Saigon

Saigon is an old name of what is known now as Ho Chi Minh City. It was named after the leader of Vietnam’s Communist Party and later the country’s president – Ho Chi Minh.

Our first day was lazy with some rest and sightseeing. Saigon has a lot of small streets with tiny restaurants, neons and stalls. It is quite difficult to get around as everyone rides motorbikes and scooters on these narrow streets. Crossing bigger ones is also a fight for your life as everyone seem to ignore traffic rules and drive as they like. Nevertheless after some time you just get used to it.

 

On the second day of our stay we went to the War Remnants Museum. It left quite an impression as its main focus is the victims and the cruelty of war. Yet at the same time it presents a one-sided view of this conflict. There is a lot of material about what US troops did to Vietnamese people, what weapons they used, how many bombs were dropped. They even have US tanks and aircrafts. At the same time there is absolutely no information about weapons used by Vietnamese troops and where they got them from.

 

On the third day we went for a trip on Mekong delta. This was a disaster. First we spent 3 hours on a bus to just get to the river. Then a boat took us to the Dragon Island where in 50-people crowd we were supposed to try local honey. Then we had a traditional singing show with a bazaar on the way – sellers doing what they usually do – please buy this 1 meter Buddha or a device to scratch one’s back. After the show we were taken to another boat for a ride along a canal. The ride took 5 minutes and we were going in a crowd of other boats on a narrow canal with dirty brown water. Tourists can enjoy the view of palm trees cut in order to widen this stretch of water or some construction works. Finally a visit to sweets factory. The only positive of this trip was the guide. He really tried to make it interesting but in fact in order to make such trip properly one has to find a local fisherman and ask for a cruise far from tourist attractions.

I really liked Saigon, especially the narrow streets but I would not like to live there due to noise and the crowds.

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