Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog

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Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - Petite vendeuse vietnamienne

Guess what?  Ready for this?  Our first hitchhiking experience couldn’t have been more perfect than what it was!!! 

Thinking we might have been hurt or something?  Why in the world were we in an ambulance in the photos that appear on the previous entry?  Well, here’s what happened . . .

As we walked down the street away from Immigration and in direction of Ho Chi Minh City, aka Saigon, the craziest thing happened to us . . . We got picked up by an ambulance that was heading for Ho Chi Minh City, itself!!! 

We just breezed down the road and made it there in no time!!  It did help, of course, to have the siren going off throughout the whole ride!!  Haha!  :) 

I don’t think we stopped for a single red light, during the entire ride!!  Fortunately, the driver was pretty good, and didn’t get us killed!!

Ok, first impressions of Vietnam .

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - Arnaud & tank at War Remnants Museum
. . did I see a dog hanging at the window of this restaurant, as we zoomed past in the ambulance?!! 

Well, apparently, it could have been exactly that!!  Oh no!! 

I’ve been so hung up and worried about getting fed "dog" in China, but apparently, it’s more common to eat this here!!

Anyway, our first day in Saigon, was quite a crazy one.  Didn’t do much, but still, felt extremely exhausted for some reason.  Perhaps from the thousands and thousands of motorbikes swarming all over the place!!

So far, there’s one word to describe Ho Chi Minh . . . CHAOTIC!!!

RELIEF, is what was felt by the time we made it to our CS contact’s place, and happy to have done so in one piece!! 

We had the pleasure of being hosted by a lovely couple, Sam and Linh, who made our stay in this city an enjoyable one.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - War Remnants Museum

We had good talks, had some incredible home-cooked Vietnamese meals, and even got the chance to play the Mexican train!!

"What's that?" you might be wondering . . . well it’s essentially dominos, but lots more fun!!  Gotta be sure to ride the Mexican train!!!  :)

Ho Chi Minh, is definitely a bustling city (maybe too much even!!), with lots going on, but at the same time not many sites to see. 

Well, that’s what our hosts, as well as other visitors told us, in any case!! 

And it might sound strange, but folks visiting this place, absolutely love it for that very reason. 

It’s a dynamic city, with something happening all the time.  So, if you’re into people-watching and just in for it for the experience, you gotta come here!

Our experience here was definitely one to remember, no doubt!

Crossing the street safely was an adventure in itself here!! 

Trying to avoid getting hit by a motorcycle, and simply staying alive while walking on the sidewalk is what it’s all about here!! 

There sure are some impatient and bad drivers here!!  :(  All good fun, though!

Oddly enough, the folks here are super friendly, which always makes it a plus when visiting a place!! 

Everywhere we turned we had kids and even adults screaming out "HELLO!" to us, just so excited to be able to give us a warm welcome to their city.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - War Remnants Museum

So, of course, I was relatively pleased (but stressed, at the same time!!) when trying to safely walk down the street, and take in the sites of the city.

Saigon, as it was formerly known, is really culturally-rich and as you might know has quite an interesting past.

All I really knew about this place and country even was the little I had learned during history class.  And sadly enough, that’d be about our role in the Vietnam War.

Speaking of which, that would lead me into our visit to the War Museum . . . it was really a shameful moment for me as an American. 

I came out of this place feeling really despicable and ashamed of my country.  I still don’t understand how man could commit such horrid acts, and say they are fighting for their country, for freedom

Where is the justice and humanity in all of this??!!

In any case, it was an eye-opening experience, and one I’ll never forget.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - War Remnants Museum

Honestly, I’m still amazed at how forgiving these folks have been, especially towards Americans. 

Such atrocities were committed in this foreign land, how could soldiers live with themselves?!

No wonder the Vietnamese have such a thick skin and are often misjudged as opportunists or being harsh with foreigners.  I’d beg to differ.

Anyway, on a brighter note, because Vietnam has constantly been invaded by others wanting to take over the country, a fusion of cultures has taken place here.

For one, France’s presence here fortunately left behind the coffee culture.  And boy is the coffee yummy here!!

We enjoyed ourselves plenty cups of iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk and let’s not forget the delicious baguettes to go along with it!!  Thank goodness for the French!!  ;)

There’s also been an American influence here, guess what that might be? .

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - Children's painting collection "War and Peace" - We could learn a thing from these kids!
. . MONEY!! 

The Vietnamese, compared to their Laotian and Cambodian neighbors, have managed to develop quite more rapidly, and are quite money-driven, generally speaking. 

Could be seen as a good or bad thing . . . you be the judge of that!  :)

And, of course, being that Vietnam is so close to China, there’s definitely a feeling of the Chinese culture here, as well. 

I think that’d be the strongest one felt all around.  No complaints though, the food is delicious, the people are lovely, and so what more could we ask for?!!

So, all in all, our visit to Ho Chi Minh, was an unforgettable one, but at the same time, personally, I'm glad to be hitting the road for a much quieter and peaceful environment . . . let’s go for the beach!!

Would do us some good right about now, so here we come!!

Après quelques coups de téléphone, on trouvait enfin un toit, chez Linh et Sam.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - How some Vietnamese kids view the world . . . sad!
Un couple d’Américain qui était en vacances à Ho Chi Minh.

Linh étant d’origine Vietnamienne, ils utilisaient la maison de famille pour passer du bon temps.

La meilleure des choses pour visiter la ville, c’était d’avoir de bons conseillers, les endroits à ne pas louper, et bien sur ceux à esquiver.

Rien de mieux pour profiter au maximum du peu de temps que l’on avait.

La première chose à visiter était le musée de la guerre. Un seul problème, il fallait traverser la ville, quoi de plus facile me direz-vous ?

Tout simplement les motos, quand vous avez 20000000 motos qui essayent de passer dans une rue où ne peuvent quand contenir qu’une dizaine, cela vous donne une idée du désastre.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - The war, as seen by children

Ils essayent toutes les possibilités, sur les trottoirs, dans l’autre sens. C’est juste incroyable de voir tous ces gens qui sont coincés là, en train de klaxonner.

Les trottoirs ne sont vraiment pas sécurisés à Ho Chi Minh. Vous pouvez vous faire écraser facilement si vous ne prêtez pas attention à tous se qui vous entoure.

Après avoir fait une ou deux vidéos, histoire de vous faire partager cette désolation, on arriva enfin devant le musée, vivant !!!!

Pour vous mettre directement dans l’ambiance, des chars d’assauts sont postés à l entrée du musée, les avions de chasse suivent.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - Children's thought of the USA's role in the war

Il y a un circuit à suivre et le musée est essentiellement mis en rapport aux photos.

Il y a aussi des commentaires, mais ils sont malheureusement écrits en « Quoc Ngu », l’écriture Vietnamienne, illisible pour nous.

Il est vrai aussi que l’on voit juste que d’un coté. Au niveau des vérités, la balance penche en faveur des soldats Vietnamiens.

Toutes les atrocités qu’ils sont subis, avec photos à l’appuie c’est assez dur et choquant à regarder, pour cœur sensible, s’abstenir !!

J’aurais bien voulu en savoir plus sur le pourquoi de ces guerres, mais les guides sont inexistants, et les commentaires ne sont pas traduits !!

Un peu déçu à ce niveau là, d’autant plus comme je le disais auparavant, concernant la balance qui ne penche que d’un coté.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - And history repeats itself in Iraq

On ne vous parlera pas des horreurs qu’on infligeait les soldats Vietnamiens aux G.I. américains ou aux autres par exemple.

La guerre, de toute façon reste et restera une stupidité des hommes.

Pour parler de choses plus gai, parlons culinaire. La nourriture ici fut délicieuse.

Tous ce que vous pouvez trouver dans les restos chinois en France, vous l’avez ici pour 50 centimes d’euros !!

Les nems, les nouilles, les soupes, à chaque coin de rue, vous trouvez une petite mamie qui vend tout cela dans sa grande marmite MMmmmmmmmmmm!!!

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