Ho Chi Minh City Journals

Vietnam...It's a Country Not a War

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A September 2004 trip to Ho Chi Minh City by onesundaymorning

Mekong Delta Tour Photo, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam More Photos
Quote: Travel with in Ho Chi Minh, the Mekong Delta, and Cuchi.

Rex Hotel

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Hotel

Rex Hotel Photo, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Quote:
Dong Khoi is the central hub of Ho Chi Minh home to boutiques, the Notre Dame Cathedral, at famous Rex Hotel. Built in the 50's by the French it became the home base for the US military during the war and many journalists. Walking into the Rex is like stepping into another era. Elegance and luxury are combined with what I can only begin to describe as safari via the 1930's (thing large tusks). My experience at the Rex was in three areas: massages, the roof top bar, and the cafe. Anyone is welcome into the hotel regardless if they are staying there or not.The cafe on the bottom level is a great place to cool off. The room is large with ceiling fans slowly turning. I had a hard time not being swep...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 28, 2008

Rex Hotel
141 Nguyen Hue Street
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 70000
+84-8-8293115

The Tunnels of Cu Chi

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Attraction | "Cu Chi Tunnels"

The Tunnels of Cu Chi Photo, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Quote:
The Cu chi tunnels are a footnote of the war that made it possible for Viet Cong troops to move into the south. These elaborated tunnels, located in the town of Cu chi, the tunnels once covered over 250 km and included everything from firing posts and air-raid shelters to kitchens and infirmaries. My group turned off into a heavily wooded; I couldn't make out any signs of live let along a museum or a set of tunnels. We were lead to a briefing room which was made up of nothing more then a log wall and a roof to watch a movie on a small TV. Here is where it started to get strange. The movie was nothing more then war propaganda. It started off a little like this "Cu chi the town of palm trees...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 14, 2008

The Tunnels of Cu Chi
Củ Chi District
Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon

War Remnants Museum

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Attraction

Quote:
It's with a heavy heart that I write this review. There are no words that can describe the atrocious, horrific sights that are inside. The fact that it was once called the War Crimes Museum gives a good indication of what is behind the gates. My friend had visited the museum the day before with a photographer who had photographed the war. He urged us to go, but once in the gates he changed. He became quiet and keep his head down; it wasn't out of not wanting look at the items on display, but it was because he didn't want to see our reactions.The main hall is full of pictures that depict that most disgusting acts of war; tanks dragging bodies through the streets, American solders pos...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 19, 2008

War Remnants Museum
28 Vo Van Tan St, District 3
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
(08) 829 5587

Ben Thanh Market

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Attraction

Quote:
The Ben Thanh Market is...well...it's exactly what I thought it would be. As the name implies it is a market, however it is not 100% for tourists nor is it 100% local. It was built in the 70's by the French and was called Les Halles Centrales at the times. The market is seperated into different areas for food, livestock, clothing, fabric, and other goods. Stalls are cramped together and offer the largest selection of everything that I had ever seen in my life. It's a whole days worth of exploration.My friends and I walked in and began to look. The market is high energy and everyone is willing to talk. We were following our noses looking for a bit to eat, but that day were weren't th...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 19, 2008

Ben Thanh Market
District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Mekong Delta Tour

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Attraction | "Mekong Delta"

Mekong Delta Tour Photo, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Quote:
At first it looked like a large lake with a large island full of crumbling buildings and the water packed with boats. The Mekong Delta stretches for 2,800 miles with rich soil making it the "rice basket" of Vietnam, and its history is as long and winding as its meandering rivers. It was once the home to the French, once occupied by the Cambodians. It survived a massacre planed out by the Khmer Rouge and suffered the effects of Agent Orange during the American War. As I entered my boat in My Tho I was a bit disappointed. The boat looked like it was being held together by hopes and prayers. The seats were wooden and fit two people on each holding about 30 people. As the boat sailed my heart ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 3, 2008

Mekong Delta Tour
Mekong Delta
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 0710
84 985 144 144

Why Did the Student Cross the Road?

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Crossing the street was never a science. At the age of five I learned to look both ways and cross; it was easy and simple. At the age of 24 I never thought that I would have to learn how to cross a rod, but not every place is like Ho Chi Minh. Vietnam takes crossing the road to a whole new level. It requires timing, precision, nerves of steel, and a since of immortality. Every port of call the my ship arrived in diplomats from the country as well as ambassadors from the US embassy came on board. They went through the usual song and dance of what to do, what not to do, what to see, where to shop, local custom, blah, blah, blah. However one lady who spoke caught my attention; she came ...Read More

Ho Chi Minh

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Story/Tip

Ho Chi Minh Photo, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Quote:
My ship sailed passed marshes that looked like a jungle on the water. Small boats were lined up in neat rows every few hundred yards and the occasional, lone sailor sailed by waving very so often. The air was heavy, almost hard to breath at first, but the view was so beautiful I couldn't leave the ships deck. Before leaving my family warned me to be careful in Vietnam. It was the war they grew up with and it seemed that still waged on in their minds just as it had many of the other student's parents that I was sailing with. Much of what I knew about the country at the time was what I seen in the movies like Apocalypse Now and Platoon; not the best references. I stood on the deck, looking into the wate...Read More

Cao Dai Temple

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Story/Tip

Temple Photo, Vietnam, Asia
Quote:
First I need to say that I am not someone who will judge another person based on their religion, even if I don't agree with their particular way of thinking I am in no position to judge another person. Now with that said I do think some religions are harder to grasp then other and some in particular are just an all around shock, especially when what is being seen was never explained. Also with that said the religion of Cao Dai is a bit strange (no offense to anyone who practices this). So as it goes my bus pulled up into a parking lot an yet another unscheduled trip to the Cu chi Tunnels. The parking lot was full of yellow sand and signs that read "Do not buy anything beyond these gates. It will be ov...Read More

Cyclos and Rickshaws

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Story/Tip

Motorcycles Photo, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Quote:
Some travel experiences leave an imprint on you for ever, others scar you for life and if you happen to have that experience while on the back of a cyclo in Ho Chi Minh you might just end up scared both physically and mentally. Among the long list of things I was told not to do while in Vietnam riding a cyclo was right their on the top. Ignoring all rational and sane advice I got on the first cyclo that I could find and took off. Cyclo drivers can be found anywhere that their are tourists and for 2 USD they will drive you across town. I handed the driver my money, was told to hold on, and in a brief moment of sanity I had a clear though and questioned what I was about to get into, but I ...Read More

Hello Big Boy

Story/Tip

Quote:
One time in Vancouver my friends and I were denied getting into a cab; there were three of us and six bags of luggage. That was too many and we needed a second cab. In Vietnam this isn't the case. While walking down the street in Ho Chi Minh a taxi pulled over because we were happily walking and that automatically signaled that we needed a cab ride somewhere. No wasn't taken as an answer and the driver walked with us down the street until we agreed to let him drive us. My group consisted of five people, three short girls (Tracy, Andy, and myself), Brandalon (average height), and Mike (big in every way).The cab driver took an instant liking to Mike, grabbed his hand, and said "you can ride up fro...Read More

Dress Making

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Story/Tip

Quote:
When in Vietnam getting clothing made is a must, and the streets of Dong Khoi are filled with tailors who can make just about anything. Off a side street I found a gem of a shop. Bolts of silk lined the walls, but we were told if we wanted something different that they could get it at the market in the morning. First on my list was a traditional Vietnamese dress called an Ao Da. It is a dress with high slits on both sides and and silk pants underneath. As the tailor was measuring me she very politely reminded me that the Vietnamese where their pants much higher then Americans as she measured my waist.Next I had a skirt made that I had designed. This is a very difficult thing to...Read More