Ho Chi Minh City Tour (Saigon) with visit to the War Remnants Museum

March 2013 

The population of Saigon is about 8 million people; like many other Asian metropolis, modest flats in old buildings contrast with extremely modern skyscrapers. Streets and lanes are covered by millions of motorcycles. The city offers markets, pagodas, temples and it is the seat of the interesting War Remnants Museum

Ho Chi Minh City Saigon
Photo of Saigon; it looks like a metropolis basically made up of low buildings which house dwellings and offices.
In Saigon, the electric cables, as wells as the others wires are aerial and grouped in big bundles among trees and poles.
Fires and breakdowns are frequent but at the moment the city doesn't have the necessary financial resources to locate the plants underground.
Traffic of mopeds Mopeds in Asia
Like in many other Asian cities, even in Saigon there is a huge traffic of motorcycles.
Cathedral of Notre Dame Notre Dame in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh)
Ho Chi Minh City photo. The tour in Saigon starts with the visit to the Cathedral of Notre Dame, built by the French between 1863 and 1880.
Saigon Post Office Central Post Office in Saigon (portrait of Ho Chi Minh)
The old post office in Saigon dates back to the early XX century; it was built by the French during the colonial occupation of Indochina and it is still working. Inside (photo on the right) there is the portrait of Ho Chi Minh.
Tank M107, 175mm
The tour in Saigon continues with the visit to the extremely interesting War Remnants Museum where pictures, documents,as well as military equipment, used during the war, are collected.
Fighter aircrafts Vietnam Fighter aircraft Vietnam
USA Aircraft in Vietnam

The outside of the War Remnants Museum hosts some aircraft used by the U.S. Army.
Prison in Vietnam
Picture of the prisons used by the U.S. army to imprison the Viet Cong and the other Vietnamese considered spies o traitors.
Military Phone

A section of the museum is devoted to the death and torture stocks used during the war. On the left a guillotine. In the picture above, a military phone which was modified to give electricity to torture the prisoners.
Torture Torture Vietnamese prisoners
Some of the torture stocks used by the U.S. army. In the picture on the left, a punched plate where the prisoner, completely naked, laid down before being dragged on stones. In the picture on the right, several cages of barbed wire where the prisoners were locked up for days, often with ants and other insects.
War Remnants Museum Ho Chi Minh Vietnam War Remnants Museum Saigon
War Remnants Museum in Vietnam

In the War Remnants Museum there is a wide collection of  pictures, documents and weapons, located on many floors in a big building.
In the museum there is also a section devoted to the bombs. In the picture on the right, the lethal nail bomb

In an attempt to flush out the Viet Cong hidden in the forests, the U.S. army used a variety of chemical weapons, and in particular Herbicide called "Agent Orange" for the color of the drums where it was stored.
This herbicide was sprayed by air over large regions of Vietnam, in order to deforest them and drive out the Viet Cong. Unfortunately, this chemical has proved so highly carcinogenic and mutagen, that still now in Vietnam a great number of children phocomelic and with other serious malformations are borne. Recently, an international court has recognized the United States guilty of using unsuited chemicals, condemning them to a millionaire compensation to the victims. The herbicide has now been banned for decades, even for normal agricultural use.
Skyscraper in Saigon
View of Ho Chi Minh City

The tour of  Ho Chi Minh City ends with going up the Sky Deck in the highest skyscraper of the city, from where you have a breathtaking view of Saigon.

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English translation by Lorena Anzani.