Monday, October 21, 2013

Vietnam Day 2 - Fanny Packing (like backpacking, but with nicer hotels)

Today we put on our touristing shoes and made the rounds to the various Monuments around town.

We began at the War Remnants Museum. The museum is mostly filled with photographs of the Vietnam War, by war correspondence from all over the world. Most of them document without filter the horrors of war, which are unbearable to look at. But I feel we should not not turn away out of respect for the victims. Vietnam has been deeply scarred by it's history (and some might argue it's present as well) but it's changing and healing rapidly. It's onthe precipice of development and I don't know how it will be like next time I return.

The reunification palace was next on our agenda. It's something of a dream in 60s luxury. Something like I imagine a chic 60s hotel to be like. I imagined Don Draper walking past in his hawaiian shirt and ray bans with a drink on his way to ogle some lovelies by the pool.

The bunker below is something out of a James Bond novel, 60s spy gadgetry at its best but
somehow sad and forgotten now.

I say sad, but this did not stem my usual levity.      Sorry.

A quick tour around the GPO and the Notre Dame and then a visit to some Markets.

The Benh Thanh Markets - Claustophobic, teeming with lives, the smell overwhelming, the heat sweltering. I came away with nothing despite the best efforts of the vendors. And no photos because I was clutching my camera bag close to my chest in my best paranoid tourist impression.

For dinner we decided to finally get out Viet on, and ordered up a steaming bowl of pho, broken rice and pork chops, followed by a sundae and a drink atop the Rex hotel.

This is Karen posing with her favourite...

And this is me posing with my favourite dish...

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