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Cédric's Around the World Adventures Je pars en Asie pour 3 mois visiter le Vietnam, la Thailande, la malaisie, l'indonesie, l'Australie et le Japon...Tout un programme.

Exploration in and around Saigon

VIETNAM | Friday, 12 December 2008 | Views [823] | Comments [3]

Hi all !


A quick update (that might end up being long) on the last two days spent in Ho-Chi-Minh. It's been crazy and full of interesting learning and experiences:

On the 11th, First full day in the city we met a guy called Khai who had the particularity of not looking too creepy in offering a tour of the city. He got a notepad out of his moped boot with references of backpackers, he'd been taking on tours in and out of Saigon. Of course, he had a friend waiting around the corner with his very own moped so they could show us around the city. We finally agreed on a 5 hours tour of Ho-Chi-Minh for 160 000 Dong (yes I am a french millionaire in Vietnam and in the end it is only 8 euros). They took us around many places on their old mopeds, including:
-The Mekong river border
-The City Hall
-The Reunification Palace : the palace where Ho-Chi-Minh got the south vietnam government to surrender and liberated that part of the country to reunite with the North (or expanded the communist invasion...it is only a matter of perspective wether your are on the side of the South or Noth Vietnamese).
-Notre Dame : yes there is a church, no hunchback though...
-The Central Post office with it's colonialist era look
-The Pagoda of the sky emperor, where I almost suffocated due to all the encens burnt by the people who worship there.
-A Hindou Temple, picked by our guides

I took plenty of photos and uploaded them -...So have a look in there. As I said, we moved around the various places on 50cc moped that where at least 10 years old. We really had a lot of fun in the Saigon traffic, although kinda scary sometimes and probably inhalated more exhaust pipe gas in five hours than in the rest of my whole life. A great thrill and reflecting back I would probably not been covered by any insurance in case of accident (I am sure, the moped of Khai was not insured as well eventhough he pretended the opposite).

Khai also offered to take us to the Cutchi Tunnels but we opted for the bus which I believe is way safer / faster for such a long trip. So we booked a day trip to the Caodai temple and the Tunnels:

-The Caodai religion is a mix of several and in the temple, it is possible to see Jesus and Buddha and other well known divinities together. Worshippers are about 2 millions in the country and come from different religious backgrounds - an interesting concept, if you ask me.

-The Kutchi Tunnels : a region belonging to the South Vietnam where the people decided to resist to the US and built tunnels to circulate underground and survive bombings and other threats until Ho-Chi-Minh' arrival. I was amazed at the conditions in which the people who lived there survived their oppressor. The tunnels have been elnarged twice since and we went for a 100 meters long stroll and luckily there were no bats in there !

Tomorrow we are leaving Saigon to head towards Mui Ne - a beach resort where we'll most probably be forgetting the city madness for the white sandy beaches, the surf, the windsurf and other thrilling nautic activites as well as other cultural discoveries in the surroundings...

Stay tuned :)

Cédric

Comments

1

Nothing like a friendly neighbourhood guide with good references to discover a city ! I'm going to check those photos, everybody says hi, and Provence is asking when the elephants are coming in !

  Brice Dec 12, 2008 7:20 PM

2

Hello Cédric,

Merci de nous envoyer tes infos, c'est super fun !

Bonne suite et à bientôt.
Karim

  Karim Perraudin Dec 14, 2008 10:34 PM

3

salut mec,
je vois que ton voyage se passe bien, oublie pas d'écrire en français, pense un peu aux ignares comme moi !!!
Envoie nous desphotos
Bises

Marc et Eva

  Marc Dec 14, 2008 11:46 PM

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