Dan and Lu's Travels
We set out for the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex, which comprises Ho Chi Minh's tomb, house and a museum. We got lost once then bought two packs of batteries for the camera. Neither would even turn the camera on! Batteries in this country are RUBBISH, we must have gone through 4 or 5 packs a week!! Finally found decent ones and went into the museum. What a contrast to Saigon! This was one of the best museums I have ever been to. We had a guide, who we suspected would probably want paying at the end, and really glad we did as he was very interesting. It basically took you on a tour through the stages of Ho Chi Minh's life; the curation was very clever and the design of the exhibits and structures was evocative and very stylish. We learnt that Ho Chi Minh had 150 names, he travelled all over the world, including working as a waiter in London! He spoke and wrote over 20 languages including Russian, French, English and Chinese. You have to be unbiased and I suppose this museum could be seen as one big peice of propoganda for communism/socialism. But you cannot deny that he was a very intelligent, eduacted and driven man. You have to admire his passionand some of his values, although I will reserve judgement on the political side...! We were both extremely impressed. We couldn't get into the mausoleum as it's onl;y open from 8am -11am. Not sure I wanted to though as it is actually his body, embalmed in a glass case! We walked and walked and walked. Saw quite a bit of the city. many streets are reserved for one trade only, which stems from the 13th century when streets were allocated for certain merchants. Some are more modern than others now, we walked down one that only sold mobile phones, another just motorbike parts for sale. Went for a very well deserved sit down and drink and weren't sure whether we would ever be able to get up again.... Then to a Bia Hoi place where we sat with a random group including people from USA, Thailand, Canada and London. From there to a bar where I got stuck with a local girl who wanted to practice her English on me. OK at first but tedious after an hour or so! She also disturbed me slightly as she was drinking a can on John Smiths through a straw.... Ordered a pizza (yay!) and got a ride back to the hotel on a moto.