Sunday, October 16, 2011

Part One: Vietnam

Our most recent exploits took us to Vietnam and Cambodia. I'll break this trip into two separate posts since both Countries were unique in their own ways.

We arrived in Ho Chi Minh (formerly, and still know to many as Saigon) to a pretty deserted airport. You can see a picture of HCM above, taken in the post office. Our taxi driver took us to our hostel and upon our arrival presented us with our first task: crossing the street. Scooters are EVERYWHERE, and they stop for no one. Luckily our friend had given us advice before we left...just walk. The tide of bikes will shift with you. Check out all the bikes at this moderately sized intersection:

Seemingly everyone has a scooter, and one of the interesting things was how they all use them to relax. On any given sidewalk you'd see a character like this, propped up on his bike like it's a recliner or something.

Another form of transportation are these bicycle things. A guy sits behind you, pedaling and tooling you around town. We didn't take one because we'd heard they are notorious for scamming you, but we saw them everywhere.

Our main focus of the trip was to see the Cu Chi tunnels that the Vietcong built during the Vietnam war. It was really fascinating to see these small tunnels that the Vietnamese built without shovels or machines. It was also sad to see that war essentially forced these people to live like ants.

We were shown all of the torturous tactics that the Vietnamese used against the Americans (in the propaganda video they called them "angry white devils"), anything from boards with nails in them to elaborate booby traps in the ground. We were able to slide into some of the holes they stayed in waiting to ambush the enemy. Here's one of the guys in our group going into the hole. Once you were in they covered you up completely.

We also crawled through one of the tunnels, which was really unsettling. Once you were down there, you couldn't see any daylight. You just crawled until you found a way out on your hands and knees.

There was also an area where you could shoot a multitude of different guns. You just had to buy a magazine and then you could go blast the side of a mountain. It didn't seem very appropriate to do, but I watched another guy.

Ho Chi Minh was fast paced, crowded, and a little dirty. The food was incredible. The markets were beautiful and the people friendly. One of the best parts though was that everything was cheap!

1 comment:

  1. Very cool. I like what you said about shooting the guns not seeming appropriate.