Jun 22, 2019

Travelogue - Ho Chi Minh City




Never before have I been in a country where people from two cities spoke so different politically over their country. Ho Chi Minh City, erstwhile Saigon, showcased as the ultimate triumph of will of people over the sinister American imperialism has a subtle reticence in anything and everything. There is a defiance against American atrocities & chemical weapons usage, there is a murmur against the rich ruling class that has emerged just like China inspite of communism, there is an undercurrent anger in the generation that was made to live outside of Vietnam for their parents being sympathetic to the old South Vietnam regime.

The famous Napalm girl photo in Original
Anybody who gets a chance to be in Ho Chi Minh city (HCMC) should see the war remnants museum. Infact, the three places in the world where are the extremist and war mongering people should be sent, even for a paid holiday are - Berlin, Hiroshima and Ho Chi Minh city . Just like Hiroshima, agent orange after effects are beyond words. Generations that were born after the war still suffer the after effects of this poisonous chemical that was indiscriminately used during the Vietnam war.

Cu chi tunnels that tell the story of how Viet-Cong rebels fought and won against an overwhelmingly superior opposition is a tale not to be missed. Just like pyramids are a testament to human endurance during Pharaoh's rules, Cu chi tunnels show us how much a determined group of people can fight on with limited means.
Agent Orange Horrors - War Remnants Museum

Vietnamese food has a healthy mix of rice, fish and vegetable. HCMC being a commercial hub, has a variety of modern food joints from McDonalds to traditional varieties. The puppet shows in HCMC are a great cultural mix of their Buddhist and Hindu origins .
With Viet Cong Guerilla Models


Present day HCMC is a thriving metropolis. More than 8.5 million motor bikes keep the city of almost the same population chugging on. Recent China - America trade spat has resulted in an economic boom for Vietnam. Scores of Chinese businesses now export their wares to the west registered as Vietnamese businesses. Indeed, this economic prosperity has resulted in accusations against Vietnam that they are artificially keeping the currency undervalued.


HCMC will leave you with an uneasiness. A tinge in your memories that will make you remember them whenever you hear about a war in any part of the world. They are not very different from an average Indian in terms of their daily struggles to live. Yet they smile at you, host you very well and would make you feel that you were a part of them.



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