Sarah and Denis Round the World travel blog

Now you see him !

Now you don't !

Mr Binh, pronounced Bean, our guide next to an excavated tunnel entrance

Cu Chi Tunnel warden in the jungle above the tunnels

An American M-41 tank, knocked out by a delay mine during the...

Viet Cong had to improvise traps due to shortages in supplies of...

Denis playing with an M60 machine gun

Sarah emerging from the 100m long tunnel section

Mr Binh gets to the point

The Viet Cong dummy was surprised by the approaching tourists

Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City

Sarah in front of the first North Vietnamese tank to crash through...

The Palace was rebuilt in 1962. It was bombed by their own...

They hated the then president so much and were attempting to kill...

At Tet, there are these trees with cards on them everywhere

Denis next to statue of Ho Chi Minh

The rooms and decor were very oppulent (carpet was a present from...

View of the gates with financial district behind

The first tanks to enter in 1975 on display on the lawn

The Palace even has it's own helipad

Bomb-proof war room in the basement

Ho Chi Minh City from our hotel room

It could get noisy at times

But Sarah didn't let it disturb her preparation for the 2008 Olympic...

We arrived in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) 2 days ago. It is the largest city in Vietnam and was the capital (known as Saigon then) of the Republic of Vietnam from 1956 until 1975 when it fell to advancing North Vietnamese forces. At times there seems to be more motorbikes than people here. Even the British foreign office website tells you to cross the road slowly and deliberately so that the traffic has time to weave it's way around you. It seems to work anyway.

We spent nearly a day relaxing before finding out that everything was going to close down for Tet on 21st Jan - what the Vietnamese call the Chinese Lunar New Year. So we quickly went to visit the War Remnants Musuem in HCMC (once known as the Museum of Amercian and Chinese War Crimes) which does not pull any punches on showing how shit war is. It was upsetting but teaches you a lot about the Vietnamese people and how everyday people suffer (badly) from war. We did not take any photos here.

After that we booked to go to the Cu Chi Tunnels, which was a tunnel network housing 80,000 Viet Cong (VC) during the American War (they don't call it the Vietnam war). The Americans were so clueless about where it was they built a military camp on top of part of the existing tunnel network and 5 km from the VC headquarters. It took them months to work out why they kept getting shot in their tents at night. We did take photos here.

When we got back to HCMC we went to the Reunification Palace, which was the presidential headquarters of the Republic of Vietnam until 1975. After this building fell the war finished and the Palace was left as it was as a memorial.

Tommorrow we go on a 2 day trip to the Mekong Delta. Still solid. Beer is cheaper than Cambodia. Baguettes and coffee are excellent here as well - used to be a French colony.

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