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June 30th 2010
Published: July 2nd 2010
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1st sight of downtown HCMC1st sight of downtown HCMC1st sight of downtown HCMC

HCMC=Ho Chi Minh City
Wednesday, June 30th

The bus ride to Saigon started around 8:45am and we picked up people at many hotels along the way to the next town, as the resorts line about 5km of the road. Every seat on the bus was filled, Pete was in a normal seat and I was in the very back seat above the engine so it was quite hot. I won’t complain though as two Dutch men next to me were about 6 foot 5 inches or taller in the same seat as me. Lets just say I had a lot more leg room than them. The journey lasted about five and a half hours with only two stops for 10-15 minutes. That is more our style just enough time to get some snacks and use the restroom or smoke 2 cigarettes and have a coffee as the bus the driver said to us.

We got dropped off in the Pham Ngu Lao backpacker area in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). 1st stop a tour operator to get info on going to the Mekong Delta, 2nd stop found a hotel for $18USD per night, 3rd stop lunch at an Italian restaurant, 4th stop War Remnants Museum and 5th stop Reunification Palace.

When we chose to come to Vietnam it had a special place in my heart as my father served in the Vietnam (American) War after he was drafted into the US Army. I knew very little about the war as it isn’t really taught in schools as the focus is more on the Revolutionary, Civil, WW1, and WW11 war. It was never really talked about in our house except that Dad was a medic in Saigon. I guess my curiosity got the best of me on this trip and now I am reading the book The Girl In The Picture: The Story of Kim Phuc, the Photograph, and the Vietnam War by Denise Chong. I also purchased another book about a female Doctor in Vietnam during the War years.

The War Remnants Museum is a MUST see if you travel to Saigon and some of the pictures will explain why. Thanks to our friends Staci & Martin for telling us this was a must do.

The rest of the night was low key as we had torrential downpours of rain and lightening, this was the first time it rained in over 2 weeks during our travels. We grabbed our umbrellas and headed to a café, SOZO, that helps train and educate the less fortunate in Saigon to get jobs that will take them off the streets. The food was good and it was for a great cause.

Tomorrow we are headed to the Mekong Delta for 2 days/ 1 night.

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