Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ho Chi Minh City

Start of my overseas trip and all i had was severe illness, with high fever and really bad sore throat.

First stop of my vacation is Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon before it fell to the communists in 1975, which is the end of the Vietnam War.

Our tour guide is a rather interesting one, a Vietnamese Chinese who attempted 5 times if i did not remember wrongly, to escape from Vietnam to other countries. Quite a friendly guy, and definitely a capable one being able to talk non stop for 1 hour plus while we are on bus to the various location that requires almost 2 hours bus ride.

Well i cannot compare with other Vietnamese cities, but Ho Chi Minh City is unique in its own sense, because of the different architecture style houses that filled the sides of the road. The houses are normally slim and a few storey high like shop-houses, but unlike Singapore or Malaysia in which you rows of similar looking shop-houses, Vietnamese houses are all different in style, and from what i learnt from the tour guide is because the government allows the owner to build with whatever design they desire. Thus, roadside sightseeing seems like going through the creativity of the Vietnamese people.

The city itself has nothing much to offers other than shopping, like many other cities. The places we went for tour, like Cu Chi tunnel and the Mekong river was around 1.5 hours bus ride from Ho Chi Minh. Probably there are other attractions that I went, but definitely these two are the ones I remembered the most, one being the better one and well, the other being the worst ones.

Cu Chi tunnel has a long series of history behind it, which i rather not elaborate about it but if anyone is interested can follow this link, . The highlight of this trip is the crawling inside the Cu Chi tunnel, in small and dark tunnels that have different levels, rather interesting place that turn out to be a nice exercise for the start of the Vietnam trip.

The trip to Mekong river was dinner on a big white shark vessel that set sail along Mekong river. The trip was entirely a bore, with lousy food and bad entertainment, with almost no scenery save probably for the billboard with Korean celebrity gracing it. The entertainment was bad singer with old songs, and different countries tour group getting the mic to sing with the tips they gave to the singer. The whole experience truly redefine my style of keeping myself entertained.

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