Saigon and surrounding areas
15.07.2005 31 °C
i wasnt going to bother doing this today but i have had such an amazing day that i couldnt resist.
i went to the cu chi tunnels just outside saigon on a tour, the tunnels are the actual ones the viet cong used in the war and they are just as they were then. so there was alot of history and stuff to look at about the war, then you get to crawl through 90 metres of the tunnels if you want, with tourist exits every 30 metres. out of 30 tourists only 3 made it through all of it and i can proudly say that i was one of them. your only down there for about 15 minutes but by the time you get out at the other end the sweat is just pouring off you in a stream and the dirt is welded to your legs and arms.
but wait it gets better, they have got a firing range there where you can buy bullets to fire through a variety of weapons. so i turned into Arnie for half an hour and bought 20 bullets for an ak47 and 20 shot gun cartridges. so i fired an ak47 and a double barrel shot gun. it was bloody ace! the pump action on the shot gun was brillant and i felt like i was some sort of war hero mowing down badies. also the noise they made was probably the loudest i have ever heard, especially as it was just by your ear. i have 3 brillant photos with me in full swing firing the guns. one of my highlights of vietnam. its funny that when you dont expect something to happen it makes it all the more enjoyable.
saigon is alot nicer than hanoi for a variety of reasons, the main one being that it isnt as big and is alot less hectic. i think the fact that it isnt as hot down here also helps.
this afternoon i went o see the war remnants museum, which is shocking. tanks and planes are around the outside of the main building and graphic pictures inside. included in which are still born babies which have two heads or three legs and no arms due to the chemicals that the yanks dropped on the country and some of these babies were 'born' as early as 1990. its crazy the level of suffering the country still has due to the actions of 30 years ago. it made me wonder if iraq will become a tourist trap in 20/30 years for the gulf vets? as the wars are similar, only time will tell i suppose.
anyway you might have noticed that i am back to 100% now after 2 days of feeling terrible, (did i tell you all that ?!?) not sure what it was but it seems to have passed through the system.
i am off into wonderful, slighty dodgy (so i am told) cambodia tomorrow morning on another 8-9 hour little bus trip. still travelling with lucy as she couldnt be arsed to go today so it will turn out that we will have done the whole of laos and the whole of vietnam together, although in cambodia she is going west and i am going south.