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  • Day56

    Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

    February 17, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    After exploring some of Northern Vietnam we wanted to visit Ho Chi Minh City in the South to better understand the Vietnam War. We were interested to see the War Remnants Museum as well as the Cu Chi tunnels that the Viet Cong used against the South Vietnamese and US troops.

    The museum was interesting, although it was a bit one-sided, again with propaganda. There were many photos capturing the war, pieces of shot down planes, and a disturbing exhibit on Agent Orange; a lethal chemical used by the Americans which was probably the most tragic and scarring remnant of the war.

    The following day we took an adventure to the Cu Chi tunnels on a two hour moped ride each way. The ride there was just as memorable as the tunnels, since over an hour of it was fighting the city traffic, which I now can say my moped driving skills are nearly ready for the ultimate test--traffic in India. Once we got to the tunnels we learned more about how the tunnels were made and designed and then got to crawl through them, although they were made larger so tourists could fit through easier they were still very narrow and tight. The number and length of tunnels, the self sufficient underground city, the bamboo spear boobietraps, and the psychological aspect of hiding underground during bombings were all much more real after crawling through a few of them. On the way back we stopped at a small village convenience store for a cold drink since it was so hot and met the owner who introduced us to his mother and daughter who were all so sweet. When he found out we were from America he was so happy and even told us that he loved the US which we were surprised about seeing that we were only a few miles away from the tunnels which represent a dark period in Vietnam history. This positive US sentiment was surprisingly consistent throughout all of Vietnam.

    With the rest of our time in this fairly modern city with French influence we did what we enjoy the most; exploring the local culture. We finally got to try Pho after our third attempt, sipped on some Siagon craft beer that was pretty good, and got another massage since they're so affordable!

    This was our last stop in Vietnam and we're happy to say we really enjoyed our time there. The country has vast history and natural beauty which caught us by surprise. Until next time Vietnam...
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