It seemed mildly criminal to say good bye to Saigon without first saying hello. Our bus ride in revealed a city not as intense as Hanoi. Perhaps the Saigon locals have learned to keep tourists away from core economic functions and narrow streets. So after finding a hotel to lodge in we decided to make a two night stop instead of just one.
This morning we visited the war memorial museum. The museum here is graphic to the brink of horrific. A macabre thought of mine would be for such collections to be sent to countries with a predisposition for fighting. A warmonger’s antidote if you like.
The Zoo in Saigon is a worthwhile visit. It has a diverse collection of foliage and fauna. The elephants each have a small dance that they do to attract attention and food. Perhaps the street hawkers that I have grown to love could learn a thing from the elephants.
A cruel reminder of life was spotting this hamster quivering in a snake enclosure.
Wandering the streets has served to remind me of some uniquely Vietnam things that will stay with me forever. For keen badminton players, games are set up where ever there is a flat surface. The beach and beachfront of Nha Trang always had a few games going. Saigon seems to be the same.
Until I find a place with more scooters I will never look at a scooter again without thinking of Vietnam.
Tonight we watched a water puppet show. The musicians and puppeteers were masterful. The performance lasted for 50 minutes and it was full of laughs and gasps.
If I was to attempt to sum up Saigon and Vietnam it would be like this. Leave your prozac at home, it wont work. You will feel a full range of emotions every step of your journey.