[Stop #7 & 8]: Vietnam | Mekong Delta & Ho Chi Minh City / by Amanda Liew

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Took a little break from blogging since New York has kept me busy, but I wanted to keep documenting my travels, even if only for myself!  Though we didn't stay in Vietnam for too long, we were able to visit both the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City. We stayed in a homestay in the Mekong Delta to help break up our long trip from Cambodia to HCM, and we had an absolutely delicious homecooked meal (can egg rolls be in its own food group?) and experienced quite a bit of...wildlife. Our mosquito net beds were a lifesaver considering I attract all the mosquitos within a 100 mile radius, but we also saw giant lizards the size of our arms and woke up at 2AM to a thousand roosters going bezerk.

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Before we left, we took an early morning boat tour. In Thailand we had gone to a floating market, but as I mentioned in my earlier post, the market was clearly set up for tourists and hawking overpriced souveneirs and photo opportunities. This floating market actually was where locals went to buy their vegetables and fruits! As its "advertisement," each boat had a stick skewering whatever fruit or vegetable they were selling rising up for potential customers to see._DSC0903 _DSC0909 _DSC0915 _DSC0934 _DSC0942

In Ho Chi Minh City, we actually were able to meet up with Sophie, Jeremy, and Katie again who had just finished up their tour two days earlier. They brought us to an amazing South Korean French style bakery called Tous Les Jours which oddly enough, I found last night in New York City in K-Town! _DSC0943

Because of the Vietnam War, our experience in Vietnam as Americans was extremely interesting. On one hand, during our visit to the war museum and the Cu Chi Tunnels, there was a lot of propaganda/anti-American language everywhere such as a video with a cute little girl declaring who was the "Number 1 American Killer Hero!!" On the other hand, we read stories and saw photographs of various citizens horribly affected by Agent Orange. It was certainly a lot to take in, especially since I have none of my own memories to draw from.

The Cu Chi Tunnels themselves were fascinating just from a tactical perspective. The Viet Cong soldiers used the tunnels as hiding spots, supply routes, and actual homes during the war. They had multiple levels with emergency air shafts, guerilla tactic booby traps, and camouflaged hiding spots all over the place.  _DSC0951 _DSC0954 _DSC0960 _DSC0986We actually got a chance to run through the tunnels ourselves and even though I'm not a claustrophobic person at all (being 5'2 means I can just fit in more places, right?!) I quickly became terrified by the pitch black, sharp turns, and just how cramped the entire space is. photo (5)

Overall, I wish we had more time to spend in Vietnam. The rest of the tour actually continued on a 10-day excursion throughout the rest of the country, and it was so sad to say goodbye to the rest of our group. Everybody on the trip was so fun and had so many stories to exchange. Hopefully one day I'll be able to visit Germany, Australia or the UK again to be reunited! Love you all! photo (7) photo (9) photo (8)

[Nikon D3100 and iPhone Camera +]