were in one of the sites when I noticed a monkey the size of a toddler come into the site. I pointed him out to the others, and shortly after I did so the monkey lunged at me and we fought over my water bottle. I let him have it, and he proceeded to sit in the doorway of the site (no other way out) and chewed on the bottle until he lost interest.
Then he thought my messanger bag (which is generally to the side with the strap across my chest) looked interesting. He lunged again. He used his grubby little hands to hold onto my arm, dangling mid air as he tugged on my bag. So here I am, in a swamp, with a rather heavy monkey fixed to my arm and hissing at me with his big assed yellow teeth. I start to swing him around in an effort to shake him off. He wasn’t going to get my bag and even if I wanted to let him have it he was on the arm that would be required to take it off. I don’t remember the exact order of events afterwards, but I belive that I swung him off and he was chased away by one of the Vietnamese attendants.
The monkeys are everywhere in Can Gio. They have that matted look of stray cats and really look and behave like large, more obnoxious, rats. By everywhere, I mean the road on the way in is covered with them. They follow people and regularly steal whatever they can get off of them. The entire way back I was a lot more aggressive with the little dirty fuckers and did what the locals did in the hissing and kicking (though I never actually kicked one, just the fact that I was aggressive and not like most of the tourists meant they left me alone). I have some pictures, and I’ll post them in a bit.