Saturday, January 2, 2010
Alright, so everything you hear about Saigon (HCMC) is true! It's crazy, it's busy, and it's full of tourists! Oh and one more thing... It's FULL of scooters! I thought Hanoi was 2 wheeled madness, but it's got nothing on Saigon! Crossing the road here isn't just an adventure... It's an extreme sport! But to be honest that was the only thing that I found unique or exciting about this city. Yes, it has a happening nightlife, but it's no different to that of the nightlife you can find in any large city. Plus it has become extremely international! To the point that everything seems to cater for tourists and guests and it really seems to lack identity in cultural form.
One thing I did see that was rather interesting/disturbing was the war museum. So, my knowledge of the Vietnam war can be summed up by movies such as 'Platoon,' and I feel that I really only know simple facts, opinions and a bit of the basics. But this museum, shows everything from the Vietnamese point of view and let me tell you they do not sympathise with the Americans what so ever! Like I said I am not educated enough to give a proper opinion, so I could never really label the museum 'propaganda' but they really don't show 2 sides to the story. However, in saying that it really is sad to see what went on then and to see the way some of the US troops killed and destroyed villages (the photos are exceptionally disturbing). They also have a bunch of US military vehicles on display, which I don't think they are planning on giving back anytime soon!
Anyway, Seeing I was starting to learn a bit about the Vietnam war, I decided to take a tour of the Cu Chi tunnels! I took an all day tour that also took you to a temple that was supposed to be pretty cool. Well, the tour was pretty much an all day bus-about with a quick stop at a temple and a short break at the tunnels. If you are going to do the tour, do the half day!! Skip the temple!