Ho Chi Minh City!!!!!
Motorbikes, high rise, sitting by the road side, dust, rain and noise.....
Another crazy Asian big city, but like the rest of them, it has an originality, a mesmerising charm. And cockroaches.
We checked into a very basic hostel right in the middle of the backpackers area. The main street is like a river,motorbikes like fish moving in and out of each other and dodging roadside stalls like they are big riverside
It's like a game of frogger trying to cross the roads, leaping from lilly pad to lilly pad to safety.
We took a City tour on a cyclo, some ancient Vietnamese guy riding his bike with us sat in an oversize basket on the front peddled us through steams of traffic at 5mph in the 30c heat. Poor bloke.... He had escaped an American prison and had been shot in the hand and head and lived to tell the tale. A hard little dude. Still, the sweat dripped from him as he peddled and we sat and took photos of his heavily bombed city.
We visited the war remnants museum, which increased the respect and love I have for the American military and politicians.
How they get away with these acts of terrorism over and over again amazes me, we both left with tears in our eyes and anger in our hearts.
For generations, these people will be affected by the brutality, aggression and the stupidity of actions taken by "Team America."
The Children of Vietnam pay the price for the Men and bullies of America playing their war games.
One day, things will turn full circle. Karma police, arrest these people.
We also took a day trip out to the Chu Chi tunnels, in Chu Chi, a war zone for ground troops of locals who joined the vietcong to fight and defend their villages. Team America got egotistically involved in occupying the area, and the stronger the resistance, the more American resource went inti trying to destroy the area. The Vietcong held firm and thousands of American soldiers were killed here.
An underground tunnel was developed, for vietcong and locals to travel through so they could "disappear" and reappear to take the Americans from behind and pretend they had been defeated. These tunnels go as deep as 10 meters under the jungles and are so small that only the Vietnamese could fit in them.
They have been redeveloped so tourists can travel through parts of them, we crawled through and the atmosphere in those things was insane. We managed 100 meters and had to get out.
American soldiers used the term "Black echo" to describe the conditions within the tunnels. For the Viet Cong, life in the tunnels was difficult. Air, food and water were scarce and the tunnels were infested with ants, poisonous centipedes, scorpions, spiders and vermin. Most of the time, guerrillas would spend the day in the tunnels working or resting and come out only at night to scavenge for supplies, tend their crops or engage the enemy in battle. Sometimes, during periods of heavy bombing or American troop movement, they would be forced to remain underground for many days at a time. Sickness was rampant among the people living in the tunnels, especially malaria, which was the second largest cause of death next to battle wounds. A captured Viet Cong report suggests that at any given time half of a PLAF unit had malaria and that “one-hundred percent had intestinal parasites of significance".
It reminded me of Rocky 4, where Dolph Lundrun (The Americans) were using all these high tech gadgets and weaponry to win a battle while Rocky (vietcong) were resorting back to nature and taking advantage of the things that nature provided. Making foot traps in the ground, dropping heavy objects high from trees, and the best one in my opinion, wearing there sandals backwards to confuse the Americans and mislead them into thinking they are going in the one direction when really they were travelling in the opposite.
Holes were covered I'm Chili, so American dogs would bark when they find them, and soldiers expecting to find hiding Vietcong would come to investigate..
Quickly the starving Vietcong would exit from surrounding hidden holes, kill the Americans and eat the dog for it's meat!
An educating and humbling experience. One that won't be forgotten.
Next stop, Cambodia.
Killing fields and more death....
Going to be a cheery few days!
Peace and backwards flip flops
Nic and Katie xx