A Travellerspoint blog

February 2017

Ho Chi Minh city (Siagon)

James and I are currently on our way to Phnom Penh on Cambodia as we finish up our time in Vietnam. We spent about two days in Ho Chi Minh city and it was a great way to Vietnam on. A huge very modern city that has stretches that look like any city in the US (and stretches that look very foreign).

The first day we went to the war museum here. It's a really great and disturbing museum they plays like a US war crimes museum. It has photos from both sides military photographers. It also goes into detail about where we bombed, civilians killed, where agent Orange (and agent blue, white, green etc) were used and the long term effects that those chemical weapons had on both the environment and the Vietnamese people. There is a section about how north Vietnamese prisoners were treated.... Not great.
But comically enough, the South Vietnamese were almost never mentioned and the few times they were it was "South Vietnamese puppets".

We also explored the city and went to the bar on top Bitexco Finical tower, which looks lifted from a sci Fi movie.

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The next day we went to the Cu Chi tunnels. A tunnel system that spanned the country and allowed the viet Kong to move unnoticed. Tour was not great but tunnels were interesting. They also had some odd subtext, where immediately after being shown all the traps used to kill soldiers, and being shown all the bunkers they would shoot out from... We were brought to a firing range and pressured to pay to shoot some AK 47s.

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Vietnam has been great and super easy to get around in. The national language is essentially Englis and everyone spoke it.

Posted by BrianMader 17:06 Comments (0)

Dalat, Vietnam

James and I are just finishing up our time in Dalat. A mountain town at about 5,000 ft of elevation. Tonight we fly to Ho Chi Minh city, and we are currently holed up in a coffee shop as it monsooning outside, but luckily this is the first major rain we have seen.

We started our trip by visiting the "crazy house". A house with narrow stairs and walkways everywhere forming a maze. It was interesting but swamped with tourists.

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The next day we rented mopeds and explored the waterfalls around the city. Oddly enough, Vietnam has turned it's waterfalls into launching points for essentially theme parks. There were rides, petting zoos, animal rides, "museums" (for example"the crazy animal museum", but real ones) all next to the falls.
One such waterfall had some pretty miserable looking elephants and other animals that didn't look well treated, but were all ridable (which we did not do).

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At one of the waterfalls was a series of Buddhist temples at stages up a mountain. The "ride" was closed that day, so you had to hike it. Luckily, that meant no one else did it. Along the path was statues of all the zodiac animals with a very decorated rooster.

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We also explored the country side a bit.

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Yesterday we went canyoning. Very cool and we got to really see the "jungles of Vietnam" when we were several miles into the canyon and away from tourists points. We couldn't bring our own cameras so not many photos. It included one 36 foot cliff dive and a 2 person natural water slide.

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Posted by BrianMader 21:18 Comments (0)

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