Friday, April 06, 2007

Formerly known as Miss Saigon

The inhabitants of Ho Chi Minh City are said to be a lot more friendly and far more accustomed to foreigners than their northern compatriots who were of course isolated from the outside world for a good many years. However this being my first stop in Vietnam I do not at all consider myself very qualified to comment on the subject although I would readily agree that the people here seem charming, full of energy and polite. Furthermore I am most surprised by the fact that the bycyles taxis (cyclos) who constantly canvas their services are good humoured and oddly gracious in their peddles not being called upon. Indeed the town they used to call Miss Saigon is perfectly pleasant to stroll around and people watch although I might add that I never once felt the urge to reach for my camera.

Of course like everybody who passes through here I made sure to visit the infamous and forever recommended "War Remnants Museum" which to be frank turned out to be quite unrevelatory and small with me spending much of my time watching on bemusedly as foreign lovers took photos of each other beside tanks, M16 rifles and other shining arsenal. However the museum did cover the tragic effects of "agent orange" on the civilian population although I admit to being somewhat desensitised by what I have witnessed in Cambodia and came away relatively unaffected.

It is a pleasant change to be in a modern bustling city after the last weeks spent in a struggling and raw Cambodia. I am now highly curious to see how it compares to the northern situated Hanoi.

No comments: