Sunday, August 23, 2009

Asia Adventures - Post 13 (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Here is kind of a pictorial tour of Ho Chi Minh City.

The Saigon River wasn’t as glamorous as we imagined it to be. Surprisingly, the majority of billboards were in English even though many of the people don’t speak it.
The reunification palace is the former South Vietnam’s presidential palace. It is also the location of where the war ended when a tank crashed through the gates and removed the south’s president from office. A tank replica is still there to mark the historic moment. We enjoyed looking at all the lavish rooms (it is like the white house) and secret war and strategy rooms in the basement.
Here is Dana reading a map in the map room (har har).
The War Remnants Museum was sobering…and really one sided. We quickly learned to keep our mouths shut so we could possibly pass for Australians and not Americans. Yeah we were the only westerners there and the museum is not happy with us at all. There was a whole panel dedicated to bashing the former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerry. Yikes. It was interesting to see the “tiger” cages they put prisoners in. The Notre Dame Cathedral. Gorgeous church in the middle of the city.
Right next to the cathedral is the post office. Okay that doesn’t sound glamorous, but it was the most elegant post office I have ever seen. Too bad the post cards I sent from there took over a month to get to my parents. A Chinese pagoda. Just down the street is a school. Everything closes down between 11am and 1pm, so they basically locked out the children. Here they are waiting at the gate to be let back in.
Caravelle Hotel. Well it is not a hotel anymore. It is a military HQ. I tried to take a picture up close (because it is a stunning building) and a guard came over “no pictures!!!”. This picture was taken about a block away.
A street vendor…on the go. The Ben Thanh Market. Very touristy but gigantic. We got lost among the hundreds of stalls. Again lots of people tugging on your arm to direct you to their stall. After a long day, we passed by a KFC and Dana caught glimpse of an ice cream sign. Yeah, after close to three weeks of Asian food, that was the best damn ice cream I have ever had.
Just a random sign we saw. I guess they are trying to change the public opinion.


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