We left our Sai Gon Hotel early to visit the Viet Cong Tunnel complex at Cu Chi. An extraordinary and extensive system of tunnels that existed literally under the feet of the Americans and that is now a centre for Tourists keen to understand more about the American War. It’s a fascinating morning, but unfortunately the area is not very photogenic – you end up with lots of pictures of dirt, trees and holes in the ground If you want to understand more, either visit, or remember that Google is your friend.
On the way back we pulled over for a photo stop at a rubber plantation.
Once back in Sai Gon, after a rather good lunch (because we do that sort of thing at Great Rail Journeys) we walked around central Sai Gon. The Notre Dame Cathedral was constructed next to the beautiful Post Office
From there we moved on to the former Presidential Palace, now known as the Reunification Palace. History was made here on April 30th 1975 when Tank 834 of the North Vietnamese Army crashed through the main gates Commanded by Bui Quand Than the T54 tank had earlier got lost during the advance into the city and ended up at the Sai Gon Zoo. They stopped to ask an elderly lady on a moped for directions, and she (bravely) told them to **** Off! She changed her mind when they pointed a lot of guns at her, and the tank headed off to the Palace, arriving before anybody else. Having smashed through the gates, they ran inside and hung the National Flag from the second floor balcony, and the world suddenly knew that Vietnam was one country.
We returned to the hotel just in time for a swim and Happy Hour (Rude not too, really) and then in the evening we had a dinner cruise on the Saigon river to view the city.
And finally… George