Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

01.08.2011 – 02.08.2011

Our last stop in Vietnam was Ho Chi Minh City, best known as Saigon. We arrived there late in the day after 6 hours of sitting with our knees in our mouths in bus seats designed for children.

The next day we got up early for our walk around the city. We started off with some landmark buildings. I guess this is when it hit me that a great number of the buildings of note in Asian cities are those left behind by the Europeans. Time having aged them in a rather pleasant way. And so we walked the streets of Saigon and visited the church of Notre Dame and the post office, both very French.

The Notre Dame of Saigon

In the post office, Ho Chi Minh in the background

Lady Giulie in front of the Vietnamese museum

We finished the day by visiting the reunification palace and the Vietnam war museum. The reunification palace was where the Vietnam war came to an end in 1975, seeing the reunification of north (communist) and south Vietnam (which was fighting with American and European assistance to "contain" the spread of communism) under Ho Chi Minh's communist rule (Ho Chi Minh then renamed Saigon to Ho Chi Minh city).

Reunification building

We then proceeded to the war museum. Unlike the reunification palace, which was full of Vietnamese tourists, the war museum was now full of European tourists. It was interesting to finally read about the war from a Vietnamese perspective, although they obviously chose very carefully what to say and what, instead, to omit. Having, hopefully, learnt from the mistakes of others, we returned to our hotel.

A Vietnam of the past: About half a million US soldiers participated in the Vietnam War

The next day we were booked on the very early morning bus to Phnom Penh - the capital of Cambodia.

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