I love this city the more time I spend in it. Every city is overwhelming at first. Then as you start to become familiar with the layout and how things work you start to become comfortable. Vietnam has been the hardest place to navigate as far as so few people who speak English. Common places you expect a taxi driver too know how to get to they have absolutely no clue. Even after you show them a photo of the place. That was definitely the case for our entire day today. We have discovered that the white taxis are the most honest meters and only flag those down.
We started our day with a yummy banh mi sandwich. We got ours from a street vendor on the corner for 50 cents each. They are hands down amazing! They take the lightest baguette and cut it open, put a pate spread on it, butter, pork, cucumber, green onions, cilantro, a fried egg, sauce, and shredded dried fish. To die for!!!! I can start everyday eating one of these. Granted I’d have to walk everywhere in the heat al day to burn the calories though. Which we didn’t do. We took an ac cab to the War Museum. After the cab driver tried to drop us off at the reunification palace. I even showed him a picture of the museum!!! They are not similar looking at all! So another wasted $1.
At the war museum we walk around and read all the exhibits. Some are neutral and show the effects of war on both sides. Some make the Americans out to be war mongers who kill small children and babies. Being a product of the Vietnam War, I have always been drawn into any movie made about this time period. My favorite being, “Heaven and Earth”, with Tommy Lee Jones. The leading actress was also a student from UC Davis so it has always been one of my favorite movies. I highly recommend it. The first half really explains the war from a young girls perspective. The second half gives an honest depiction of what happened to a lot of these women who married GIs and came to the U.S.
The museum closed for lunch so we sat and had ice tea at the outdoor cafe. We met a lovely older couple from Scotland. This was the first time ever looking at the war. They were appalled at the American Soldiers actions and had never heard of Agent Orange before today. I talked to them about the effects of Agent Orange on a close family friend and growing up with his two disabled children because of it. That it effected Americans also. I also explained how terrified those young boys were and if they could imagine their 18 year old son who has to be told to clean his room and brush his teeth to going off to the jungle to fight. That they had no idea who too trust. Your friend during the day was your enemy at night. It was a very enjoyable conversation. They actually appreciated my point of view. And we chatted about traveling. They gave me a cute saying, when things get tough just throw money at it. It is so true!
After the museum we got in a cab to go to Saigon square. Apparently it is closed but 2 is open. It was all so confusing and another waste of time. When we eventually got there it was all over priced knock off clothes. Trying to explain that forever 21 clothes are actually cheaper at forever 21 to someone who doesn’t speak English is pointless.
We then decided to go for a walk and ended up in a French bakery to escape the heat. We found Ho Chi Minh Square then decided to walk a couple miles to go watch the water puppet show. We finally arrived a hot mess to find two Australian girls saying it was sold out. I stood in line anyway and was sold two tickets. The water puppet show was cute. Not award winning or captivating but cute.
We then got in a taxi to go to a Vietnamese BBQ place. When we arrived it was burnt down! The taxi driver was cracking up!!! We asked him if he knew of another Vietnamese BBQ place. He said yeah one just opened and took us to a German BBQ restaurant. I’m not eating German food in Vietnam. So we asked him to take us to a popular place on our street. There was a huge wait so we went in and sat with a lonely Polish guy. I got him a 50 cent beer for letting us crash his table. The food was amazing!!! We were so hungry we took pictures after we ate most of it. They had these yummy fish balls covered in green puffed rice (rice crispy) that Sierra ate about 10 of. Wish we found this place sooner as they are only 25 yards from our hotel.