Because someone else thinks it’s walking distance…
So my first proper sightseeing was today. And I’ve got to say that because something is theoretically within walking distance (according to my Geckos travel itinerary) doesn’t mean you should walk there. Ho Chi Minh City is not made for pedestrians. It’s a city with about three million motorbikes, not mention numerous cars, trucks and buses all of which can run you over rather effectively. So that lovely sight you may wish to see could be about the same distance away as your regular morning walk, but that doesn’t take into account the multitudinous number of times you have to dice with traffic to cross both small and scarily large roads (sorry mum I know you don’t really want to know). So I learned a valuable lesson today about walking long distances in hot, sunny, traffic riddled conditions : ) Oh and I’ve got to mention that just because you’re on the footpath, doesn’t mean the motorbikes aren’t on the footpath with you.
Today I visited the War Remnants Museum. They’ve put together a very good display about Vietnam and the war. There are lots of excellent photos, some of which are quite confronting. If you don’t know a lot about the war, then this is the place to see how damaging and traumatic an experience it was for all sides. I also visited the Museum of Ho Chi Minh City. It was quite good but nowhere near as interesting as the War Remnants Museum. There were displays about HCMC through the years including the protests against American intervention in Vietnam. Then I was a bit museumed (yes it is a word) out, so headed back to the area my hotel is in to recover from the heat and sensory overload. I’m thinking of tackling the Reunification Palace tomorrow during my travels.
I’m really enjoying my time here so far (short though it has been) and I can’t wait to start seeing the rest of the country over the next few weeks. But it’s dinner time now and I’m starving, so I’m off to scope out what’s available round here.