I love Saigon!
Trip Start Jan 06, 2008
40Trip End Jul 08, 2008
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A group of about 4 of us woke up early and hung over and decided to go walk miles around the city to see the sights. We were all feeling pretty haggard, but I had planned to leave the next day so I really wanted to get in some sight-seeing. We saw many historic buildings and also went to the Ho Chi Minh museum and the War Remenants Museum. I had already braced myself for the War Museum as I had read about how depressing it was, but I felt like I should see it. The museum was divided into several parts, the landmines exibit, the agent orange section, general war destruction, and the Mai Lai massacre. Each section had very graphic photos of the people affected and what they went through. The most disturbing photos were of the Mai Lai Massacre where over 500 people, almost all women and children, were massacred by US troops. I will never forget 2 of the photos in particular; the first was of a family who was about to be killed and there was a little girl about 10 years old and the terror on her face........horrible. The other was of an old man about 75 years old who was about to be shot and once again, the look of terror is burned into my mind forever. These pictures were donated by Americans who were photo jounalists and after these photos were taken the people in them were murdered. Over 80 of the people killed that horrible day were under 5 years old and no one in the village was armed. I cried when I saw these photos and I think everyone should have to see them
The museum also had a seperate building that was all photos of American troops taken my photo journalists who were killed during the war. These photos really humanized the American side and showed the fear and sadness that both sides went through. This exibit really balanced out the museum and showed how both sides were affected. The only thing that would have fully balanced the museum would be a section showing the war crimes of the Viet Khong against the Southern Vietnamese, there was no mention of that.
I decided to change my ticket to Cambodia to stay in Saigon for a few more days becuase there is so much more to see here. This city is an amazing place, I wish I could stay longer.