Ho Chi Minh is a very elegant colonial city - I much rathered this city to Hanoi that's for sure! We happily strolled around the city (by now we're quite used to crossing roads without having heart attacks!) and went down to the river side which was really pretty and we visited the War Remnants Museum. The museum is a very enticing cultural site which has many different sections that include the processes of war and it's consequences, it also showed the imprisonment system (which showed typical detention camps and prisons as well as torturing methods used to exterminate prisoners) and had a great photo collection of the war. Seeing all the photo's of the Agent Orange victims was incredibly sad. Whilst in Saigon we also went to the Cu Chi Tunnels - a 200km network of connecting underground tunnels were the Vietnamese hid during the war. The tunnel system that they had was really impressive and were used by NLF guerrillas as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous guerrilla fighters. We got to crawl into one of the tunnels - quite frightening although this particular one had in fact been made wider for us 'bigger westeners'!We left Saigon along the Mekong Delta towards Phnom Phen (capital of Cambodia)?had a lovely two day trip along the river, were we visited local floating markets and rice paddies.I'm currently in Phnom Phen, and this morning we visited the Killing Fields were the Cambodian people were buried in mass graves during Pol Pot's regime. An estimated number of the dead range from 1 to 2 million during his time (1976 - 1979) out of a population of around 7 million. The Killing Fields was so eerie and incredibly depressing - we saw the mass grave sites and a tomb of thousands of skulls. After the Killing Fields we went to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. The site is a former high school which was used as the Security Prison concentration camp by the Khmer Rouge regime. From 1975 to 1979, an estimated 17,000 people were imprisoned at Tuol Sleng. I've never experienced anything so horrific, the feel and the atmopshere was incredibly intense and shivery. People forget that Pol Pot's regime was actually crueller and more intense than Hitler's in Europe.It's been a depressing day to say the least!
Heading for a massage this evening from a blind massust! Should be different!
Thinking about you all at the Royal Welsh...