Why so serious?
Trip Start Mar 27, 2012
34Trip End Ongoing
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We turned up in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) pretty late in the day, and so performed the classic 'check in, get out, get food' ritual, then went in search of a few friends who had made it to the city the previous day. After all, it was the England vs. France match and it would be rude not to watch it in style. There's a lot of nice bars in Saigon however the price of beer is almost triple of what we're used to, so instead we headed to a little place with plastic chairs on the side of the road, where beer is 33p...a much more reasonable price!
The next few days, whilst enjoyable, were a somber affair. Our first visit was to the War Remnants Museum where we were faced with weapons, horror stories and images from the Vietnam war
Following the museum we walked a lot of the city center, stopping along the way at the Reunification Palace, a grand church and the Ben Thanh market; the biggest in HCMC.
On our last full day in the city we decided to do a day tour to the Cu Chi tunnels, where the Vietcong hid and fought during the war. Along the way we were first taken to a beautiful, orientation ambiguous temple in order to observe the daily ceremony for praising their Gods. It was fascinating to finally be able to see people actually worshiping. Furthermore, just outside the palace was a small monkey haven where wild monkeys were just bopping about. It was a pretty exciting time!
After lunch we drove for another hour or so before we reached the tunnels. I much preferred it to the DMZ tunnels. We learnt a lot more about the traps that they used and their methods of attack and defense. Additionally, the tunnels here were more authentic. Though some had been widened for western tourists, some remained as tiny as ever.
You certainly couldn't be claustrophobic or chubby if you were in the Vietcong!
Our last morning in Vietnam was Adam's birthday, and he awoke to a rendition of happy birthday sung to him by the whole dorm. Sadly, we spent a lot of the day on a bus crossing the border into Cambodia so we resolved to celebrate in style the next night in Phnom Penh.
And what a celebration it was...