Arriving in Ho Chi Minh city as a westerner is the most incredible assault on one’s senses. Movement everywhere, motor-bikes and scooters tearing out of every road, outnumbering cars, buildings old and new packed closely together.
Life being lived on the roadside, fruits, noodles, meals all sold from roadside carts and the omni-present Asian city electrical wiring, festooned across buildings and roads, bringing modern technology to a city that flows furiously through day and night. Small temples under towering apartment blocks, Ho Ch Minh city is an unforgettable experience.
Street sellers offering everything you can think of .. in this case birds and turtles for offering at the temple. Cho Ben Thanh Market, lined with tiny stalls selling everything from chicken’s feet to dubious jade, sweltering on the inside, but full of the vibrancy associated with Eastern city markets.
The War Museum, an emotional ride through the terrible past of Vietnam brings reflection on a war that so many lost their lives in and an almost unbearable realisation of the atrocities that happened, made visible by the generations still affected by the use of Agent Orange.
Walking back to the hotel through one of the many central parks, under graceful jacarandas and alongside tranquil lakes of flowering lotus, past families relaxing on the grass, the frenetic city pace seemed a long way past the surrounding trees.
But once back on the main streets the vibrancy of life is ever-present , motorbikes, scooters and various forms of 2-and 3- wheeled transport all forming the hub of Ho Chi Minh’s city life.
And the food, wonderful Vietnamese food..but more of that from the Phu Quoc island post ….