Saigon

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Our first meal at Pho 2000, beside Ben Thanh market. I had chicken pho. (noodles in soup, pronounced feur2) It is a less oily and more savoury version of mee soto and tastes incredible with Thai lime. The locals like to drink very strong coffee with ice.

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Fruits galore at Ben Thanh market. This tourist trap sells pretty much everything but I bought pretty much nothing. The stuff is overpriced, little wonder the locals don’t shop there. My friend Khoi told us on our second last day to go to Anh Dong Plaza, which is a wholesale centre. (安东大厦- the Vietnamese language has its roots in Chinese and French, ain’t that cool?)Alas, the shopping in Saigon can never match up to that in Bangkok.

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The cityscape is peppered with amusing sights like this. You’ll just have to stretch upwards if you can’t expand horizontally. Look at how they’ve exemplified that.

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Aiyo Angmoh! Careful don’t get stuck hor! What a sad attempt to squeeze into one of Cuchi tunnels’ secret entrance.

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The mock kitchen. Mock living quarters like this are built nearer to ground level for tourists’ convenience. The real living quarters, deep underground, are not open to public. The smoke was channeled above ground to inconspicuous hole-like chimneys by pipes. Cooking was only done in the morning so the smoke would blend in with morning mist, unbeknown to the enemy.

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The guerrillas’ garb. They were quite eco-friendly and made weather-proof, anti-slip sandals from used tyres.

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Wiki says: Thích Qung Đc (this monk who set himself on fire) was protesting the persecution of Buddhists by South Vietnam’s Ngô Đình Dim administration. Let’s hope history will not replay itself.

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Chilling after-effects of chemical bombs used in the Vietnam war
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We went on a 10-minute horse-cart ride in a village. It must have been 40 degrees Celsius then and we felt really sorry for the horsey. This one has chicken feathers for headdress. We saw another one with a single stalk of 大红花 planted quite unabashedly on its head. A sack was placed under its posterior to collect poo for fertilizer. That’s so nice and smart.
The gentleman in Ray-Bans is our guide, Nguyen Huy Hoang, or 阮辉煌。 He went to a Chinese elementary school, where everyone would be given Chinese names. The ancestors of the Vietnamese are actually the Chinese! For the 100th time, he speaks better English than us (never studied overseas) and that’s giving me hormonal imbalance.
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Mummy and The Very Chio Vespa. I LOVE THE ORANGE ACCENTS ON WHITE! Was used for a couple’s wedding photos, btw.
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The mandatory motorbike photo. Saigon is bursting at the seams with motorbikes! Quite interesting to know that 95% of Vietnamese are Buddhists, despite the 100-year rule by the French.
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Oh it’s so yummy I can have it everyday!! The famous Vietnamese baguette. Had it for dinner two days in a row.
Finally, some self-explanatory photos to bore you to death:
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Click to enlarge and witness my photography prowess. I love taking photos of 花花。
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