Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh...

Trip Start Sep 04, 2012
Trip End Aug 02, 2013

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Nobody likes root canal treatment, but when a hostile Vietnamese dentist starts drilling in your mouth who is 'tight as cramp' with his anaesthetic.......you panic!!! Needing a dentist at all around here is cause for concern, as ALOT of Vietnamese people have got teeth like a burnt fence!!!!! He bleedin hurt me...but after having 4 appointments, countless x-rays and 3 days worth of anti-biotics, paying the £15 or so quickly eased the pain!! (The final appointment required me to get on the back of a bike while I went to another practice...and after the hell he put me through, he still had time for 1 more humiliation as he gave me the PINK bike helmet to wear out of 6 or 7 others he could have chosen for me! Thanks mate!!!!). No toothache again till at least August please!!!!
That was about the most eventful thing that had occurred in Nha Trang for us. We had to extend our stay here because of my stupid teeth but I suppose having to stay 6 nights instead of 2, extending a beach portion of our trip isn't too bad a situation to be in!! It just meant us missing out Mui Ne (another nice beach) because I don't think they have dentists there!!!
Nha Trang is popular with the tourists as it blends a beautiful beach with a spot of decent nightlife (apparently!). We managed to find a nice little spot away from the masses and pretty much chilled out for the duration of our time here. The weather was kind most of the time. Hundreds of little crabs who constantly dug little holes in the sand provided a bit of entertainment, whilst the hoards of people selling anything and everything in and around the resort really did not!!!
Our last stop in Vietnam was a short stay in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. It became Ho Chi Minh City after the communist north captured Saigon in 1975, marking the end of the war and a victory for the communists. Ho Chi Minh was the leader and president of Communist Vietnam and was a revolutionary leader. It was here where we wanted to find out a little more about the war in Vietnam, between the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and its communist allies, versus the South of Vietnam, aided primarily by USA. We had a trip to the War Remnants Museum in the city centre, and to the tunnels of Cu Chi, which were approximately an hour away. The museum itself was harrowing, depicting America as being particularly brutal with prisoners of war, as torture methods and conditions were displayed. Along with various weaponry and artilliary on show, we learned about 'Agent Orange' which was a defoliant used by the Americans in their chemical warfare program, designed to completely destroy all jungle and plant life to expose the Vietnamese soldiers. After affects of such a powerful chemical were awful, as birth defects were rife among Vietnamese people and millions have been affected by it. Also, 14.3 million tonnes of explosives were dropped here during the war, compared to approximately 5 million tonnes in World War 2!! The Vietnamese are still combating unexploded bombs today, with several stories relating to this being displayed. There was a section devoted to the photographers and journalists of the war aswell and how a lot of them lost their lives trying to capture it on film. It was a harrowing portrayal of what must have been a horrible time period. Maybe it was a little over-bias on the side of the Vietnamese (you'd expect that though) but it didn't hold back with photographs and accounts of individual's stories.
The tunnels of Cu Chi were a network of tunnels used by the 'Viet Cong' - a guerilla warfare group of people in the south that were controlled by the communist north. They built 3 levels of tunnel into the ground (3m, 6 m and 8-10m down) to hide from the American troops and to use them as supply routes, weapon stores and even small hospital stations. They were the Viet Cong's base for the 'Tet Offensive' which was a a surprise attack on American troops during the Tet Lunar New Year celebrations. We got to crawl through one of them (which had been widened especially for tourists and it was still tiny!!). How people lived in these I don't know! We also saw some of the bamboo traps they designed to fend off the enemy! Ouch!! I decided against firing an AK47 (because it would have cost me money!!) but apparently in Cambodia you can shoot a bazuka at a cow for $400!!! I best get saving!! All in all it was an interesting trip and one which certainly depicted conditions that put toothache on a beach to shame!!!!
From here we travel to Cambodia. We have loved Vietnam, so much so that our planned 2 week stay turned into a 4 week stay and there are places that we have had to miss out which we would love to come back and see! The whole country is beautiful, the people are very friendly, pretty much everything is cheap (excluding Subway!) and the food overall has been the nicest we've tasted so far!! We hope to see 'Nam again sometime!
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Chrissie on

Another fab blog...sounds like you're having an amazing time, well except the root canal treatment ouch!!, plus those bamboo traps look painful.....Evie sends a big hug. Xxxxx

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