Ho Chi Minh- Aka smells like piss
Jan 25, 2005
|Well, those of you who say Vietnam is a marvellous, romantic and lovely country must seriously be talking about 50 years ago. Or got stuck on a few country scenes.
We travelled down to Ho Chi Minh by the fabulous 'Reunification Express'. This is the biggest oxymoron besides military intelligence that I have ever seen. The train travels at about forty kilometres an hour and makes regular routine stops to avoid colliding head on with other trains. Great work Tony.
We ended up with an even more unconfortable bunk room than the last with many visitors and an irritating drunk Vietnamese guy who could speak three words of english and insisted on repeating them often and loud.
A Vietnamese lady had her daughter on the train. The daughter was fascinated by the western females and stood in the doorway for ten minutes staring at them which we all thought was cute but slightly scary. Her brother came and introdecued himself in English. His name is Phuc. Phuc means 'lucky' in Vietnamese. So I says "You must be lucky phuc then" and he smiled and nodded in that cute Vietnamese way that says "Hey, got no idea what your on about, but you've got a big nose and funny head and thats funny enough"
We arrived in Ho Chi Minh at about 0430 and got a few hours kip in the hotel before we headed off for an afternoon tour of the city.
The War Remnants museaum is an interesting place full of old us military bits and pieces and pictures of crimes committed by the US in Vietnam. Some interesting thalidomide type deformities from agent orange and napalm survivor pics abounded the walls.
Noting the Vietnamese desire to have everyone agree with them, thier was a veryintersting picture of a vietnamese guy after being hit by a few grenades (40mm I think). Basically the upper and lower body wree attached by a thread and there were a few obvious fractures here and there.
Nextb on to the cathedral and some really poor tasting promotion. First time I have seen the crucifix and virgin mary surrounded by neon lights. I am not shitting you. They would have looked more in place in an american bar.
Off to the reunification palace for the afternoon to check out the last president of South Vietnams palace and the most spectacular bunker complex I have seen. Looked just like the Maxwell Smart movies.
In the afternoon we found KFC 50m from our hotel front door and lets just say we all pigged out.When you pay $6 for two burgers, two chips, Chicken strips and drinks you have to go hard.
Had a quiet dinner night and got to bed around 9pm.
Today we went out to the Vietnamese tunnel complex around Chi Chu. Fascinating stuff. Crawled through about 50m of tunnel that had been widened for westerners and I was strugling. Sat through the obligatory propoanda film at the end hearing about the brave revolutionaries and the evil westerners. I am absoulutely sick of the constant dribble of propoganda bullshit that is given at ever museum here.
Kirsty and I are both quite unwell at the moment with some type of flu. It is making us pretty tired and making it hard to enjoy this part of the tour.
So off we head to the vietnamese pharmacy. Fancy 7 augmentin for under a dollar?
You can buy anything you want. They even have panadol extra which contains coffee!
So at the moment we have just finished off another feed of KFC in the hope that a good solid stuffing of greasy western food will get us on track for the next part of our trip which starts tommorrow.
Yes ladies and gents, we are off to the land of the Khmer Rouge, Killing Fields, roadside bandits and rice wine- Cambodia here we come.
Cannot say when we will next be able to write. Have no idea of the setup there. Not even sure they have elctricity.
Until then stay safe and remember only email to this thing (by leaving a message) until we get to a better email place (ie out of F%^$%^ asia!!!!!!)
Miss you all and look forward to hearing from you