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THE ADVENTURES OF S/V SERENITY AND HER CREW
Saigon
03/23/2013

look what we found in Saigon. There were KFCs, Pizza huts, Burger Kings, and Subways--but no McDonalds. How strange is that?

Saigon
03/22/2013

March 16, 2013 continued Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

We made it! We landed in Ho Chi Minh City, which has a large, new airport, and after dealing with the 'visa on arrival' people, we were let in. Saigon is a city of ten million people and 100 million scooters (or so it seems). We checked into the Nikko Saigon hotel by 0110 and booked a city tour for the afternoon. Our guide, Tommy, picked us up in an air conditioned van and after picking up a few more guests we went to the Reunification Palace. The Reunification Palace used to be the Presidential Palace before the communist take over and it has been preserved as a museum. Out in front of the Palace are two tanks (the gun type), which in 1975 had rolled through the gates of the palace--one tank is Russian built and one is Chinese Built. The inside of the palace is deco 1960's and is quite opulent. There are circles on the roof of the palace where two bombs were dropped during the war. They were dropped by a Viet Cong pilot who had worked undercover in the palace for years.
After the palace, we went to the War Remnants Museum. The War Remnants Museum used to be called the 'War Criminals Museum', but the government changed the name to be less offensive to the foreign tourists. The government has discovered that there is a lot of money to be made in the tourist trade. The War Remnants Museum is a big propaganda machine--but the old jets, tanks, and guns were interesting. We then visited Cho Lon, the city's historical Chinese district, and the pagoda to Thien Hau--a goddess who saved some people by flying in on a cloud and calming the seas. Afterwards, we visited the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Saigon Post Office. The last two are from the French occupation of Vietnam. We then we taken back to our hotels and we crashed into bed after taking a long hot bath--so good.

Saigon
03/22/2013

The Reunification Palace--which used to be the Presidential Palace.

Saigon
03/22/2013

Sherry and I with our guide Tommy at the Reunification Palace.

Saigon
03/22/2013

A U.S. Huey helicopter on the roof of the Reunification Palace--the red circle is where one of two bombs were dropped.

Saigon
03/22/2013

Outside of the War Memorial Museum were many items left over from the war--this is a U.S. F-5 fighter jet.

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THE CREW OF SERENITY
Who: SHERRY AND GORDON CORNETT
Port: Ventura/Mammoth Lakes California
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