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Good Morning Vietnam

VIETNAM | Monday, 10 December 2018 | Views [75]

Twelve hours of jet leg and 26 hours of travel was weighing heavy on us. Tim snored to the sound of the TV and I finished the blog. I wasn’t much further behind him; sleep came quick.

Tim was awake before it was light out. He refrained from moving until 6am. The hotel room is quite small, but it’s really comfortable and surprisingly sound proof. He shaved and showered just feet away from me but I didn’t hear anything until he started the kettle for coffee.

We didn’t have a plan for the day, but wanted to at least check out the breakfast buffet that came included with the price of the hotel. We don’t normally eat breakfast, but we were pleasantly surprised at the variety. Tim had beef pho and I just had some toast with peanut butter.

Our first stop of the day was the Reunification Palace. The building and décor is frozen in 1975 when the revolutionaries concurred Saigon, reuniting the country under a new socialist government. In recognition of their victory and their leader, they renamed Saigon Ho Chi Minh city.

 

The palace was impressive, but it seemed like much of its contents had been removed. We went room to room making up stories about how life during the war would have played out in this massive concrete palace.

There was a second building on the property and although we did not ask for tickets, they sold them to us anyway. Less than $10 for both our entries, so we didn’t complain much.

We wondered around for a while, just enjoying the street hustle and bustle.

We found the Ben Thanh Market and experienced a new level of aggressive vendors. Many of the stalls are exactly the same products, so, each of the vendors aggressively vies for your attention.

The market is extensive, from food stalls to raw fruit, vegetable, fish and meat. Deals can be found on souvenirs to T-shirt’s.

I wanted to get my nails done and I found place that seemed like a great deal. Although the girls were great and they did a good job on my gel nails, I was hoping for artificial nails. Lost in translation.

We walked around for a while, enjoyed the architecture.

We passed by a famous cathedral and stopped at the city post office.

Being close to the hotel, we decided to head back, grab a bite to eat and take a rest. First Bánh Mì was pretty good, but I wasn’t feeling like pate.

Tim ate and took a nap. We debated if a short nap would make him feel better but after 30 mins he was more sleep f’d than if he hadn’t slept. We motivated ourselves and walked to the War Remnants museum.

We walked around, admired the old planes, helicopters and tanks.

The amount of bombs they dropped on Vietnam was insane.

We also walked through a replica of an old colonial south Vietnamese jail that had a guillotine, jails and tiger cages. A somber sight to see.

The war cost twice as much as World War II, half as many people served but the casualty rate was much higher. I don’t pretend to understand all the dynamic of world politics at the time, but it is a sad story. I am not surprised so many people were opposed to the conflict.

Tim was feeling pretty sleepy so we stopped for an ice coffee. It was good but made his stomach upset.

We basically killed time for the next couple hours at the hotel pool. Ate a light dinner and went to bed at 1930. Damn jet leg. Pretty good day for it being considered a write off day.

 

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