Today is our third and final day in Vietnam’s crazy power house. Tomorrow we head south to the Mekong Delta – a nice change. After dinner yesterday we brought a bunch of CDs costing a cheap price and a couple of DVDs, one of which being the total collection of Pedro Almodovar. Anyway, just then our hotel workers knocked on the door and i was naked! I got under a sheet but they looked at me funny. I forgot to mention that yesterday we found 300,000 Dong (about $AUD23) down the side of our bed, a nice find!
Back to today…
This morning we walked to the Ho Chi Minh City Museum. The museum is housed in an eighteenth century French colonial mansion that seemed to be an overly popular spot for wedding photos. We spent half our time dodging the professional photograph teams, very odd. Inside there were tons of artefacts and photographs taken from the Ho Chi Minh City area. Next we walked a few blocks to go to the most visited tourist destination in the city: The War remnants Museum.
We arrived just on noon and the place didn’t reopen until 1:30pm. So we went to a couple of small noodle restaurants, ate some yummy WonTon Noodle Soup and cooled off with an ice cream for less than 50cents. Once finally inside the museum, the wars are seen from the Vietnamese point of view (particularly the Vietnamese War), or rather the communist party’s point of view.
Many graphic images are depicted including a lot on massacre’s that the American’s were responsible for, very sad stories. After this we caught a cab from outside the the Emperor Jade Pagoda. Unfortunately this ‘metered’ taxi was significantly more expensive and cost us 70,000 Dong. This is a total rip off for the distance we travelled and then he asked if we wanted him to wait, we kindly said NO!
The temple was quite amazing, by far the largest and most intricate in Saigon. Following this we walked to the former City Hall, a beautiful French building that is smack bang in the centre of the ‘rich’ downtown area of Ho Chi Minh. The storm clouds suddenly rolled in as black as coal, so we jumped in a cab to get back home. We also discovered today that no ATMs have the option of taking out USD. SO we needed a bit of exchange for our Dong. I couldn’t believe it when it cost us less than an Australian Dollar fee to change 2,400,000ish Dong into $US150. Well that’s the story so far and we say goodbye to Saigon, an eclectic mis of Chinese, French, American and of course Vietnamese culture. So now we move south to one of Asia’s mightiest rivers: The Mekong and I need a new pen 😛