We've joined the Revolution!

Trip Start Feb 17, 2013
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Trip End Mar 21, 2013


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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dayna has taken a day off from blogging.  It is Tom's turn.

This morning we were out the door about 8:30 for a tour to the Cau Dai Temple and the Cu Chi Tunnels.  A one day bus tour that we "love" so much but short of hiring a car and guide, this is the only way to get out there.  The temple is east of Saigon about 30K and only about 2K from the Cambodia border.  The religion is a mix of Catholic, Buddhist, and Tao believes.  And one of their saints is Victor Hugo who wrote Les Miserables.  Kind of hard to figure how all of it fits together but they were sure praying like crazy when we got there at noon.  This temple is their biggest and is kind of the Vatican for the Cau Dai religion.  After a quick visit there, the bus took us to a local restaurant that specialized in serving bad food to bus tours at an inflated price.  They were good at their job!

Then we were off to the Cu Chi Tunnels.  This is a complex of tunnels that spread for 15 miles in all directions.  The Viet Cong and, later, the North Vietnamese Army could go from the Ho Chi Minh trail in Cambodia all the way to the outskirts of Saigon.  In some cases the tunnels were three deep with many levels.  Today was a hot one, about 96 degrees and 60% humidity, so walking around the jungle, seeing these exhibits was an exercise.  We could go down in some of them but it was so hot and the tunnels are so small and cramped that after one quick look we passed on anymore.  They did have some excellent exhibits above ground and, of course, the usual propaganda through pictures and film was dispensed.  I don't know if anybody else believed this bull but I have been absolutely taken by the wonders of Ho Chi Minh, or Uncle Ho, as we followers call him.  I have seen the errors of my past and now firmly believe that Uncle Ho may be the father of all Good and, in fact, may have invented life itself during his glorious life!  My conversion aside, the visit was very interesting and I am glad we came to this garden spot of the Liberation.

But, unfortunately, I am a weak disciple.  Dayna and I strayed from the Revolution as soon as we got back to Saigon.  We quickly washed the road tar off of our bodzollas and walked up to the historic Continental Hotel and had a glass of wine at the street cafe overlooking the Opera House.  It was where Michael Caine sat in the movie "The Quiet American" in the scene when the street bomb went off.  We listened to 1930-50's French music as we sipped our bourgeois wine.  No bomb this time . . . until we got the bill!  $27 for two glasses of house wine.  The hotel is now owned by the government so maybe that was my punishment for straying!
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