Eyes wide open and sKooters
03.11.2010 35 °C
So like I said we arrived in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) with no hassle got dropped off in the main district, three I think? I never worked it out but I'm going with district three and without any issues we found a room for the four of us. Jacko rocked up an hour or so later soaked through and royally peed off having ridden in torrential rain for hours and getting stuck behind a convoy of Trucks. I need to add at this point Jacko was due to sell his bike and fly home the next day but we managed to persuade him otherwise to just sell up and keep on the road with us.
After settling in we went wandering around the city and found an awesome market and in true Asian style full of everything you could possibly need, plus a whole lot of crap. We then went in search of one of the war museums Saigon has to offer but when we got there, it had closed up for the day. Apart from the war memorials and museums while in Saigon we all wanted to check out the tunnels that the Viet Cong used to live, fight and move unseen in. So we went in search of a tour company and got booked on a tour in two days. The next day we went back to one of the war museums, this time while they were open.
The whole exterior of the main museum was filled with vehicles used in the war along with munitions artillery and a selection other defences. To one side in a walled off corridor was a ... well the best way to describe it is, a display (however bad that sounds) of all the torture methods and ways they kept people incarcerated. Well the methods they used are not fit to be used on any living thing especially not time and time again and I feel for every person who went through any one of these tortures, let alone multiple ones several times, before being left maimed for the rest of there life however long or short it would be.
Inside the museum you are shown in even more detail the brutality of the Vietnamese war for both sides and lets you realise how much the media has hushed up what the western army did and how ignorant we are to what life was like for every man, woman and child involved. Again I don't want to go into detail of the horrors shown in the images, displays and words this memorial museum shows so imagine the worst scenes in movies such as platoon and full metal jacket and multiply those Hollywood produced effects by 10, 15, 20 times and happening to real people and your getting close to what some of these people went through and what is shown.
After our visit to the museum we had to have a beer a take our minds away from what we had seen and let it all register and sink in so we found some beers and a nice park to really reflect the crazy change that has occurred in Saigon in the last 30 years or so. Here I really lightened the atmosphere with a cheap but brilliant investment of a foldable scooter (like the ones that crazed across the world about 10 years ago) this would later re-inspire Jack to buy another one after his one had broken a few cities back. Anyway that night was another night out but this time with Jacko and me scooting around every bar and to each new bar we went to.
Hangovers greeted us all the next morning for an early start, by our standards, to head out to the tunnels. When the bus arrived we were introduced to our intense guide Mr Lee who was constant entertainment throughout the tour. This was a lot less heavy than the previous days wander into modern history being shown the tunnels and entry holes along them plus being able to go into them . Then being shown all the traps which weren’t as fun but impressive none the less these ranged from open pungee pits to all sort of concealed pits and an array of trips wires with different devastating effects to the body. This tour finished off with a chance to fire all sorts of weapons from Ak-47’s and M16’s to chain guns and throw grenades at a variety of targets depending on how deep your pockets where and how sick you were ( I will let you use your imagination).
During the day Marc had headed off and was on his way to Australia, so we went out for drinks in honour of the parting of ways. Over the next few days we booked our onward journey through SE Asia and chilled out checking out the city getting massages and enjoying the end of our journey through an amazing country we had all grown very fond of. Finally we boarded our bus and headed of on yet another long ass journey, this time to Phnom Pehn a whole new country, the boys were heading to Cambodia.