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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Saigon, Vietnam

Jan 28, 2019 - Saigon

We traveled 40 kilometers outside Saigon to the Cu Chi Tunnels. These are a labyrinth of intertwining tunnels the Guerrillas used to escape GI’s and travel from one site to another to fight. The tunnels were narrow and constructed for the slight build of the VC. Most of the American soldiers, except for the tunnel rats, could not follow. They were dark, unlit, zigged zag and went on for great distances. Ted crawled through a 30 meter segment and reported it was not a pleasant experience all the while wondering when it would end and he could...

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Sommers Vietnam 2019

Jan 27, 2019 - Saigon

We disembarked the Mekong Navigator and boarded a coach for an hour and a half drive to Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City. On arriving, we took a city tour, enjoying the displays of flowers being set up for the upcoming Lunar New Year. We saw many yellow flowers that represent wealth and red ones for happiness. We paid a short visit to the Central Post Office, with many people milling about inside and out. It was built in the late 19th century, European style. We found a very small postal counter in the large building - most of it was shops. Next...

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Sommers Vietnam 2019

Jan 26, 2019 - Saigon

We went to a candy factory on the river bank. It was extremely small and was in operation mainly for the tourist trade. They demonstrated how to make puffed or popped rice. They heat up a giant pan that looks like a wok, add sand to increase the heat and pour in the rice. Stirring it, it pops and then is removed and pored through multiple filters to strain out the sand. They also had stations where they made candy and rice paper. Ted also sampled snake wine. It was terrible! After lunch we sailed down the Mekong on our “big” sampans where...

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Sommers Vietnam 2019

Jan 25, 2019 - Saigon/Ho Chi Minh

We sailed by sampan to Gieng Island, a triangular shaped island that is 50 square miles. About 4,200 people live there, many of whom are Catholics, and the rest are Buddhists or practice HoaHao, a Buddhist sect. We visited a cottage village where about 600 craftsmen live with their families, and build sampans and boats of different sizes and types. We stopped at one family’s home, and met the father, who is 60 and has been building boats for 37 years. His son now helps him. It costs him $100 for the materials to make a boat and he sells it...

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Sommers Vietnam 2019

Mar 17, 2018 - Ho chi minh/Saigon

History: Founded as a small fishing village, Ho Chi Minh City is now Vietnam’s largest city. Though it is still commonly called Saigon, locals are as likely to simplify the name of their home town to HCMC. Pagodas blend with French colonial grandeur, all against a constant buzz of motor scooters and trill of bicycle bells. Let’s get it over with “Good Morning Vietnam” all I can say is motor bikes and karaoke, what an active city of 12 million. History, shopping and eating abound if you can get across the streets which do not have stop...

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Jul 24, 2017 - Happy hour op de 52ste verdieping

Vanmorgen weer eens met de Riksja op pad geweest. Het is wel een beetje gênant om op een karretje te stappen dat wordt aangedreven door een fietser van tegen de tachtig. Ik kreeg de neiging om zelf te gaan fietsen en hem erin te zetten maar met dit verkeer zou ik de hele morgen stil blijven staan omdat ik niet zou weten hoe ik door dat verkeer zou moeten komen. Niemand heeft hier voorrang en iedereen neemt hier voorrang. Dan maar achterover leunen en zien hoe de oude baas zich door de honderden scooters, auto’s en bussen manoeuvreert. Heel...

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Jul 23, 2017 - de Cu Chi tunnels

Gisteravond zijn we in de straat achter ons hotel een hapje gaan eten. Via een smal steegje liepen we er naartoe. In het straatje werd ik steeds door opgemaakte dames aangeklampt voor een massage. Dat leek me toch een andere massage dan ik op de boot een paar dagen geleden had gehad. De straat er achter bleek één groot stappencentrum te zijn, barstensvol met bars en clubs. Hier gaan ze niet om 10 uur naar bed. Dat was snel duidelijk. Dat bleek later ook toen we op onze hotelkamer terug kwamen. Tot diep in de nacht hoorden we het...

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Jul 22, 2017 - Herrie op het water en het oorlogsmuseum

We hadden al geconstateerd dat dit land nat is. Het regent in dit seizoen vaak en veel. Gelukkig is het nooit koud. We zijn vandaag naar de drijvende markt van de Mekong Delta gevaren en het was steeds poncho aan poncho uit. De kwaliteit van onze poncho’s is zodanig dat na twee keer aan- en uittrekken hij aan flarden ligt. Dus bij de derde bui loopt iedereen te wapperen en door te lekken. Onze boot heeft een afdak en met het geronk van de provisorisch gemonteerde automotoren met roerstaaf hoor je de regen niet meer. Alle boten hebben een...

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Jul 20, 2017 - Vliegen naar Saigon

Hoi Ann ligt midden in Vietnam en we gaan nu een heel eind naar het zuiden vliegen. We vliegen naar Ho Chi Minh City, dat door de meeste zuiderlingen nog steeds Saigon wordt genoemd. Als je erover doorvraagt dan kan het zijn dat het centrum van de stad met 9 miljoen inwoners Saigon wordt genoemd en de stad met alles erom heen Ho Chi Minh City. Op alle borden in de stad staat gewoon Saigon. De zuiderlingen mogen dan samen met de Amerikanen de oorlog hebben verloren, over de naam van de stad wordt niet zo moeilijk gedaan door de...

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Mar 5, 2017 - Shul Hopping in Saigon

Shul Hopping in Saigon March 5, 2017 Saigon, Vietnam Cholon is the name of one of Saigon’s Districts. Well, it’s actually so big that it overflows into two separate districts. It’s considered to be the world’s largest Chinatown. Its name means ‘big market’ in Chinese and today we saw just a glimpse of a couple, including a “pop-up only until 12 noon so get up earlier next time buster” market that turned a couple of blocks into pedestrian only thoroughfare and then the Binh Tay covered market itself, a mirror image of the Ben Thanh market...

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Mar 4, 2017 - The Sausage Makers Convention

The Sausage Makers Convention March 4, 2017 Saigon, Vietnam At the pool this afternoon I met 3 couples here from Adelaide, Australia. After asking the obligatory and introductory “Where are you from?” set of questions, we got into the normal next layer of discussion: “Why did you choose to visit Vietnam?”. In their case, (and I honestly wasn’t expecting this one) it’s because they are attending the annual Vietnam Sausage Makers Convention. In fact, they own a small sausage-making business back home and they’re on a fact-finding mission to...

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Mar 3, 2017 - Stuff they put in drinks

Stuff they put in drinks March 3, 2017 Saigon, Vietnam My Nha Dam had floating chunks in it. Tasted like jellied coconut. A lot of drinks here have hidden chunks of indiscernible stuff in them. I think that’s on purpose but I’m not certain.  I'm familiar with the concept of tapioca chunks in Bubble Tea but this came in a plastic bottle that looked to me like a slightly off colour of what should have been iced tea. Like maybe sickly green looking ice tea but ice tea nonetheless. Well, it turns out that Nha Dam is actually bottled coconut...

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