Goodbye Saigon

Well, we have done a whistle stop tour of Saigon. We certainly have not seen more than the historical area so can not really offer too many insights into the city. It is obviously more prosperous and has embraced more modern ideas than some areas we have travelled through so far. There are many wealthy people in this area and so the contrasts between the have and have nots would no doubt be more obvious as you move to the outskirts of the city.

This is the Caravelle hotel. It has been a landmark in the city since the 1940’s and to the left has a modern extension. It was the place were news correspondents, officials from Australia, and the USA stayed. During the war, many army personnel were killed when a young women gained access to the 5th floor and detonated a bomb carried in a suitcase. Another example of female wiles used in war operations?

Our fellow travellers are all friendly. There appears to be only 16 in total , so quite small. Today we join the cruise ship so the Internet will be spasmodic so my blog will be a feast or a famine depending on availability. Don’t forget you can comment by clicking on comment icon , adding a comment and then adding your email ( it doesn’t appear on your comment, it is just to stop spam).

Before we leave I have one quirky story to tell you of one of the Emperor’a from Hue. He liked the idea of gladiator style contests, but using animals : an elephant to represent him and his power and a tiger for his opponents. Initially he had the animals placed together in a ring surrounded by soldiers with their spears pointing inwards. Funnily enough the animals did not want to fight and tried to escape. Many soldiers were injured and the finally the Emperor himself was injured by the tiger. His next brilliant idea was to build an arena ( the only one in Asia). He could sit above with the Mandarins and watch the contest. To ensure he as the elephant would win, the poor tiger was drugged and declawed. Not really a fair contest.


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