We started today with a trip to the History Museum. This was built in 1929 by the Société des Études Indochinoises, this notable Sino-French museum houses a rewarding collection of artefacts illustrating the evolution of the cultures of Vietnam, from the Bronze Age Dong Son civilisation (which emerged in 2000 BC) and the Funan civilisation (1st to 6th centuries AD), to the Cham, Khmer and Vietnamese.
On our way out we saw a statue of Ho Chi Minh. Hồ Chí Minh, born Nguyễn Sinh Cung,, was a Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader who was Chairman and First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Vietnam. He was also Prime Minister and President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. He was a key figure in the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 as well as the People's Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.
Ruth and I went back to the hotel for a coffee. Vietnamese coffee is very good. I also ordered a bottle of water which came in the poshest bag any bottle of water I’ve ever bought has come in.
In the afternoon Ruth and I went on a minibus tour of the city. Our first stop was the War Remnants Museum, formerly the Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes. The museum is powerful in conveying the brutal effects of war on its Vietnamese civilian victims
It was upsetting to read the stories of the victims of US military action as told by these victims. While some displays are one-sided, many of the most disturbing photographs illustrating US atrocities are from US sources, including those of the infamous My Lai Massacre.
We were then taken to a handicrafts factory and shop specialising in lacquerware. Credit cards were given some exercise.
Our next stop was the Jade Emperor pagoda built in 1909 in honour of the supreme Taoist god (the King of Heaven, Ngoc Hoang). The pagoda was crammed with statues depicting characters from both Buddhist and Taoist lore of various divinities and grotesques. Unfortunately the pungent smoke of incense was overpowering and I couldn’t stay in the pagoda for long.
HCMC's central French post office is very striking. We bought our first postcards and stamps.
Right across the road from the post office is the Catholic Notre Dame Cathedral. We were unable to go in because it was being renovated.
Similarly we were unable to enter the Reunification Palace due to a visit by Teresa May.
We were both relieved to collapse in our room after a very exhausting day. HCMC is so hectic it is very wearing. On the other hand it is good to appreciate different culture.
We were both relieved to collapse in our room after a very exhausting day. HCMC
is so hectic it is very wearing. On the other hand it is good to appreciate different culture.