Will and Mayang's Travels - Vietnam, August
|We arrived in Vietnam in Ho Chi
Minh City (formerly Saigon). Even more than elsewhere in Vietnam,
it's a city of motorbikes. Although there are lots of motorbike
accidents, there are no real traffic jams to speak of (traffic can be
heavy but keeps flowing), nobody has
difficulty parking and you only have to wait a few seconds for the
traffic lights to change (good for pedestrians in the hot sun).
Let's hope they can keep it this way, and just encourage more people to
wear helmets. It may not be a rich country, but it seems very
fair - few very rich people, and few very poor either. Communism
|The houses and guesthouses are
all tall and thin (really thin!). We had a good view from our
|We went on a tour to the Mekong
delta, which included a trip down narrow rivers where we were lent
traditional Vietnamese hats to keep off the sun.
|Speaking of the hats, they are
widely worn especially by those who work outside, like these gardeners
in an urban park.
|We also went to
see some tunnels that had help the Vietnamese communists defeat the
Americans - partly because the Americans were too fat and couldn't
chase the Vietnamese into the tunnels! I just about managed to
get in this entrance
hole, and I am quite thin!
|Then, we took the long (very
1500km, 40 hour) train journey to the Hanoi in the north.
|After taking out some money, I
was pleased to find myself a multi-millionnaire. I think it went
to my head!
|In Hanoi, we took a cyclo
(bicycle rickshaw) ride ...
|...to see the mausoleum of Ho
Chi Minh (affectionately called 'Uncle Ho'
by the Vietnamese people). He lies bathed in rose-coloured light
and surrounded by guards wearing all white and staring straight
ahead. Cameras are cameras are forbidden inside, so you'll have
to make do with a picture from the
|One other expedition was an
early morning trip for Mayang to do some running in Lenin park in
Hanoi. There were hundreds of people doing aerobics, tai-chi and
other traditional exercises. Here, old people do a form of
tai-chi with bright red traditional fans as Mayang runs past.
Later they put down their fans and moved to traditional swords!
|For some panoramic photos of
Vietnam, see http://www.willsmith.org/pano/vietnam/
All pictures and other media are Copyright ©2004 William Owen Smith and Mayang Adnin.