Our brief encounter with Ho Chi Minh 

Ho Chi Minh was our final destination in Vietnam, we arrived the morning of the 1st September and we were on a bus to Cambodia 24 hours later.

In our short time we changed hotel rooms to escape the bed bugs we found. (Free upgrade). Walked around the city, tried to go to the War remnants mueseum (but it’s closed for 2 hours over lunch) so instead we went to the Ho Chi Minh Museum and saw a range of equipment used in the war. From weaponary to transport and the history of Vietnamese currency.

The city is the most “English” of those we have visited in Vietnam, with large numbers of shops and restaurants with English signs. The streets are filled with hotels, mini marts and travel agents; it’s definitely a city catered to tourism.

We booked ourselves on to a tour to the Cu Chi tunnels, which is about 60km out of the city, for the afternoon. We learnt about the tunnelling system the Vietnamese used in the war against the Americans.

Tiny entrances:

the real entrances were 10% smaller than this one

Disguised ventilation holes, which once discovered the enemy would gas the hole to suffocate the soldiers. The military workshop and a variety of different traps used to injure the enemy.

one of the many traps used to injure the enemy

And we got to crawl through the types of tunnel that were used in the war. They used a 3 level system so even if the enemy discovered the first level there was further places to go.

the tunnel that we climbed through for 150m

There was an opportunity to use one of the guns at the shooting range (we didnt) and the tour ended with a video about the Vietnamese struggle during the war but it was verging on propoganda. The video aside, the tour was really interesting and definitely worth doing. It cost us 210,000 VND, roughly £6, including all transport costs.

When we got back to the city we enjoyed our final meal in Vietnam: tofu in a tomato and mushroom sauce, sautéed vegetables, steamed rice and cheap beer. We then went to the night markets and Liv bought a replacement for her broken hat, and after some serious bartering from 250,000 VND we managed to settle on a price of 50,000 VND (less than £1.50). The markets are full of fake designer t-shirts, trainers and bags. But most noticeably, all of Vietnam is filled with fake The North Face shops selling extremely good copies of bags and jackets for a fraction of the price of the real deal. Vietnam is definitely the place to come if you want any “genuine fake” sports gear.

With less than a day in the city it’s hard to comment on it over all, but from what we saw we thought it was similar, and slightly preferable, to Hanoi.


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