Wednesday, January 20, 2010

You Haven't Been to Vietnam...

... if you've never been to these places!

Clockwise from Top-
Reunification Palace; Ho Chi Minh City Center; Notre Dame Cathedral

Behind the scenes of making lacquerware, clockwise from Top Right-
Roasted egg shells paints the picture; applying layers of lacquer; sand papering action; polishing the finishing goods; up for sale!

Lacquerware is the signature Vietnamese souvenir. However they can be very pricey especially when you purchase them off the 'factory'. If you want to buy some souvenirs home, I would suggest you head on to Ben Thanh Market as there are plenty to choose from there and you can put your bargaining skills to use too!

War Remnants Museum-
Fighter jets, submarines, tanks, machine guns, bullets... and the names of those perished in the war

Such an obscene bomb heehee

My first & last time handling a gun- M16 and AK47!

Explains why I will never be a soldier/ able to fight the war. The 1 minute needed to fire all 5 bullets took me almost forever as I stood there shaking from the deafening gun shots, pulling the trigger and waiting for the recoil to hit my shoulders and the bullet shell to shoot out. It was scary. Glad to say I can now have that tick off my checklist of things to do before I die!

You Don't Wanna Mess with Alex-

My travel buddy Alex is a pro when it comes to killer machines. He's in the Selangor shooting team! What a lousy friend I am that I only found out about this during the trip :S

To have the experience of a lifetime with these mankiller machines, you'll have to purchase 10 bullets at once- 30.000vnd (RM6/USD1.60) per bullet for M16/M60, 26.000vnd (RM5/USD1.40) per bullet for AK47, 24.000vnd (RM4/USD1.30) per bullet for M30/M1 Carbine and 25.000vnd (RM4.50/USD1.40) per bullet for K54/K59.

Cu Chi Tunnels- Look ma, I can fit in!

The tunnels is a very interesting historical yet touristy place indeed. We were brought into the woods (not scary cos there's so many tourists around) and the obligatory 'camouflaged' secret hiding places and underground tunnels made by the Viet Congs. The tour guide told us that the holes and tunnels were small because the Viets are very small sized people. I qualify to be a Viet too- I can fit in the hole!

Clockwise from Top Left-
The opening to the first level tunnel; empty bomb shells; no smoking sign; fellow tourists and tapioca tasting; bottled snake wine for the bravehearted; booby traps; Mr Tour Guide; Alex in the tank

Overall it was a very interesting, yet educational tour as it brings one closer to the historical side of Vietnam. One can never truly relive the feelings of what the Viets felt during the war but it brought us a step closer to understand their suffering and pain. If eating tapioca everyday doesn't kill you, the thought of hiding in the tunnel not knowing when bombs will be dropped will be enough to traumatize you forever.

And for that, I truly respect the Viets & the Congs.
template by