Ho Chi Min City or Saigon
(depending on who you ask) is a very densely populated
city. Cars and mopeds swishing by on narrow, one-way streets.
Like many other cities and areas in Vietnam, Saigon also
has a large past involving the influence and destruction
of several wars, everything from being a Khmer territory
and occupied by the French, to the "liberation" or "fall"
of Saigon during the Vietnam/American war.
We took one day to explore and walk around to see the sights
of the city. On a different day, we had arranged for a private
guide and driver to take us out to the Cao Dai Temple (where
Buddhism meets Christianity) and Cu Chi tunnels, both places
very interesting to visit. Of course the tunnel systems
were just incredible and yet very saddening at the same
We also visited the War Remnants Museum,
formerly called the American War Crimes Museum, which is a
must if stopping in Ho Chi Min city (if you don't mind a
bit of propoganda). But just keep in mind
that the whole experience will have an impact on your emotions,
regardless if you are American, Vietnamese, or any citizen
of the world really. It's quite unbelievable what
history reveals and tells us, but will we as humans ever
learn? So many wars, genocides and extremes in this world,
yet we continue to subject each other to these horrid moments
and unimaginative lives, it very much is quite offensive
what power, greed and no regard for others can do to us!...
Saigon is still a grand city today, you
would never know of its wartime past by
looking at it. Motorbikes abound, traffic is
crazy, many beautiful areas though.
It is not very safe to be tall in Saigon
- Honey, you better watch out!!!
What would the Western world think of this?
And this was more conservative,
generally we saw at least 3 small kids to a motorbike (all
without helmets btw).
Sandra leaving the Notre Dame Cathedral.
The hunchback was not home.
Going for traditional Vietnamese dinner and
cruising down the Saigon River.
This was one of the Chinese junks - can you
see the masses of people?!
American War Crimes Museum
An outside look of the American War Crimes
Walking through this museum sure sends cold
chills down ones spine. Regardless
of the side you were on, the atrocities of war are absolutely
shocking and appalling.
Cao Dai Temple
The Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, the
holiest structure in the Cao Dai religion.
Attending a service at the Cao Dai
Temple. A very unique place with its own
special brand of religion - kind of like a cult really.
Cu Chi Tunnels
A visit to the famous Cu Chi tunnels, where
the Vietnamese (Viet Cong) planned, hid, and lived
underground from the Americans. This is an example of one
entrance - how did they fit?!?
It was a tight squeeze, a few moments later
my Claustrophobia kicked in. Amazing
that these underground tunnels and chambers stretched for
over 250 KM
from Saigon to the Cambodian border.
Staging examples were set up around the area
to give you an
idea of how people worked, lived, and protected themselves,
death traps to how the Vietnamese (Viet Cong) made shoes
Nothing was left unused. Whenever there were opportunities
to recycle things like "dead"
missiles/bullets recovered on the ground, these were taken
Johann was a tad too tall for these tunnels,
came out with a half broken back poor thing.