Day five in Vietnam was about taking a step back into history. Even if it did happen by accident. The old feet got a good workout as we strolled through Ho Chi Minh City and discovered wonderful new areas of Saigon, old buildings and took a step into a tragic history that is the Vietnam War.
Best bit of the day
· Vietnam War Remnant Museum:
A War museum not for the light hearted but one that needs to be visited. Tanks, artillery guns and fighter planes that were used in the war are on showcase at the entrance before going upstairs to read about the history.
Thick skin is required for this exhibit, the photos are not only heartbreaking but horrific to view with pictures of missing limbs, dead soldiers and traumatic photos of young kids running and fearing for their lives.
There are many different Exhibits in the Museum but one that does reach the heartstrings is an exhibit dedicated to the photographers during the war that risked their life or even got killed taking the dramatic photo. Selfless acts so the world could see the tragedy involving in Vietnam.
Another gut wrenching room, there were many, was that dedicated to Agent Orange. In the early part of the 1960’s Herbicides were sprayed onto food crops by US and South Vietnamese Air Forces, their aims was to destroy crops to deny the enemy soldiers any cover. The spraying had a disastrous effect on the health of the locals, with newborns coming into the world handicapped and without.
As disturbing as the images may be. The War Remnant Museum is a great history lesson on the Vietnam War. It is also great to see how far this country has come, considering the war was only 50-years ago.
Foods of the Day
– At a local Vietnamese restaurant I had a change of meal. A very nice grilled pork, with egg roll served with cold noodle and salad. It was a nice change away from pho (soup), which is served up at most.
· Savoure’s for dessert. I had the delicious strawberry mousse cake with an ice vanilla mocha, both were incredibly tasty and it went down well, even if it does end up at the hips. A real treat if ever in the Tan Dinh area of district 1.
Day 5 Highlights
· Notre Dame Cathedral and Post office: In the District 1 area of Ho Chi Minh City, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the historic Post Office, both with a French architect flavour to it, two incredible buildings within a stone throw of each other.
The area is not only for its Grand structures of two buildings, built in the late 1800’s, It also has a carnival atmosphere with market places, souvenir shops, book stores and food stalls set up, providing that tourist feel. Even pretty Vietnamese women are out and about, dressed nicely in their traditional dress, making a stunning photo amongst the backdrop of the Cathedral.
The Post Office is still used today but not for its original purpose. tour agency’s are set up in the old booths for anyone looking at booking a tour in the city, to The Mekong Delta or the Cu Chi tunnels.
· Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens: it may not be Sydney’s Taronga Zoo but for an entrance fee of only $3AUD there shouldn’t be any complaining. It’s a nice walk away from the craziness of city streets and it has all the big animals, giraffes, lions, tigers, giraffes and a whole lot more. From what I saw the animals were treated as normal as I have seen in any other zoo, which is sad a lifeless. Understandably being enclosed in a cage.
For the kids it is more than just the wildlife. There are plenty of rides (they cost extra) and a small water park to keep entertained and cool on a hot Saigon day. The fun attraction of the day was the Vietnamese sausage tree at the entrance. Given away for free, adults and kids gathered around the tree, pushing and shoving (all fair play) to grab their complimentary sausages. I had a try, it tasted disgusting, but that was my own opinion. I think I was alone.
- Check out Vietnam Diaries Day 6 – Welcome to Dalat
- Check out Vietnam Diaries Day 4 – Mekong four Islands
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