Day of culture, football and Snurf

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog

 › entry 16 of 55 › view all entries

Today we were on a pre-booked tour of Saigon, which Snurf kindly booked for us. Unfortunately I had to face him by myself as Burger was refusing to eat his breakfast, after throwing it up yesterday. I sensed there was more to it...

We started off in the French Quarter, at the Reunification Palace, which was bombed during the war, and also where the tanks came in to effectively end the war, and the victory went to the Northern Vietnamese. It's a splendid old building, built originally by the French during colonial times, and has a good view of the city from the top floor. After that we headed to Notre Dame Cathedral, the only cathedral in Saigon, and the post office. An unusual tourist attraction, but there you go...it was inhabited by a crazy old woman, who had a private joke with God. Or someone.

It was fucking hot, but not as sweaty as Bangkok...still, nothing could be...

Afterwards, we went on to a museum for handicapped handicrafts. Well, handicrafts, made by the handicapped. Some of them had no obvious handicap, but I didn't want to cause a scene, so I left them to it. Some of the paintings were done by crushing egg shells, and the shop at the end was tempting. A little too tempting...

We set off for the War Remnants Museum, which was interesting. There is an American tank on display out the front, and some of the exhibits are rather gruesome. The Vietnamese don't hold back any punches, such as their section dedicated to the victims of agent orange, and some massacres perpertrated by the Americans, to worldwide demonstrations. (Sound familiar?).

After lunch, and Burg is FINALLY able to change his Cambodian riel into Dong, after trying 4/5 places, who are disgusted at the idea. We head into Cholon, and go first to a pagoda. The difference between a temple and a pagoda is the size, apparently. A pagoda is much bigger than a temple, and has many different areas. 

We then go to a market, but everyone is knackered by this point, and it starts to rain, so we set off quickly for the last stop, a temple. The place is just full of incense sticks, and the smell is overpowering, but in a nice way...

We go back to Snurf, and run upstairs to avoid his questioning...then run back out, and get some local grub, where I try the noc muam (fish sauce) for the first time, which is good shit. We find a place which is showing the England-Estonia game, and settle in for the night.

It's a shit game, but we win 3-0, so it's all good...we eat, and drink a shitload, then head back to the hostel, ready to check out early in the morning, and leave Snurf behind. We figure Snurf is also on yabba, which is crystal meth, 'cos he is always up...

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