A United States citizen in Ho Chi Minh City cannot escape the Vietnam War, or the “American War” as it is known locally. Saigon was the capital of the Republic of South Vietnam, the city where hordes of US special agents and advisors and GI’s invariably journeyed through during the war years.
Painful ghosts from past abound and confronting these fraught-filled years is unavoidable in Saigon. There are two Vietnam War must-see’s in the city itself: the Presidential Palace (now known as Reunification or Independence Palace) and the War Remnants Museum, a propagandist and somber North Vietnamese account of the war.
Continue reading ““American War” Museums in Ho Chi Minh City”
Crossing into Vietnam airspace from the South China Sea with the infamous Mekong Delta below us, our flight from Hong Kong landed easily in sizzling Saigon. After waiting an hour for our visas to be issued, we breezed through customs and immigration and soon were afoot in Vietnam. Still it was hard to believe: Vietnam… VIETNAM!
This country, looming so large on my childhood and all of America in the 1960’s and 70’s, this city Saigon (renamed Ho Chi Minh City after the Viet Cong’s successful capture of the South Vietnamese capital). Unreal. Yet here I was, extracting Dong bills from the ATM, purchasing an iced tea, freely walking outside of the airport.
Continue reading “Ho Chi Minh City (née Saigon) – Metropolis of Market Socialism”