My final stop in Vietnam was Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon). Compared to the beaches of the last couple of places, this city was more for remembering the past and understanding the impact of the Vietnam war.
Therefore, first on my list was to go to the War Remnants Museum. This musuem has been designed to pay respects and inform people about the war. At the entrance were American tanks and planes. Inside pictures told the story. It is easy to forget how much the war impacted on the population. It was a very sobering experience. It was also shameful the impact the west (both America and France) have had on this country- it also explains the attitude of the Vietnamese to the west. Next was Reunification Palace, in contrasting showing how their own people can fight each other. The building is preserved almost as it was on the last day of the Republic of Vietnam in 1975. On the morning of 30 April 1975, the 43-hour-old government of South Vietnam sat quietly on the second floor of this grand building - then called the Independence Palace - waiting to transfer power to the Northern forces who were crashing through the wrought iron gates below. It really was a random building and very eerie. A timecapsule to history.
Unfortunately I then got caught out in a massive rainstorm so I quickly headed back to safety.
I did not have much time in HCMC as my flight left early the next day. However, wandering around I was struck entering HCMC about how western the city was compared to the north. Simple things like more billboards, more international companies etc highlighted that along with the war other things were imported too, for good or bad.