Tag Archive: ho chi minh city

Arrived at the hotel in record time from the homestay (3.5 hours instead of 4.5).

A mini walk around town with no one dying due to motorbike. Lunch at Pho 2000 where bill Clinton ate when we came to Vietnam as president to talk about the war. I got Pho Chey and it was flavorless. 65000 dong for that 3000 dong for tea and 3000 dong for a napkin which we thought was free. Pay for napkin? Another person had vegetable curry which was much better.

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Walked though Ben Thanh Market just to be grabbed and touched a lot which I don’t like. We left shortly after and walked to the War Remnants Museum, thinking we were lost and got helped by a nice man with little English.

Some of us then walked to Cathedral Notre-Dame next which closed an hour before we got there. It was still pretty and their patron saint is Regina (just like a girl on our tour).

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Across the street was a mid-autumn festival with lots of drumming and kids watching (because I think it was at a school). Some kids played badminton outside too. The drummers were famous in their town/suburb.

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Next we talked to Independence Palace which was closed for the day but a guy said it would be open tomorrow. He then offered to take the 5 of us back to our hotel on his one motorbike. Haha.

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Dinner was bland spring rolls and 2 beers for 115,000 dong.

We then went to the bar street and walked awhile looking for cheap places. Went to one that said better deals than they really had and we tried to get a better price (we were in a group of 14, we’re going to spend a lot of money, so most places have given us discounts) and they said no, so we left. The server grabbed me and pulled me back into the seat so I slapped his arm. Went to a place we knew was cheaper and were given a private room because there was too many of us for the street. It was the lobby of a hostel and they let us use the computer for music. Cold beer for $0.50. in big-ish bottles too. Everywhere is supposed to close at midnight but we left at 12:30 and most places were still going strong.

Woke at 8 to pack and be ready to go for 9 and have everything out of the room because checkout was 12.

We went to the Cu Chi Tunnels in the morning.

When we got back I went to the ‘revolutionary’ museum alone—it was really the Ho Chi Minh City Museum.

I then tried to walk to city hall but it seemed busy and not exciting to take photos of so I left.

Bought food for the train ride of an orange, chocolate digestives fruit bars and nuts and a chocolate pastry for about 130,000 total. I plan to have it for 2 days except the pastry and orange.

Got back around 5:15pm to leave at 6:00pm to get on the train at 7:30pm and leaves at 8:00pm. So much waiting. The first overnight train of the trip.


When we got back I went to the ‘revolutionary’ museum alone—it was really the Ho Chi Minh City Museum and our map from G Adventures was wrong. I walked in the wrong room first (side door as there was no sign to tell me otherwise) so I saw the culture 19th-20th century.

SE Asia 2019

Then I walked to the start and saw the nature, then the history of foundation and development which had a ton of maps (which I love) then commercial part which was a lot of info about imports and exports then industry which seemed to have a lot of weapons. Then I got back to the 19th-20th but into another room with instruments and wine casks and masks.

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The next floor had wedding photos going on (kind of strange but they did get a good view of the city) and the big rooms had revolutionary struggles 1930-1975 which included an award for burning down a building, a horn to call people to protest, a saw that was used to cut trees to block the French from going into cities. A statue was made for a boy (under 18) who went to jail but gave up no information. Many protests happened during 1930-1931, more than any other time. The last bit was about the Ho Chi Minh Campaign which liberated Saigon and reunified the country.

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There were two balconies but only the back had a nice view outside were some tanks plants and helicopters.

Law was our guide of the Cu Chi Tunnels—he seemed rich, looked Korean and was way too excited about killing Americans in the war.

The first things we saw was a secret entry. A guy showed us how to go in and then I went and most others. It was a wooden plank that they use to cover the hole and put leaves on top (so no one sees it) and a bomb under (so if they do see it and open it, it will explode). Then saw one of the bamboo traps, holes with mounds to hide the Vietnamese when shooting, a 4 person shooting hole, a 2 person shooting hole, a mound which looked like termites but was really a breathing hole with bamboo shoots that were at an angle to help catch wind. Vietnam used to put chilies in the dirt to throw off the smell but it made the dogs sneeze, so the US soldiers still knew where they were and then the Vietnamese started to use American soap in the piles and the dogs never found them. Then was a M41 Tank that was destroyed by a mine in 1970.

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We then saw a ton of traps like the metal sheet, clamping armpit, rolling window, foot fish, see saw, ones that women make because ‘they’re easy’ (according to Law), durian, and door (which would swing in two places, so if you grabbed it to stop it, it would still hit you).

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After this we went though some of the tunnels which had been expanded to accommodate tourists, you could chose to get out at 20 meters, 40 meters, and 60 meters (it went for 100 meters but the guy would not let anyone go further than 60 as it got ‘too small’)

Then was a diorama about how to saw a bomb to get the powder. Then we saw a diorama of how they made the holes. And then the outfit that they wore. Next was the dining room and kitchen which had a separate area for smoke so the bombs would be dropped in the wrong spot.

Last was a super-propaganda video where everyone was happy to do back breaking work of planting rice and making hats.

This tour cost $15 and we didn’t tip because Law had ‘too much money’ which made sense because he was a bit tubby (and people in asia don’t get fat unless they have money). Myself and some others didn’t want to tip him because of how happy he was in explaining how the Vietnamese killed Americans. Yeah, it’s great how creative the Vietnamese were–but they were still killing people, and no one should be happy about anything that happened.

15000 dong entry into the museum and I felt I should give more to help those suffering but there were no boxes for that. I think I did the museum backwards, but the map on the wall was hard to follow.

The ‘world in support of resistance’ room was impressive because I didn’t realize just how many people in so many countries opposed the war. One thing I liked was that it specified it was the US government and not the people and showed our protests as well. Ho Chi Minh wrote a very nice letter to the American people which I didn’t know of either. There was also an old poster of what to do if an American troop landed in your yard and it basically said to be nice to them.

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The ‘DOVE children education’ room is on the top floor but there were some cute paintings and drawings on the bottom like “my hometown” in the new day”, “we visit the soldiers:, “life in the open sea”, “ dream of peace”, “wars please don’t take our mothers away!” and “road mountain in con ado” . There were 4 themes and one theme that not much was drawn on was ‘Uncle Minh’ (that theme creeps me out a bit anyway).

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Next I saw the ‘aggressive war crimes’ room which was graphic and disturbing. Some great messages from soldiers though. Also some great photos, even if they are of terrible things. Some wreckage tin from planes is in there too.

Next was the ‘Agent Orange’ room which made me ill twice. I didn’t realize it was having such horrible remedial effects. A fantastic letter was written to Obama asking for monetary support for those suffering. Not sure if it got a response. The letter was very deftest. Written by a man with no legs and 1 hand who wanted to help those LESS fortunate.

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Next were brilliant before and after photos.

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Next were ‘historical truths’ which I thought would be warped but were not too bad. Except for one of Johnson excitedly yelling to attack–I don’t think he was as excited as they depicted, or exited at all to order bombing.. I didn’t realize we broke UN resolutions then as well.

Next I saw ‘requiem’ which are photos journalists took, but were not able to bring home as they died during a battle. Can’t take photos because they are all under glass and its very bright inside. They were great photos though.

Outside are some US planes and imprisonment conditions which were (not surprisingly) terrible. One guy (who there was a photo of) was in jail for 10 years and looked like he was about to die of starvation.