Our last few days in Vietnam were spent in Saigon, or rather Ho Chi Minh City as it is now called. We found that the city itself was nowhere near as interesting as Hanoi with its crazy mopeds and street sellers. It is very Western in comparison, with tall skyscrapers, KFCs and lots of shops. For the first time since we arrived though, the weather was actually hot, so that came as a bit of a shock. We met up again with some of the people we'd been traveling through Vietnam with, which made for some great evenings spent at a "One Dollar Bar" - which does exactly what it says on the tin!
So what did we do in Saigon? As I write this I'm sat in our hostel in Borneo and struggling to remember! On our first day we braved the heat and walked around the city - visiting a church with a neon blue Mary, hitting another market and attempting (but failing) to get a t-shirt with the Vietnamese star on it. After that we went to the Vietnamese War Museum, which was really poignant. It contained a great deal of photography, in particular of victims of the Agent Orange gas, released by Americans. Some of the images were really graphic, but to be honest I had no idea that the war had had such drastic effects on the vietnamese people, generations after the war. The museum certainly did its job in raising awareness about the war to tourists.
We went on a day trip to the Cu Chi tunnels, which was basically sort of camp containing a sting of tunnels constructed by the Viet Com, which went all the way into Cambodia. We all crawled through those, which was the most exercise we'd had in a while! It was quite interesting to learn a little about how the Viet Com were living and fighting.
On our last day in Saigon we went on a day trip into the Mekong Delta with Andy and Lois, who we met back in Hue. Most of the day was spent on a boat cruising along the Mekong, singing the English national anthem, which was pretty good! We hopped off it to visit a village and hold a Boa (lots of photos of me looking terrified), and then again for lunch. We were supposed to ride (brakeless) bikes for a little while, but then, whilst attempting to ride it without holding on, in order to take a photo of Maz, I managed to crash pretty spectacularly into a tree. So that cut our ride a bit short! No permanent damage was sustained though. That I know of. It was quite strange cruising back into Saigon and seeing little wooden boat houses along the shores, right next to giant skyscrapers. A very memorable last day in Vietnam!