a brief glance at ho chi minh city

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So many motorbikes.

We’d like to give a great, big, sarcastic thank you to the cave tour we endured prior to arriving in HCMC. Why, you ask? The answer is simple: they made us sick as hell. We both agree that we’ve never felt so close to death in our lives. Yes, it does sound extreme, but we almost missed our flight and couldn’t keep anything down for close to two full days. Horrible, horrible experience.

So, that was our introduction to Ho Chi Minh City. We were both coming off a terrible food poisoning/water mistreatment and spent our first two full days in our Airbnb. The hosts were kind but also a little annoying. They generously gave us food poisoning tablets (maybe that’s what we had- we don’t know?), but tried entirely too hard selling us their motorbike tours. We couldn’t stand on our two feet, why would we want to suffer a ride on the insane streets that is HCMC traffic? Duh.

Anyway, on our final day we felt the city beckoning us enough to get out of bed, suck it up and see a little.

War Remnants Museum

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Relinquished US Army helicopter.

Where to begin…Well, if you look at TripAdvisor, you might feel as if you’ve stumbled across God’s gift to Earth. Yes, you might especially appreciate it if you are any nationality, except American. It’s difficult to describe the feelings, as an American, you experience while going through the exhibits. The first floor is made up entirely of snapshots of protests and demonstrations anti-Vietnam war. We decide it’s best to not include any personal politics in the blog, but looking at wall after wall after wall of innumerous photographs around the world of this, we felt a little uncomfortable and maybe a small sense of guilt.

The next floor provided a large room full of photographs portraying the violence of the war- by the Americans. We both searched for Vietcong evidence, nothing. Maybe we overlooked it? Maybe there was a small corner designated for specifically them, but we missed it. Anyway, the pictures don’t lie. It was horrific. Again, we wanted to shrink. But, it is war. That is war. It’s not a proud, honorable display of human behavior. But still, it was informative, yet absolutely appalling to see it.IMG_20150420_141408

The next floor, you wonder? Well, that exhibit was for Agent Orange and its aftereffects…. Including still to this day. Ugh. It’s definitely not getting any better. As Americans, we’re brought up to feel patriotic and proud to be from “the greatest country in the world,” “the land of the free,” etc… Which, do we feel that way, 100%. But there are moments in our past that question some of our ancestors or former government officials. We all just hope and believe that they make the decision that’s best for our country. Seeing this museum, especially from their point of view, definitely makes you think. We’ll leave it at that.

Until next time, HCMC

So yes, our Ho Chi Minh City visit was a letdown. We couldn’t bring ourselves to eat anything but crackers and 7UP. We definitely missed out on the local cuisine. We had very little energy to do anything. So much for the sightseeing. Next time, we’ll opt to visit the Mekong River Delta and Cu Chi Tunnel system, but absolutely still stay away from the motorbikes- it’s just insane!

 

 

 

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