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

Jan 23, 2020 - Vietnam countryside

Map location is for Ho Chi Minh City, but I visited the country area near where we docked at Phu My. The map can't seem to find that! Thursday, January 23 Today we are in Vietnam. We docked at the industrial port of Phu My. This is the access point for Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). I wasn’t that interested in another big city with a long drive, so I opted for a local tour to the area of Ba Ria. We first went to a residential temple. It has men, women, and some children there. There are some wealthy who are simplifying their life, and some who...

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Far East Cruise

Oct 6, 2019 - Cu Chi tunnels (a bit graphic so reader beware)

Sunday 6th Oct The Cu Chi tunnels visit was one of three deeply disturbing visits to war sites, giving an insight into what happened during the “American” war. There is a lot of bias in these visits, much of it anti-American propaganda. By the time we left this tour, most of us felt quite sick to our stomachs. So be warned, and use your discretion reading this. It will be toned down a bit, it is difficult to accurately describe the warfare methods used without feeling ill, and parts will be hard to take in. As difficult as it was to see...

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2019 tour

Oct 4, 2019 - Water puppets, river cruise dinner, Mekong Delta

Thursday 4th October Up early for a 6.30 am pick up. The restaurant is not open this early, so the hotel has organised a boxed breakfast – a tub of warm (now runny, haha) yoghurt, dry bread, half a small donut, a banana and some wafer biscuits. The bread gets ditched at the airport, but we eat everything else. The car to Da Nang airport takes about 45 minutes, our driver never said a word from the time we took bags to the car, until we got out at the airport. It is busy on the road, they get up early here, rising with the sun rather than...

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2019 tour

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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