Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

HCMC-cafe-Saigon
HCMC-cafe-Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City Saigon?

  Ho Chi Minh City is Honda heaven.

Ho Chi Minh motorbikes

Ho Chi Minh City Saigon is Honda heaven, it is quite a shock when you see the number of motorbikes on the streets, crossing the road seems like a game of Russian roulette. 😆

Ho Chi Minh City Saigon

ho chi minh city Saigon

As we all know Asia is the place to buy all sorts of copy & fake items, from watches to levis etc. Did you realise however in Vietnam quite a % of the Honda motorbikes are also copies of the real thing? They cost about 50% of the retail price and look identical, although the locals can tell the difference at a glance.  😆

Cyclo driver

ho chi minh city Saigon

A word of warning, these Cyclo drivers know every trick in the book when it comes to relieving you of your hard earned cash. Always establish the price & terms before you hire them. Even when you do there will usually be an argument at the end of the ride anyhow.  👿

 HCMC is fascinating.

Vietnam hcmc baguettes

Street vendors find a place to sit on the road.

Narrow buildings in HCMC.

ho chi minh city Saigon

Many of the buildings here are tall and narrow, I believe it is because they are taxed on the width of the property. It can be a little confusing wondering whether to refer to the city as Ho Chi Minh City Saigon, most Americans, French & Australians have the name Saigon burned into their brains.

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War Remnants Museum

ho chi minh city Saigon

Once known as the Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes, the War Remnants Museum is consistently the most popular museum in HCMC with Western tourists. Many of the atrocities documented here were well publicized in the West, but rarely do Westerners have the opportunity to hear the victims of US military action tell their own stories. Watching the films and studying the photos had a profound effect on me, I believed then & I still believe today the Vietnam war was one of the darkest periods of Australia & America’s history. The pain & suffering we inflicted on these wonderful people should never be forgotten. Strangely enough all the people I met seemed to hold no grudge against us, they refer to it not as the Vietnam war but the American war. I remember it as a shocking blight on our history, and I applaud this small country for being able to withstand the might of the most powerful military machine in the world and come out victors.

Mekong river tour

ho chi minh city Saigon

A half day trip that is really worth taking.

Beautiful face in Vietnam

ho chi minh city Saigon

This beautiful little girl sang a song for us on our Mekong Delta tour.

One of the many tours you can take from HCMC is the Mekong River tour which is well worth the time. However my favorite tour was to the Cu Chi tunnels where you can actually crawl through the narrow underground tunnels and experience the terror of being trapped in a small dark place. I like many people suffer from Claustrophobia however I forced myself to face my demons and entered the dreaded tunnels. I crawled about 25 meters then made my escape at the first available exit, with a huge sigh of relief and a feeling of achievement.

The saddest face in Saigon.

Saigon This poor little girl was begging for money with her mother watching from 5 meters away, instead of cash we gave her food, I’ll never forget this beautiful sad face.

Another beautiful face in HCMC.

David Herd Thailand

A beautiful face in ho chi minh city Saigon.

AK 47 at Cu Chi

AK 47 Cu Chi Tunnels

As they said in the movie Jackie Brown, AK-47, The very best there is. When you absolutely, positively got to kill every motherxxxxx in the room, accept no substitutes.

M16 at the Cu Chi Tunnels.

Cu Chi tunnels ak47

There is a range at the Cu Chi tunnels where you can fire all the lethal weapons used in the Vietnam war, quite an incredible experience.

So it really doesn’t matter whether you call the city Ho Chi Minh City Saigon or not, either way it is a fascination place.

Here is a link for some very interesting things and photos of Vietnam.

Here is a short video of me firing an M60, my crazy friend with the camera got such a fright with the noise and the shells ejecting he lost control of the camera. Is it any wonder his nickname is Pothole?  😆

Needless to say I thought the Vietnam war was a terrible shocking mistake.

Click here for a look at Ha Long Bay.

 

           Checkout some more of my terrific blogs on the links below.

             Lisbon                                 New York                       Airole Italy     

Lisbon restaurant            Wall St New York            Airole                        

       Menton                          Pattaya Storms                   Shibuya Tokyo

French Riviera            Pattaya Thailand            Shibuya Tokyo                 

      Hong Kong                        Florianopolos                         Dubrovnik

Kowloon Hong Kong           Joaquina Beach Florianopolis            Dubrovnik

              Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                       through these links below.
                              Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                         Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses

 

Pattaya webcam

 

That’s all folks

David Herd Thailand

Author: David Herd

My history, particularly over the last 30 years is dominated by overseas travel. I sold my home in Australia October 20th 2011 and have have been living in Thailand since then. I don’t know where the time has gone? It seems like you go to sleep one night, wake up the next morning, and 20 years have flashed by. Not sure how many years I have left, however I have enjoyed a wonderful charmed life, and if it all ended today I would leave this world with no regrets. I was born in Sydney halfway through the last century, started my travels in the 60s with the usual U.K. Europe adventure at the age of 20, back to Australia and worked in Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide in Sales & Marketing with multinational companies including Sanyo, Canon & Remington. Engaged to be married 3 times and never quite made it to the alter, finally realized by the mid 90s I was not cut out for "long term relationships" so I moved to the Gold Coast in Queensland in January 1987, worked for a couple of banks as a Financial Planner, I took a year off work in 1998 to travel and never went back to full time work again, after 25 fun filled years on the Coast I packed up and moved to Thailand. What is the purpose of this blog? Well I really want to use it to record my travel experiences & to display my photographs, give and receive travel tips, comment on places I visit, restaurants I eat in and use it to replace the autobiography I intended to write, apart from all that it helps me fill in my day. :) I moved to Thailand mainly because I wanted to keep travelling while my health allowed me to, there are huge advantages being closer to all the places I want to visit. Cost of living in Thailand is around 35% of the cost in Australia, plus flights are 50% cheaper because you are much closer to everywhere. 🙂 Consequently I am able to travel to many more places compared to living in Australia. Having said all that, it is & has always been my intention to return to Australia when my travelling is finished, I predict this will happen around 2021.

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