Friday, April 16, 2010


Unfortunately, due to our schedule we were only able to stay in Saigon (now named Ho Chi Minh City after Uncle Ho) for one day, but what we saw of it made us want to come back for more.  We arrived in the evening after a 5-hour bus ride from Mui Ne and the streets were bustling with all sorts of activity.  Saigon has a pretty cool vibe with tons of bars and restaurants to fit every budget and taste.  The night we arrived we actually ended up having some pretty good Mexican food at a place called Cantina, just off of Pham Ngu Lao Street in District 1 (one of the main backpacker areas).

The following day we visited the War Remnants Museum which contains artifacts and photographs from the Vietnam War (referred to as the "American War" in Vietnam).  The displays are graphic and pretty shocking and, unsurprisingly, very one-sided.  Up until the mid-90s the museum was actually called "Museum of American War Crimes."

One of the most interesting parts of the day for us was meeting a group of American Marines who organize tours to Vietnam several times a year for veterans.  We asked them what they thought of the museum and they said that what is displayed is real and happened during the war but is less than one percent of the full the story.  They pointed out that there were atrocities on both sides and it is the unfortunate reality of war.  We were also surprised to learn that on their tours they regularly meet with North Vietnamese veterans to give presentations about certain events during the war and engage in a dialogue.

After the museum we went to Reunification Palace but it was closed for lunch so we took a few snapshots and grabbed some lunch ourselves.

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