Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I can hear

the constant rumble of traffic and tooting of horns and the occasional rooster crowing....at any time of the day. We are in Ho Chi Minh City. We arrived 2 nights ago, tired from very little sleep on the plane...love those over night flights when you have to sleep upright!! Yesterday we were out and about, we went out to the Chu Chi tunnels, created by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam war. During the war there was 250km of tunnel betwork created, there is very little left today.....the locals have dug many kgs of metal out of the ground from bombs and there are still birth effects happening from agent orange. Very sobering thought.
We had to drive 60km and it took one and a half hours, there was so much traffic and the roads are not the best, most accidents happen on the higheay we were told, in the city people seem to weave around each other, our bus seemed to have right of way...maybe size has might!!

A young Vietnamese man demonstrated the tunnels entrance to us, they were very small

And once the top is down you cant see them. They leaves cover them and they look like the jungle floor 

This is a US tank, M41, that was blown up by a land mine right here and here it has stayed. Some metal bits and wheels have been taken from it by the locals to sell.
We had the opportunity to take a short walk/duck walk/crawl through a short section of the remaining tunnel system, about 20m.
The second lots of steps down...put in for the tourists

part way

and to think these tunnels have been widened and made higher for the Westerners to fit through, it was still a squeeze.
a side tunnel
heading for the light and fresh air, it was very hot in the tunnel, mind younit was very humid outside too.
We saw this lady making rice paper

Some examples of the Viet Cong sandals

This man was making them, they are made so the tracks you leave makes it look like you have walked in the opposite direction.

We headed back to the hotel for lunch and then did a city tour in the afternoon

The Cathedral 
The central Post Office
Beautiful inside and out, both built in the 1880's by the French. The French also taxed people on the width of the house they built, so many houses are between 5 and 10 m wide
Not the best example but the best I can find at the moment
We visited a Chinese temple

The carvings were amazing

And the incense over powering. Several people were in saying their prayers.
Our last stop was at the Reunification Palace
This building was febuilt after being bombed in the late 60's by a S I uth Vietnamese man, who was recruited and trained to be a pilot by the US, but on a bombing raid by the US he flew away and bombed this building and then went and landed at a Viet Cong airfield!!! Some poeple have complicated allegiances!! 
We had a stop at the central market but didnt last long, too many people grabbing at us and demanding we buy.
I just have to show you the ceiling of the bus we were in Sunday night,
Pretty full on when you are tired!! Plus the driver played LOUD disco music all the way back, lucky it was only about 30 minutes!!
I nly a tiny bit of sewing has been happening, but hope to get to more soon.
Will finish with the welcome at the hotel
And they do.
See you later.


Julie said...

Wonderful trip you are having Sue ... you are packing alot of sights in. I love that welcome at your Hotel ... how wonderful to be greeted with that. Enjoy your trip Xxx

Moose-ings said...

Love your photos and comments, you sure are having an interesting time. Love the welcome sign.

Jo said...

Beautiful photos...

Fiona said...

what an interesting trip... it's great reading about it...

Ondrea said...

What a fantastic saying at the end of your post! OOO it looks waaaay too busy for me. Interesting about the tunnels. They also had covered booby traps which were large wooden spikes that people fell onto. Awful history! The temple would have been a lovely place to regain some serenity. Love the bus ceiling hehehe. I bet you are both exhausted now LOL.

Raewyn said...

Very interesting Sue - I hope everything is continuing to go well! Look forward to seeing more :-) xx

Kaylee said...

Holiday time, love the photos.....

newsurfiegirl said...

Love seeing all the photos from your travels!

Anonymous said...

More mixed feelings. I still think of it as Hanoi. And it had one of the worst POW prisons ever. The tunnel was interesting - and you had lights! I think they were on their stomachs in the dark, from what I've been told.

I don't think I'd have cared for that bus ride! LOL The street-long shot of the narrow houses reminds me some of row houses in South Carolina. These were a little less uniform in size, but both places are colorful houses!