Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Ho Chi Minh City
We went on a walking tour of the city, which was rather challenging in the intense humidity, but definitely worth it. Having a look around the Fine Art Museum and the Museum of Ho Chi Minh City was interesting, as the war with America is such a huge focus, but also highlights how far Vietnam has come since then, being able to build up such a beautiful, clean city that is increasingly growing in popularity. This line of thought was compounded after a day trip to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels.
Slim Jim showed us this massive tunnel site, a couple of hours drive away from the city. The tunnels were barely big enough for the tiny-framed Vietnamese soldiers, and the ones that we got to go in had been made twice the size, 'for all the fat Westerners'. It was only a 100 metre stretch, and I'm annoyed at myself that I was only 5m from the end was claustrophobia made me escape from one of the early exits - if I'd realised how close I was, I think I could have made it! It goes to show how tough conditions were though. I found it a little odd how Slim Jim had chosen a job to tell everyone about the amazing feats of the VietCong when he had been opposed to them during the war, but there was no bitterness that his wishes hadn't been realised. In fact, no matter what 'side' anyone we spoke to had been on, there seemed to be no ill-feeling amongst the Vietnamese - any ill feeling was reserved for the Americans. I'm not saying I agree with Communism, but, for now, it seems to be working for the Vietnamese.