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Saigon Walking Tour

I was going to put the picture of me with the two Thai twins here, but I thought that'd probably not be the best idea.

David, Jeff, Scott & I went on a walking tour of Saigon Saturday. Our goal was to hit as many of the historical places as possible. This will probably come as no shock to most of you, but I was the tour organizer. The pictures from our tour can be see here.

- Hotel Continental: Built in the French colonial days, this was a common meeting place for journals and diplomats during the Vietnam War.

- Nha Hat Thanh Pho (Municipal Theatre): Built in 1899 as Saigon's Opera House, it later served as the National Assembly (Congress) of South Vietnam until 1975 when it became a theatre again.

- Nha Tho Duc Ba (Notre Dame Cathedral): Built in 1880 by the French on the site of an old fort, this is still an active Catholic church.

- The Virgin Mary: This is the statue of that was reportedly seen crying.

- Buu Dien Trung Tam (Central Post Office): Built by the French in 1891, this is still an active mail facility.

- Nha Trung Bay Toi Ac Chien Tranh Xam (War Remnants Museum): This was probably the most interesting, and definitely most disturbing, site on our tour. This museum is very one-sided again the US military for some of the horrors committed during the Vietnam War. There are horrific displays of the affects of chemical weapons on the Vietnamese people and a replica of a Con Dao prison cell. You really need to look at the pictures of this and I'm not posting some of the more gruesome pictures I took.

- Hoi Truong Thong Nhat (Reunification Palace): This is the palace where the National Liberation Front's tanks smashed down the gates in 1975 and draped the NLF flag over the balcony. Most of us should remember this from history class, right Beth?

- Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee: Built by the French in 1908 as Saigon's City Hall, it now is home to the city's main governing body (don't know the name though).

- Two really pretty Thai twins: Not really sure what to say here...

Tu took me to her favorite lunch place before going to Cho Ben Thanh in the afternoon. She was my chief bargainer and helped me pick out lots of things for the family at some really good prices. I hope they like what I bought. I got some really nice chop sticks, since I no longer remember how to use a fork. I think it would be neat for the kids to learn too.

The day ended with dinner at Binh Ciuai (I think that's the name). It was a really great buffet of Vietnamese food way outside the city in a beautiful park. What I liked the most was that I was the only American there, so it was really neat when kids would come up to me because I looked different. People are very welcoming here.


  1. i love all your pictures. wild seeing the propaganda-style presentation of the vietnam war museum. not to minimize the tragedies that took place, but it certainly omits half the story. the city has some beautiful buildings and parks. i'm sure it helps that you've been surrounded by warm and friendly people. but hey, easy on the pics with the pretty ladies....

  2. Jamie Brooker12/05/2005 4:08 PM

    Well, again, love the journal and the pics - I agree with Beth it is one-sided but the tears were flowing, especially seeing the children, (pregnancy hormones added alot here)I always can replace the face with that of Jack's and it horrifies to think of the pain on both sides with an uncle who experienced it first hand at the age of 19.

    On a lighter note: What is with the "gilligan" type hats that all the girls are wearing?

  3. Jamie Brooker12/05/2005 4:09 PM

    One more thing, remember - Santa Claus is watching so be a good boy!!!

  4. Jamie - I think you are referring to all of the tourists, but if you mean the native women with the circular pointy hats, those are called non' la' or leaf hat. You see them all over town, but even more so in the rice fields in the country side. I can pick one up for you if you want, only $1.

    Oh, and Beth has known that I have had a thing for Asian women ever since I first saw Ann Curry on the Today Show.


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