Wednesday, October 10, 2007


One of the many interesting facts in the CIA Report on Viet Nam is that it is a country about the size of New Mexico, but with 85,000,000 residents rather than the 3,000,000 in NM. When we arrived in the former capital of South Viet Nam, we quickly learned that although Ho Chi Minh City is the official name, many of the locals still prefer Saigon. The names are used interchangeably, but many of the businesses, signs and landmarks are still Saigon. Our tour guide, Viet Nguyen, said that hundreds of years of history as Saigon means that a name change cannot be done so simply and easily. They revere Uncle Ho, but they also maintain their love for Sài Gòn.
Uncle Ho in Can Tho
Most of the time of our Educational Field Trip in Viet Nam was spent in and around Saigon- a city of 7 million people and 3 million motor bikes. We had a day trip to the Cu Chi tunnels and Cao Dai community, and an overnight trip to Can Tho on the Mekong Delta. In Saigon, we toured the city, visited the Reunification Palace which is the fomer Presidential Palace of the Government of South Viet Nam, the Ben Thanh Market, and the War Remnants Museum. Near the Market, I found a place to get a haircut, and it is the first time that I have spent 80,000 on a haircut!!! Of course, the current exchange rate is about 16,000 dong per US dollar, so it really only cost me five bucks. And the fellow did a great job which also included a nice warm rinse.

Heading To The Reunification Palace aka Nick's Crib

{this link is definitely worth your time}
{more links to come}


Rachel Moyer said...

The links are all very interesting. I'll have to tell Jon to check it out if he hasn't already!

Jonathan said...

All very interesting. I get quite nostalgic w/ all the southern VN talk. I'm really glad that you had a chance to experience part of what I experienced.

Loved Tin-Man Uncle Ho!