Our last stop in Vietnam was in the south. First we stopped in Ho Chi Minh for the day and then spent three days on the Mekong delta in a Sampan (small boat) that we rented for three days and two nights. And Finally we returned to Ho Chi Minh for three days to terminate our trip.
Ho Chi Minh, contrary to the other parts of Vietnam we visited, was a very busy metropolitain city with all the exclusive brand stores and state of the art buildings, restaurants and stores that cater mostly to tourists and then there is the other part of the town that is more geared to what the vietnamese can afford.
On our first day we explored the city and visited the War Museum, the Post Office, the Cathedral and the city in general. Then we headed to the Mekong Delta where we sent off on our sampan. This is a private little boat that includes an english tour guide, a captain and two helpers. They all catered to only David and I. We spent three days and two nights visting the Delta, taking in the beautiful scenery and stopping periodically to visit a market, a brick making factory, a candy factory, a temple, we also had supper at the house of a wealthy local, etc. All very interesting and eye opening.
On our return to Ho Chi Minh, we took a day to go and visit the Cu Chi tunnels where the Viet Cong hid and fought the americans during the Vietnam War. We were given a history lesson from the perspective of the Vietnamese and NOT what we’ve always heard from the American version and movies it was very unsettling to see how these people managed to live for years in these tiny tunnels with all that entailed. Bugs, scorpions, bombs exploding overhead, tunnels being flooded by the americans to ‘flush out’ the Viet Cong, etc. I walked about 40 meters (walking is a generous term, more like scuttled along bent over, and I’m only 5’3”) and was very anxious to get out, so I definately, could not image living full time in these tunnels.
On our last day, we visited some museums and did a little last minute souvenir shopping.
The Vietnamese are an amazing, accepting, resilient people who still manage to be happy with the little they have and who have learned to put the past behind them and live for the future.
The Rex Hotel at night.
View from our room at the Rex. The Rex is where the foreign correspondants would meet and exchange stories during the Vietnam war. This gathering of correspondants was called the Five O’Clock Follies.
View from the Rex Hotel Bar
View from the Rex Hotel bar
Ho Chi Minh at sunset
Inside the Post Office
Inside the Notre Dame Cathedral built by the French during their occupation
Traffic outside Ho Chi Minh
On our way to the Cu Chi Tunnels
Washing laundry On the Delta
Would you like some pineapples?
Each boat posts on a long mast what they are selling.
Bargaining on the river
Village at sunset
Activity outside the temple
Inside the temple, where people are getting ready to worship.
Brick Making Factory
Workers in the factory
Shoveling in the rice shucks to fuel the fire to cook the bricks.
Carrying out the cooked bricks.
Young boy in the brick factory
Brick factory angles, running around the factory with no shoes or safety gear. Supervision you say? None whatsoever.
My little angles
Once the bricks are made, they are shipped off by boat to other villages.
Fishing at sunrise
Work on the river at sunrise
Landscape at sunrise
Internet cafe where young village boys congregate.
Marketplace in the small village
Young boy doing homework in the boat.
Housing and people working
More Village Activity
Activity at the village
Small village at sunset
Landscape with reflection.
Temple, I loved the reflection in the water
Bridges are very active and often have people, walking, biking or using their Vespas on them.
Housing on the Mekong
Fishermen, this photo was taken at sunrise. They are hard working and get to the task at hand very early.
Fishermen with his traps
Fishermen on the river.
Washing clothes, a regular activity on the river.
Women working in the Candy factory.
Process of making popped rice.
Making Coconut Canady, Delicious
Woman showing us the making of rice paper
Spreading the rice paper around
Checking if the rice paper is ready to take off to dry.
Dock to the candy factory
Building along the Mekong Waterway
Young woman waiting to escort us to our table at a french restaurant in the middle of nowhere.
Typical bridge over one of the many small waterways off of the Mekong Delta
Fighting Cocks, this is still a widly accepted sport in Vietnam.