Browsing Tag

saigon

Asia, Travel, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

February 27, 2014

Staying at Thanh Thuong Guesthouse.

We weren’t sure what to expect of the South capital of Vietnam as memories of almost being run over by motorcycles in Hanoi were still haunting us. However we were greeted by a fairly modern city and although there were still thousands of bikes, this city had discovered pavements for pedestrians.

The staff at our accommodation have been helpful throughout our trip but they were particularly helpful here, giving us a map and explaining how far it would take to walk to certain landmarks and letting us know how much a taxi would cost it we were feeling lazy.

Memories of the war are most prominent here with a large war remembrance museum and trips to the nearby Cu Chi tunnels heavily advertised.

The war museum gave us a chance to see the war from the Vietnamese’s point of view and although I knew it was going to be very one sided, I didn’t expect the pure hatred of Americans which most of the museum concentrated on. There was lots of graphic pictures which we wouldn’t see in Britain of corpses and injuries and even disabled foetuses in a jar. It isn’t a trip for those with a weak stomach. We spoke to some local people about the war and they still hold a grudge against America. Only our tour guide in the Cu Chi tunnel trip admitted that the museum is very one sided and Vietnam was at fault too.

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There’s a large backpacker scene here, mostly based on the Bui Vien street which is full of restaurants, bars and market stalls. The food continued to be good and the beer continued to be cheap!

There’s a few sites to see around the city, including the Notre Dame cathedral (not kidding), the Financial tower and the Reunification Palace. All are within walking distance of each other.

We were meant to spend 5 days here but due to a mix up with our flight (me getting the dates wrong) we actually spent a week. It was an enjoyable week but 5 days would have been enough.

Next stop is Bangkok and a chance to avoid the protests!

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Asia, Travel, Vietnam

The Cu Chi Tunnels with Delta Adventure Tours

February 25, 2014

During our stay in Ho Chi Minh City we really wanted to go visit the tunnels as the Vietnam war is one of the only things we knew about the country before we came!

We booked the trip through our accommodation and paid 131,000 dong each and then you have to pay 90,000 entry fee when you get there. This equates to about Β£6 each.

We were picked up and on the road by 8:30am and our tour guide, Mr Bean (not kidding), introduced himself to us. He claims to be a war veteran and fought with the American soldiers against the VietCong. He was really nice and full of stories and facts and the war but he constantly talked and asked “Do you want to hear my story?” over and over again which did irritate a few people towards the end.

The tunnels themselves were really good. At the site they have examples of the traps set to injure the American soldiers. They looked like they could impale someone not just injure them!

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We were shown a sniper hole which is a narrow hole in the ground with a cover on the top to slip the gun under. Everyone had a go squeezing in it unless they thought they were too big to get out!

We also got the chance to climb through a stretch of the tunnel network. I have never been so hot and cramped in my life! It just kept going lower, whilst getting darker and hotter. I could sort of squat and waddle along but Stu literally had to crawl on his hands and knees! We were both glad when we reached the end but some people left via the emergency exits at certain points as it was very claustrophobic.

All in all a very interesting trip and worth doing if you’re ever here.

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