Ho Chi Minh City museums
Sunday 22nd November
I wandered through the park and bought two Vietnamese coffee-makers on
my way to the Ho Chi Minh City Museum.
This covers revolutionary history (it was originally called the
Revolutionary Museum), but also has some ethnographic material (on
minorities, marriage traditions) and displays showcasing Saigon as
a centre of commerce and industry. Most of the captions had English
translations (which could have done with some editing).
From there I took a taxi to the Museum of Vietnamese History. This is
organised chronologically. As well as artifacts such as Dongson
bronze drums, it has dioramas and paintings. The presentation is both
nationalist and Marxist.
Next door I went to a water puppet show. This is more for kids than
adults, but was fun. I also visited the nearby Zoo/Garden, which was
full of people and children, presumably because it was a Sunday, and
had lunch there.
Back downtown, I ate some cakes from a bakery and chatted to a girl
carrying a folder from a seminar on studying in Australia.
Nguyen Giap books
English is clearly a big thing, with several bookshops full of English
. As well as books about Vietnam, there are lots of learning materials, such as IELTS textbooks,
and specialist works.
The latter included such expensive items such as genuine
Springer maths textbooks, with price tags over 1,000,000 dong. Surely
everyone in Vietnam just photocopies these, or buys cheap unauthorised
bought a copy of Last Night I Dreamed of Peace and went to a
local coffee chain Nguyen Trung and had their most expensive coffee
(46,000 dong or about $3 Australian, and rather good).
After a rest in the hotel, I walked to the Sheraton to go to the rooftop
bar for views over the city. A drink and some snacks proved rather
I paid for an extra night at the hotel so I could shower and repack
properly before leaving. I got ripped off by the taxi to the airport,
whose meter had clearly been fiddled — I should have taken one of
the bright yellow VinaTaxi cabs.
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