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The Trans-Siberian

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

VIETNAM | Saturday, 3 November 2012 | Views [269]

HCMC was fairly nice for Vietnam. People were friendly and the scams weren't as readily apparent. I toured the War Remembrance Museum my first day, which was absolutely ghastly, showing pictures of the tortured as well as instruments and cages used for torture. It also showed pictures of the many children born with deformities caused by Dioxin. It was a little propagandist, showing pictures of children with Down's Syndrome or CP and a girl with pica, blaming Agent Orange for these maladies which is absolutely untrue. The museum also painted a very unattractive picture of Americans as blood-thirsty invaders. Next I wanted to go to the Reunification Palace, but most places close down for a midday siesta so I had a couple of hours to kill and found a Gloria Jeans to chill in for awhile. I don't think I've seen Gloria Jeans outside of Illinois before! The Reunification Palace was quite interesting with furnishings and architecture right out of the late '60s. It's like it was frozen in time. They had old filing cabinets and rotary phones and a 'War Room' with many old maps in it. The next day a group of us went to the Cu Chi tunnels where the Viet Cong hid and fougt from during the Vietnam War. There's over 200 km of these tunnels built around the area! And they are really small and dark. We had to crawl on our hands and knees because the ceiling was so low. We also saw several bamboo boobie traps built by the Viet Cong- brutal! Our tour guide was awesome! He had fought in the Vietnam War with the Americans and was so funny while telling his stories. It's amazing that someone can be so jovial after going through all that. The next day I boarded a bus bound for Phnom Penh and my new friends headed in other directions.


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