Exploring Saigon

Today, we got off the river and headed to Saigon. I can say that there is a night and day difference between the north (Hanoi) and the south (Saigon). Saigon has far less pollution, crumbling infrastructure, and is clearly much more modern and easy going than cities in the north. I hate to say it, but Saigon was a delight to enter this morning.  Lots to say in this post as there is so many things to do…

IMG_5342

We first visited the former Presidential Palace…lots of history here.

IMG_5358

It is now called the Independence Palace or Museum. This is where the (previous) government rules, lived and held meetings before it fell in 1975.

IMG_5365

Here are the first tanks that the VietCong/Communists used to shut down and overturn the government.

IMG_5345

By crashing through the gates (since they were not skilled and knew what to do when they were fighting in the city and not in the jungles)

IMG_5363

This is the famous plane that was stolen (from the US) and dropped two bombs on the palace in 1974 that marked the end of the South Vietnam government.

IMG_5368

We also stopped by and checked out the famous post office that is still in use today. Lots original artwork and décor from a long time ago…a large painting of Uncle Ho Chi Minh hung over everyone.

IMG_5367

I have to say that you see A LOT of propaganda art, messages and statues in Saigon than you do in the north.

IMG_5384

And, right before lunch, we took a few pictures of the oldest Chinese pagoda in Saigon. It was pretty impressive with its woodwork as the temple is supposedly over 200 years old.

IMG_5389

A nice, (free) historical artifact worth visiting if in the area.

IMG_5405

In the afternoon, we visited the War Remnants Museum in Saigon.

IMG_5419

In some ways, it is a lot about propaganda…

IMG_5403

But it truly told the story and the sad history of the Vietnam War.

IMG_5397

It is mostly a photo museum of the history of the war and the soldier’s activities on both sides as captured by journalists.

IMG_5407

There was some nice exhibits of all the weapons used in the war and some of the captured US aircraft.

IMG_5426

As you can tell above, Agent Orange was the primary topic. Out of respect, I did not take nor will I show the pictures of the war. Many were too horrible or graphic to even describe. War is horrible and there is two sides to every story. The Vietnam War was something I hope we never see again.

IMG_5395

In closing for today, here is a stern warning from our hotel: don’t you dare bring in any of the DURIAN fruit…it smells like French cheese and offends some people. $200 fine for local fruit in the room!

Advertisements
This entry was posted in International, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s