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Daily Archives: 03/10/2016

Our soundtrack to sleep time last night was the throb of techno music followed by rolling thunderstorms. By breakfast time, the rain was falling pretty steadily.

First stop today was the Reunification Museum, once the Palace of the South Vietnamese President. Those of us old enough to remember will recall the dramatic events of 30 April 1975 when North Vietnamese tanks crashed through the gates of the palace.

The Museum has retained all of the rooms pretty much as they were on that day, including the Cabinet Room and the Vice Presidential Reception Room featured below.
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The front facade of the building boasts impressive vertical louvred windows.

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Just to confirm the rain, here’s a photograph of the Ben Thanh Market building taken from the top of the Saigon Tower or Bitexco Building.

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No visit to Ho Chi Minh City is complete without a drop in on the Hotel Continental where Graham Greene wrote The Quiet American. As if we didn’t need enough reminders of wars that were best perhaps not started in the first place.

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After a set lunch at a French restaurant (another colonial reference), the afternoon included laneway walks and an energy boosting Vietnamese coffee.

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It’s all about the motor bike in Ho Chi Minh City. At the first sign of rain as the thunder rumbled in late this afternoon, riders pulled over to don rain coats especially designed to cover them and their bikes.

The bikes and other traffic make for interesting navigation across roads whether there’s a zebra crossing or traffic lights or not. Navigation is a fine art of watching and walking slowly with purpose through the traffic that threads its way around you.

Today is the first day of an almost two week visit back to Vietnam. We’re here for the food and the people watching and, on warm days like this, air-conditioned coffee shops with iced drinks and free wifi.

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