Ho Chi Minh

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
Trip End Apr 28, 2006

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Friday, March 31, 2006

Vietnam was unreal; it's hard to believe we basically destroyed their whole country not to long ago. Ho Chi Minh City was in many ways nicer than a lot of US cities. Partly because it was all in shambles after the war and almost everything built there is less than 50 years old. The 5 star hotels were nicer than any hotels I have ever been in, they had big time designer stores like Dolce Gabbana and things like that around town. Of course you could tell you were in south east Asia, mopeds are the standard way of traveling and are so fun to ride on the back of and it costs like 1 US dollar to get anywhere. They love the US currency they would rather you pay in US dollars then the Vietnamese Dong. Of course the first day there I had to get measured up for some tailor made suites, so I went on a mission to find the most back ally tailor I could find. I accomplished that and was able to get 2 gorgeous perfect custom made Kashmir suites for 80 US dollars each, along with custom-made shirts ties and pocket squares. Visited the war museum in the afternoon, and saw some of the most disturbing pictures I have ever seen, they had an entire section on the effects of Agent Orange. One of my friends parents actually came to Vietnam to visit, and meet up with us, they treated a bunch us to an amazing dinner at this over the top super nice place. Going out to clubs in Vietnam was a ton of fun half because you have no idea what is going on half the time, and also because all the locals love Americans for some reason there is absolutely no hard feelings towards us, so they welcome you anywhere you go. The next day I went to Cambodia during the flight there I saw something I will never forget, as I looked out the plane window as we flew over the country side of Vietnam I saw millions of craters scattered all over the land, and I realized they were from all the bombs dropped and that the farmers never filled them in or anything they just farm around them. Cambodia was a lot like Vietnam but looked like they were 15 years behind in rebuilding, there would be a 5 star hotel right next to like the rubble of what used to be a building, but they are building everywhere. It was close to 108 degrees when we landed in Cambodia, once u step off the plane it like slaps you in the face, you are just constantly sweating no matter what you do. I saw the prison where they tortured people before marching them off to the fields where they made them dig their own grave. Some of the images I saw there I will never forget, things that can't really be described. They would make young children start working as torturers at young ages so that by the time they were older they would be desensitized to it and were even more evil. There was a statement written on the wall that said, "They are in the form of humans but there is no doubt that they are demons at heart". The regime that this killing, ended up killing over 3 million Cambodians, they killed anyone and everyone they focused on any educated people, so they ended up killing off all of their doctors and teachers and so on, leaving them with absolutely no skilled workers. What really struck me was that it happened not very long ago, in the 1970's this went on. We then took a flight deeper into Cambodia to get to the Temples of Angkor Wat, and I must say I was a big concerned about flying in a country like Cambodia, but to my surprise they had the nicest airlines I had ever been on, the planes were all close to brand new, they service was great and the flights were smoother than riding in cars. We saw the main temple of Angkor at sunset after climbing to the top of it which was like a million stairs straight up, it was amazing being drenched in sweat because of the heat and being at the top of this ancient temple looking out over the landscape of the other temples while the sunset. We saw a lot of the different temples, they filmed a lot of the parts of Angelina Jolie movies Tomb Raider in and around the temples of Angkor. The Cambodian people love her and are really proud to point out that that movie was filmed there. I think I can say this ranks up there as possibly the best port I have visited this trip.

p.s. sorry I haven't been able to put pictures up but the internet on the boat is super slow and costs a lot, but once I get back to a real internet I will go back through and add the best pictures from the ports, or you could just ask to see my pictures when u see me next. .
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