I will always remember HCMC (formerly know as Saigon) as scooter central, they flood the roads, pavements and are even used as food stalls so you can have a cheeky nibble whilst the lights are red.
So we thought if you can’t beat them join them! Myself, Luke & Huib (the nicest Dutch man you could ever wish to meet) jumped on scooters and headed on a road trip to the Chu Chi tunnels.
Luke took to it like a duck to water
Baby Ho Chi Mihn sandles made from car tyres ?
‘Napalm Girl’ taken from the War Remnants Museum, Vietnam.
On arriving in Vietnam, I hoped to gain a better understanding about the war. From my limited knowledge I understood that the war was between North and South Vietnam; the North backed by Communist China and the South backed by Capitalist America.
Vietnam is a Communist country even though it doesn’t feel like one therefore the War Museum and propaganda videos shown at the tunnels are very pro communism so give an extremely one sided account of the war. The Vietnamese people I spoke to are very passionate that it was never a war between North and South, it was a war between Communist Vietnam and America so I have left more confused than when I arrived.
These images are also taken from the War Remnants Museum. The exhibition on the third floor named ‘Requiem’ is a particularly emotive display. Created by Tim Page, a highly thought after and influential war photographer. He wanted to compile as many photographs as he could from the Vietnam war as a way of showing the devastation but also of honouring his journalist colleagues who were injured and even died bringing images of the way to the world
The display contains photographs from 134 photographers, many of which were developed after the photographers had lost their lives on the battlefield.
On the second floor you will find the Agent Orange exhibition showing the effects of the toxic agent orange gas sprayed by American planes and soldiers. At the time, Vietnamese soldiers had become so good at guerilla warfare, building traps and launching offensives from underground tunnels in the forest that the only way the Americans thoughtcould expose them was by destroying the forest. Little did they know that the agent orange gas used would deform babies born for generations to come.
These are just a tiny proportion of the children affected.
Jennifer 1982, her father had been an American soldier and she was born with congenital deformation on her right arm.
Despite (or possibly because of?) their bloody history, Vietnamese people are incredibly kind, welcoming and peaceful. We loved our time in HCMC and can’t wait to explore further afield.