Ho Chi Minh City – Oh my tunnels….
After all that relaxing at the beach it was time to get back to some culture and what not. So we head to Ho Chi Minh (aka Saigon). We got on a bus which was full of locals and got there about lunch time and went on the lookout for standard cheap clean accommodation. Strangely enough despite getting different buses we ended up bumping into Simon and Leanne (who’d have thunk it I hear you cry) outside a place we both had decided to have a look at which was coincidently full. We opted for a place next door and got a room that smelt of smoke but was cheap, so we stayed.
After checking in we went for a wander and went to the palace which looked more like a hotel and got our bearings around the city. In the evening we went for a Mexican place which didn’t actually do very good Mexican food.
The next day we went to the Chu Chi Tunnels which the Americans bombed the hell out of during the Vietnamese war. On the way there Leanne showed us how to use some of the features on our camera and we discovered we could turn some objects a different colour….oh the fun we had with a banana after that! Having not much knowledge of the war it was a real eye opener to the suffering the Vietnamese experienced and the lengths they went to fighting the superpower of the US with such little technology at their disposal. In addition to see how the Vietnamese fought we all went in to a section of the tunnel network that the soldiers used to hide from the US troops during the day before coming out at night to fight. Definitely worth a visit if anyone is considering it.
After the tunnels we headed back to the city and went to the war museum which was another experience that brought us back down to earth. Outside are several vehicles and weapons the US used during the way and inside are pictures telling the story of the war from a Vietnamese viewpoint which really hit home at times.
After those two emotional rollercoaster’s we had dinner at a place where we had seen a man in an unrelated incident carry what looked like 100 doughnuts piled up on a place on his head. I then went for a massage where I was given a piece of paper to rate the massage, only if it was good I was meant to give a tip amounting to more than the massage…and if it was deemed to not be very good I was meant to not give a tip. Being British I gave a nominal tip and said that it was marvellous before heading back for an early night.