|Day 34: Apologies for the delayed entry, there are far fewer opportunities to embrace technology in Cambodia. Today we decided to do some sight seeing in HCM city. An opportunity to reflect upon the trauma they have experienced here shall we say. They have 2 war museums in HCM. The first was relatively mild, detailed boards of the history of war etc, but little of the reality. The second has to be one of the most thought provoking, prehaps soul destroying exhibition I have ever seen. Will no concept of the reality of war, and the aftermath, I felt genuinely disturbed afterwards. I would recomend this trip to anyone who needs confirmation that they life most fortunate lives. The exhibition encompassed a room of testimonies and photographs from some of the most famous war photographers; photographs of those suffering from the aftermath of agent orange (a chemical used to poison the vietnamese, subsequently leading to millions of deaths and deformities in future generations of children). Prisions and torture chambers were adorned with shocking photographs of their use. This museum used to be called the museum against American war crimes against humanity (I think). Hence, the evidence is conclusively anti-american. But you cannot help feeling horrified at what went on here.
As for HCM, very different to Hanoi. Not quite got the provincial charm, in my opinion, that HAnoi has. However, this is obviously the wealthiest city in vietnam, with deigner shops, american esque coffee shops and the drinks here are the most expensive we have come across so far.
Day 35: Today we decided to take a boat trip on the mekong delta. The water itself was a muddy yellow colour and the expanse of the delta made the first part of the trip feel like you were aiming for the sea. This was another packed trip and included a trip to a few different island within the mekong. The first made coconut sweets (very hard toffee), suprisingly I still have all my teeth after all my efforts chewing away at four of them. Cocunut wood was used to make ornaments and they also made wine. Not to be confused with the wine we drink at home, this is like cocunut flavoured Saki (rice wine), if you down a glass of this stuff you get that warm fuzzy feeling inside. Later, after lunch on another island we had a rendition from the vietnamese, tone deaf, brady bunch. Ok so it sounds a bit negative, but shit!! being polite tourists we sat through a fair few tunes, clapped like we meant it, and gave them a tip for their efforts. Tom thinks they may even release an album.. as he entitled 'delta discs', look out for that one, a must have. An after dinner python appeared. Not to be eaten...just for a chat with us. People were holding it for prime photo opportunities, and I had to have a go. Tom and I reluctantly holding it for 3 long minutes as our digital camera isnt the quickest of the bunch. As it started to wrap its tail around my leg, I dont mind saying I was a little bit uncomfortable, something about the word constrictor which just isnt friendly.
Day 36: Last day in HCM. Decided to head for the zoo. A strange experience. Whilst the gibbons were allowed to just swing around on an island of trees, the malnourished elephants were chained to the ground and paced back and forth in some sort of boredom ritual. The tigers were thin and kept in embarrasingly small cages. Not quite how you want to be seeing such majestic animals. More walking around, a few torrential downpours later and we were booked onto a bus to cambodia for the following day.