Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Mar 20, 2019 - Cu Chi Tunnels

Although we are not fans of military/war sites, the Cu Chi Tunnel complex outside of Saigon is noted as being a worthwhile visit. Unfortunately our guide's English was limited. But the tour group behind us had a well spoken knowledgeable young lady guide. So, we joined that group, and she did not mind, even when we asked questions. The 75 mile tunnel complex was just a small section of the immense tunnel complex throughout Vietnam. Attempts in 1966 & 1967 to destroy the system were largely unsuccessful due to their strategic design, and...

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Mar 19, 2019 - Exploring Saigon

First excursion in Saigon we decided to do was the 'Hop On/Hop Off' Bus Tour of the city; convenient method to get an orientation of the city, and to decide where maybe to explore in more detail. Decided the Fine Arts Museum would be worth a visit, so off we went. BUT, as is the case thru-out the world, Monday is 'Museum Closed' Day ! Who knew (remembered) it was Monday ?! So, off we went to the 'Palace'. The image of it earlier in my lifetime was of the person clinging to the helicopter landing strut as it lifted off from the Palace...

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Mar 18, 2019 - Cambodia to Vietnam

The bus ride from Phnom Penh was advertised as five hours long. It actually took eight hours, but was comfortable and gave us the opportunity to see the transition/differentiation between Cambodia & Vietnam. As soon as you cross thru customs and are on Vietnam roads: #1-paved roads and, #2-much more modern & well maintained construction, commercial & residential. Obviously, Cambodia is far more poor than Vietnam. There are still roadside/sidewalk markets & shops in Vietnam, but the condition thereof is 'cleaner' & again, more...

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Apr 1, 2018 - Yangon to Ho Chi Minh

Travel day today. 1st a flight to Bangkok (old airport) and then a flight to Ho Chi Minh City. We travelled via Don Mueang airport, Bangkok's 2nd airport, which is now used by the low cost airlines to help reduce traffic in the main airport. It is still very busy.

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Mar 17, 2018 - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam Temples, Palaces and the American War

Once again we are parked in the middle of nowhere or maybe it’s a concrete factory. Just dirt and cement port side except for our tour buses and the Lion show performers. Its sunny and blazing hot after the past week of cold and cool in China. The closest town is 20 miles away and Ho Chi Minh is 2.25 hours. We passed another docked cruise ship a while back as we came down the inlet. Maybe they got the better spot. At least, immigration was easy this time. We just had to pick up our stamped landing card and keep it with us. If we don’t hand...

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Mar 13, 2018 - Saigon, Vietnam

Good morning Vietnam! We are now in Saigon...a small city of approx. 10-12 million people and apparently, at least 5 million motorbikes! For many of you who have travelled through South East Asia, you've all seen how many people here have motorbikes versus cars. Complete families can fit on a motorbike and you can even call an UBER bike. Many reasons contribute to their wide use--cost, of course and also because the warm climate here allows year round use in a "controlled chaos" kind of way. It took almost 2 hours to clear immigration and...

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Feb 26, 2018 - Motorbiking and the Mekong

Today was our last day in Saigon and we ended on a high with a motorbike tour of the city. After the safety briefing we were led to our individual riders. I was hopeful of being paired with Vietnam's answer to Steve McQueen and Tom Cruise but instead we ended up with the Chuckle Brothers (see photos). It's an odd experience travelling at 30-40mph on the back of a motorbike AGAINST the oncoming traffic but I got used to living on the edge quite quickly. Neil was a complete wimp and wouldn't take his hands off the seat rails the whole time....

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Feb 25, 2018 - Cu Chi Tunnels

A bit of Vietnamese history today with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, approx an hour and a half drive north west of Saigon (no one here calls it Ho Chi Minh). The tunnels were a strategic element for the Viet Kong who built 200km of underground passageways in the jungles and hid from the Americans in the day, emerging at night for covert strikes. Three levels of Tunnels were built including kitchens and sewage facilities, linking nearby villages. Impressive warfare but as our guide reminded us, no one wins in war and there were the...

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Feb 24, 2018 - Heathrow to Ho Chi Minh

So here we are - day one (or is it two?). Twenty-two hours from our hotel at Heathrow to our hotel in Ho Chi Minh City and with no sleep en route, I don't know whether I'm Arthur or Martha although these days such gender fluidity is positively encouraged I believe. Before we even boarded at Heathrow we were called forward and told there was a problem with one of our seats which did not recline. Here we go, I thought, finally, a free upgrade! We were indeed offered alternative seats - by the loos. We kept our options open as we boarded and,...

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Jan 15, 2018 - Vietnam - Southeast Asia Cruise

We arrived at the port of Phu My, Vietnam and were taken by bus (1.5 hour drive) to the city of Ho Chi Minh City, AKA City of Saigon. When the North Vietnamese won the war in 1975 they renamed the city in honor of their revolutionary leader who actually died in 1969 and while Ho Chi Minh is the official name, both names are still used. Residents even call themselves “Saigonites”. Along the way all the streets we traveled reminded me of all the other Asian streets I have seen in the past forty years of moving around Asia – some things never...

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Jan 14, 2018 - Cambodia

Cambodia 2nd January – 11th January The journey from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh in Cambodia was on a public boat and took about four hours. As usual, the sights and sounds on the river were fascinating – people living, trading, fishing in such an unfamiliar a style of life. Squalid on the one hand, comfortable, sociable and cooperative on the other. The immigration and visa process took place at some point on the river. We disembarked, having had our passports removed by the boatman. After some time we were put back on the boat and proceeded,...

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Jan 12, 2018 - Vietnam- first time round

Vietnam Part l 27tthDecember – 2nd January The flights to Ho Chi Minh City had resumed in time for our lunchtime departure, although thousands of people had been evacuated from the city due to the typhoon, now downgraded to a tropical storm. The only indication was that our connecting flight was about two hours late. When we arrived there was no sign of the storm. We had engaged a local company,effectively a fixer, to help us to get visas. The forms had been in Vietnamese and we had been promised an express service. A young man met us at...

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