Ho Chi Minh City Off The Beaten Path Tips by Aidy_p
Ho Chi Minh City Off The Beaten Path: 106 reviews and 206 photos
We were brought to the Quoi Son Canal where the boats lay awaiting - Four persons per boat - as we were told. Jac and I got into the boat with a French couple. It's these interesting rides with no where to go that you get to speak to people from various countries. It was interesting to hear from the couple about France and about the history of the lady who shared that she was actually born in Vietnam but left with her parents when she was three months old.
The four of us, together with our boatman, went down the canal for about 30 minutes. Very serene with the only sound coming from the peddle meeting the water.
Heading Into Town
As part of the tour, we were taken on a horse cart ride through town. The most interesting thing about this ride was that we got to see in a glimpse how people lived in this small town. There was even a school that we went past, and the students who were hanging around outside were waving and saying "Hello". I waved back and had even wanted to stand up until my wife told me not to rock the cart. Oh boy.
Steaming Rice Paper
One of the stops that we made along the Mekong River was at a Ricer Paper making area. It starts from grinding white rice, processing the ricer paper, and then drying the rice paper.
Houses Along the River
I experienced the Mekong River when I was in Thailand. So this is the second time going down the Mekong River. We took a day tour of My Tho and Ben Tre to see how the Vietnamese people live along the river. Some parts of the tour was recreated for the tourist, but the experience was still great.
The Mekong river starts from Tibet, before snaking along China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and then to Vietnam. This is definitely an important river for many countries.
After a 2 1/2 hours on board the bus, it was nice to reach the town of My Tho where we started our Mekong River trip.
Phone: 84-8 836 7338
Colours of a Boat
Going down the Mekong river, we came across a boat with "eyes" on the front of the boat. It is believed that the "eyes" will help to get the boat and it's pessengers to their destination safely. This "eyes" on the boats is also practiced by bum boat drivers in Singapore.
A derelict shell of a M-41 American tank lays solemnly in the midst of Cu Chi jungle. I tapped on the metal of the tank and you'd know that with toughness, it was made to protect the personnel that were within. But with a small weapon like the Rocket Propelled Gun (RPG) used by the Viet Cong, the tank was totally vulnerable.
The title was not meant to be anything derogatory, but the Viet Congs were much feared by the Amercian soldiers as they did not know where the Viets would be and after a swift attack, where they'd dissappear to.
This was a massive problem for the Amercians as the Viet Cong was just at the backyard of Saigon. Located at Cu Chi (Pronounced as Ku Chee), the tunnels stretched for kilometres and the thing the makes me shake my head in amazement was the fact that the Viet Congs were such a hardy group of people.
I walked through the tunnel for just a couple of minutes and I was already wondering when I'd be out of it. Can you imagine the Vietnamese people living in the tunnel structure for years?
Worth taking a walk, I mean crawl through the tunnel. You might like to fit into the little hole as well. I have a size 32 waist and it just fitted nicely with not much room for maneuvouring.
Entry Fee: 70,000VND
You're Suppose to Look At the Target!!!
At Cu Chi, you can get to try your hands on most probably a China-made AK-47. Each bullet will cost you USD1.30, and you'd need to purchase a minimum of 10 bullets. I did not want to spend USD 13 on just firing bullets. So it was fortunate that there was this German girl, Patricia from Koln, Germany, who wanted to try out as well. So we split the bullets among ourselves. It's loud even with mufflers. Truthfully, plugging in your fingers into your earhole work much better. That is if you're not the shooter!
Well, if you are a weapons afficionado, then you might like to read on.
I had tried out various weapons like the American-made M-16 and the General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) that fires 7.62mm rounds, shot-guns and Singapore-made SAR-21 and Ultimax-100 to name a few.
I was pretty excited to try out the AK-47 as I've heard so much about it. Moreover, this weapon was an icon of the communist nations while the M-16 was the icon of the allied forces.
I really love the feel of the M-16 and it was my "wife" for 2 1/2 years of my life. Easy to handle, extreme accuracy to more than 500m.
Wrapping my hands on an AK-47 felt really great. cocking the weapon, I co-ordinated my aiming using the front-side and rear-side aperture. Took aim, and fired one round. Estatic! It was really smooth and you could see the dust rising up as the bullet struck the target board and ploughed into the sand pit behind. Cool!
The Music Team Located at the Back of the Temple
There were quite a number of older folks within the congregation. But there were also the young ones that were raising their voices and music to their Gods. What caught my eye was this little boy that was barely 10 years of age but was already in their musical instrument team.
Side View of the Temple
The Magnificant Cao Dai See Temple is located in the Tay Ninh Province and what wows me was the large area of the temple ground. The roads looked clean and well maintained. The building looked a little "old school" but definitely outstanding with it's unique architecture, bright colours and a ceiling with painting that try to replicate the sky.
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