We had been told that HCMC was busy, chaotic, crazy and it would be impossible to cross the road. Anyone who thought this had obviously not been to Mumbai! We were only there for 3 days and enjoyed our time.
We’ve found that student walking tours are a reasonably cheap way of getting insights into the cities we visit and our lovely guide Kim spoke good English and provided an excellent introduction to the city.
Later in the day we visited the War Remnants Museum, which incorporated part of a prison. There were artifacts such as a guillotine and reproductions showing the barbarous conditions originally imposed on Vietnamese independence fighters by the French colonial power, and more recently used by the American backed South Vietnamese government. The exhibits in the main part of the museum were predominantly contemporary images of the Vietnam War taken by internationally renowned war photographers of the day. It felt very uncomfortable to be be presented with the terrible images and consequences of American actions during the war. The information was obviously provided from the Vietnamese (Communist) perspective and gave us a different viewpoint. As people who can remember the TV news coverage as well as the attempted justifications by Western governments during the 1970’s it really challenged our views.
The following day we felt we needed to cheer ourselves up a bit so we visited the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
On our final evening we treated ourselves to dinner at a nice vegetarian wholefood restaurant, then headed off for amazing night views of Ho Chi Minh City from the Eon Heli Cocktail Bar on the 52nd floor of the Bitexco Financial Tower.
Our next journey involved another bus, this time it turned up – Hurrah!
After a 6.5 hour journey and another border crossing, we arrived in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.