Friday, May 8, 2009
ho chi mihn city ...the deep south
Next stop: the beautiful beach town of Mui Ne. The city consists
of one long strip of guesthouses along the beach, stretching the city out
over many kilometers. The atmosphere is relaxed and if you ever wanted to fly temporally over the ocean, you should try kitsurfing here.
For us it was the perfect spot for a couple days of relaxation ...before i was heading to Saigon, much more hectic and energetic than Mui Ne. Similar to Hanoi, even though the inhabitants of this city would harshly object to this stereotype.
The streets are incredibly busy and life turns into a game when you try to cross a street. The trick is to behave like water in a stream ... just go with the flow and things will be all right: )
Ho chi mihn city (aka Saigon) was also (finally) the city I had the guts to try some of the different fruits, I have been seeing across southeast asia (thanks Thea :) ... one was a greenish -pinkish creation, shaped like a longish, miniature pumpkin, the consistence similar to a cross of watermelon and apple ... very refreshing and juice, but firmer than watermelon, but softer than an apple on your teeth ...
To cover the cultural section off my check list (the German in me had to come back and say hello every so often), I got lost in this vast city to find the War Remnants Museum.
Helicopter, airplanes (B 52 my amateur experience suggests) and tanks greed you immediately ... 5 other rooms are waiting for you to discover some new aspects of this 24 year long involvement and war on an ideology. The museum provides the usual info ... but my favorite was a section dedicated to the journalist that died or ended up MIA (missing in action). Considering that the Vietnam war was the first of its kind in terms of media coverage. All of a sudden one could see a moving picture with sound, of a marine inflame a straw hut in the middle of the jungle, right before the camera focuses in on the journalist trying to find his words ... and while these brave guys took some amazing pictures they also educated us on how cruel war is. thanks.
Marie arrived a day after me in Ho chi mihn city (Saigon) and so we decided to explored the Cu Chi tunnels together - an elaborate tunnel system (three stories and multiple kilometer), only one hour away from Ho chi mihn city (Saigon) - USA headquarters during the Vietnam war. Vietnamese soldiers started the work when the french where still in the country (1954) and finished it with the end of the war with the US (1975).
Vietnamese are smaller than most Europeans, but the difference becomes much clearer when you try to fit through one of the tunnels ... even more impressive/humiliating is the fact that these tunnel we, the tourists, get to crawl through are 40% larger than the originals ...but besides size it is a clear sign of the determination of this nation. One can not help it but to be impressed.