A Travellerspoint blog

War, What is it Good For?

semi-overcast 32 °C

March 23-24, 2018
Saigon has been a fun stop on our trip and over the last three days we've been spoiled by the cheap, delicious food and abundant services offered here.
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We visited the same spa, tucked away in one of the inner alleys near our hotel, on two consecutive days for massages (and a manicure for me).
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A 60-minute massage cost 8 USD and my manicure was half that.
While in Saigon, the most interesting activities have been watching how the city operates so efficiently with so many people, so much traffic, and so much advertising... competition for products and services is intense, and ads shout at you from every exposed surface and in numerous languages.
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Seeing daily life in other countries is probably my favourite part of travel. Yes, even more than restaurants, shopping, and beaches!
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We took a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels, where the North Vietnam Communist fighters constructed an elaborate system of underground tunnels to evade their opponents during the war and to keep their families safe.
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There were three levels of tunnels, with the lowest level as deep as 10 metres underground.
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Seeing the level of detail and planning that went into this project was impressive, although seeing all the working models of traps designed to injure and kill people was a bit disturbing.
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It would have been terrifying to be an invading soldier in this territory and be pitted against enemies who knew the terrain, weather, dangerous plants and animals, and had the cunning to use every bit of it to their military advantage.
Like when we visited the Killing Fields in Cambodia, it was difficult to wrap my head around the immense suffering of war.
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At the end of the tour, they offer the chance to shoot some of the weapons at a shooting range and the money is used to fund and enhance the historical site.
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To round out our Vietnam War siteseeing, we visited the War Remnants Museum. There were a ton of collossally large weapons on display out front (curiously, all American)
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and a museum with two floors and numerous rooms documenting the war, albeit from a single perspective. The information and photos showing the devastation and effects of the chemical weapons used in the war were particularly harrowing.

Posted by Casualodyssey 01:07 Archived in Vietnam

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