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Vietnam

I’ve been pretty busy this past week. I am now in Beijing, China (more on that in another blog post) and access to blogging is apparently blocked. I am using other methods to post here.

More on my trip to Vietnam:

I went to Southern Vietnam for a few days with Mariko, one of my friends from university, after wrapping up a trip in Cambodia. My trip began in the former capital of Southern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City. The city itself is a big bustling place of over 7 million people.

Vietnam itself has a very interesting history. Today the country is communist (after the Americans lost the Vietnam war and the South was surrendered to the North) but adopts many capitalistic ways including a more free market approach. There is no notable difference in being able to tell that this country is communist (whether it be a different standard of living or different way of development).

Below is a picture of the Reunification Palace, formerly Independence Palace before the South fell to the North.

Reunification Palace

One major sight in Vietnam is the amount of motorcycles. Everyone uses motorcycles to get around the city making driving in a car painfully slow (average speed of motorbikes are 40-50km/h). Its an affordable form of transport and tourists must watch out when crossing!

Motorcycles everywhere

I also saw the famous Ben Thanh Market. The market carries many knock offs of everything (watches, clothes, handbags, etc.).

The Ben Thanh Market

Inside the Market

Other Sights:

The backpacker’s area (also where I got my awesome Laksa – see below for more)

The Backpacker's Area - lots of food

The prominence of red flags:

Street in Vietnam lined with red flags

A war tank at the War Remnants Museum:

American tank from the Vietnam War

We also decided to go to the Cu Chi Tunnels. The tunnels is a complicated network of passages that the Vietcong used to fight against the Americans.

A tour guide demonstrating how the Vietcong fit in the tunnels

Inside the tunnels - Not sure why I was so happy in such a small space...

The following day Mariko and I headed to the Mekong Delta, an area at the Southern tip of Vietnam that represents the start of the Mekong River. We had a chance to go through several distributaries, enjoy some local singing, and check out how some coconut candy is made.

Travelling through a river stream

I was asked to help paddle

After spending a few days in hectic Ho Chi Minh City, we went to Mui Ne, a small town along the coast of Vietnam to check out the sand dunes just northwest of the town:

Sand Dune Surfing

The lake and trees behind made it look like a mirage with sand surrounding us!

I also snapped a picture of the beach:

Beach in Mui Ne

Food:

Vietnam has some really great food. My first meal arriving there was my favourite dish, Laksa. The dish reminded me of Singapore again and it was actually quite good:

My favourite Singaporean dish, Laksa, in Vietnam!!

The traditional meal of Vietnam is Pho – a noodles eaten with Chicken or Beef. We ate at a restaurant where President Bill Clinton ate when he visited Vietnam in 2000. I had the same dish the President ate and it was actually delicious:

Chicken Pho - so good.

That’s a wrap on Vietnam! With many sites, and great food there is nothing to not love about Vietnam. My next post: Thailand.

PS. Pictures are appearing big because of the by pass for wordpress. Also, Facebook is blocked in China so it may be awhile before I get the more complete albums on facebook. I’ll update this page with the album link when I get a chance to upload the remaining pictures.

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Categories: Exchange
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  1. July 17, 2011 at 9:16 am

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