Edit Blog Post
Published: July 26th 2009
We arrived in Ho Chi Minh City mid-afternoon after crossing the border from Cambodia. We got a coach from Phnom Penh early morning and arrived at the border, we had to get off the coach with our bags which were put through scanners just like at an airport, we had to go through immigration as well, and again similar to the immigration desks that they have at an airport. Unlike our previous border crossing which was a river crossing and a walk down a dirt track in the middle of the jungle we were surprised at the border with Vietnam, it’s seemed much more official and serious, armed guards dotted across the border and a huge increase security on the Vietnam side. Everything went ok though thankfully and we passed through with ease.
We dumped our bags in our hotel and took a wonder around the streets that surrounded our hotel in search of the usual necessities, food and drink. And what assault on the senses it was, we had arrived smack bang in the middle of one of the busiest cities in South East Asia, it was fast moving, a jam packed metropolis’s, people everywhere and the
Cao Dai Temple
View looking down the length of the temple.
only mode of transport as far as the eye could see the motorbike and the humble moped. We could not have had a bigger contrast to Cambodia and sleepy Laos if we had tried. We struggled to cross the road as the pedestrian crossings are all but ignored, the traffic just keeps moving but we soon discovered a very clever hack and as far as we could see the only way to cross the road, step of the curb and walk slowly across the road and the traffic just swerves in and around you.
The day after we arrived in Ho Chi Minh we went on a tour to Cao Dai Great Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels. We arrived at the Cao Dai Great Temple just in time for the noon prayer service where we watched hundreds of priests dressed in coloured robes participating in the festival. This really was an amazing sight to witness. Caodaists believe that all religion are essentially the same and the pray for world tolerance and peace. This was followed by a visit to the Cu Chi tunnels. This was a series of underground tunnels that stretch up to 250 kilometres which
Cao Dai Temple
View from the upper balcony inside the temple.
were used during the war to facilitate the Viet Cong. We got to go through a small part of the tunnel complex ourselves and they were not designed for tall people, lucky Stephen. Following this we had the opportunity to go a shooting range and shoot some targets. Stephen stepped forward very excited to use an M60 rifle. Even with ear defenders the noise was deafening.
We didn’t do much the following day, we walked and soaked in the city, we went to the cinema that evening after our delicious dinner of spring rolls and spicy and noodles which were included in our hotel stay. A day trip around the city was our final day here before getting an overnight bus north to Na Trang. We had several stop including the interesting War Remerants Museum which had many left over American military vehicles and planes. We went to the reunification Palace, a landmark of national importance it was here that the Vietnam War ended as a North Vietnamese tank crashed through the gates in 1975. We also went to the Notre Dame Cathedral, China Town and a few of the local markets. Finally, we had a relaxing drink
Cu Chi Tunnels
Ste trying out an M-60.
or two before gathering our bags left at the hotel and hoping on a moped and off we went to the bus station for the trip up to Nha Trang.
Tot: 0.033s; Tpl: 0.013s; cc: 9; qc: 25; dbt: 0.0099s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb