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Our First Vietnam Trip - Ho Chi Minh City, 20-22 Jul 2001

The trip was a week-end getaway with friends from work, Debbie and Dodo. With limited time, we only managed to visit Saigon and a few other attractions near it, but it was as exciting as it got. We got duped by our first taxi driver into paying ten times the official rate, but we still managed to visit a few interesting places. In all, it was tiring but it's worth it!

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Welcome to Saigon a.k.a. Ho Chi Minh City!

vn_warplane.jpg (56920 bytes) Our first stop was the War Museum. Here we could see the remnants of Vietnam War's weaponry and transportation means, such as the warplane pictured here. It was on our trip here from the hotel that we got duped by the taxi driver. Well, a lesson learned... ask before you ride :p
vn_thongnhat.jpg (63724 bytes) The next on the agenda was again a historical building. This time it was a palace called the Thong Nhat Palace. It was a symbol of unification of North and South Vietnam.
vn_caodai.jpg (52574 bytes) The next day was dedicated to sites outside Saigon. We visited the Cao Dai Temple, belonging to a religion unique to the country.
vn_caodai2.jpg (88284 bytes) Inside the temple, the Cao Dai priests were happy to introduce their way of worship to all visitors.

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Not far from the temple, about 10 minutes drive away, there was an ex-Vietnam War tunnel called the Cuchi Tunnel. We joined the group trying out the narrow winding ways underground.
vn_cathedral.jpg (32312 bytes) Back to sightseeing in Saigon on Day 3. This time we visited the St. Marie Cathedral, one of the favorite locations for wedding pictures in the city.
vn_vinhnghiem.jpg (30828 bytes) Before leaving the country, we managed to squeeze one last visit to Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, a post-card perfect pagoda with intricate carvings on the roof and windows. Unfortunately the doors were locked so we were not able to climb up.