Saigon

Trip Start Feb 09, 2013
1
18
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Trip End Mar 16, 2013


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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Thursday, March 7, 2013

Well Ho Chi Minh City (or should I say Saigon) is a real surprise. Even more motorbikes than Hanoi and virtually no cycles (how weird that while the east is giving up cycling the west is trying to promote it!). Also got Versace designer shops and fake shops on the same block. The locals buy the real thing and the tourists buy the fakes!
Had a war day first up and the highlight was our guide who was a war veteran. He was from Saigon so was conscripted to fight against the communists. He became a translator for the USA and when they pulled out he was trained and served as an officer in the South Vietnamese army for two years. After the North conquered the south he was sent to re-education hard labour prison for 3 years and then had his citizenship taken away and was forced into farming. He re-entered Saigon illegally and made a living repairing bicycles at the side of the road. Finally he has become our excellent tour guide at the age of 65.
So anyhow we visited the Cu Chi Tunnels (where the Vietcong out foxed the Americans) went underground, fired an AK rifle, and ate some soldier food tapioca (but not in cream sauce).
p.s. not sure why but Vietnamese airlines don't have a row F? (Anything to do with disliking France?)
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