Monday, 26 July 2010

A Walk Around Ben Thanh Market

Antique Street

I have posted all of my photos in a Facebook Album and I would love you to view them by clicking here: Jamie on Facebook. You do not have join FB to view them :-)

A rainy day on Sunday so we hung around the house most of the day playing Wii and making train sets, and watching movies with the kids. In the afternoon Brook, Dad and I decided to go out and explore what they call Antique Street, due to the fact that all the antique shops are pretty much in the same place. Not the best day for photos but here are a few to give you a taste:

After getting home Brook prepared a few pizzas which he cooked on/in the BBQ. They were divine! It was an absolutely lovely evening in the most idyllic setting beside the pool, right on the river in the backyard of Bec & Brook's house. We put on 80's music and NZ music and proceeded to sing and dance the night away. The kids all wanted to go swimming after dinner so we all promptly stripped down to our undies and jumped in for some pool rugby! 

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Cu Chi Tunnels and Cao Dai Temple

I have posted all of my photos in a Facebook Album and I would love you to view them by clicking here: Jamie on Facebook. You do not have join FB to view them :-)

Well this was a huge day! My plan when I woke up was to go into town and have another look around, but my brother-in-law Brook said I was welcome to take his car and driver for the day. At this exciting prospect I decided to go to the tunnels at Cu Chi and then onto the Cao Dai Holy See (above).

Brook suggested I go to Pham Ngu Lao (backpacker district) first and buy a Lonely Planet for Vietnam to get a bit of history about where I was going. I got one for 120,000 VND (about $AUD7.00) and some of the pages promptly fell out in my hand while I was reading! I guess there are no free lunches huh?

Here are a couple of shots of Pham Ngu Lao:

After grabbing some Western style food from a bakery for the trip, I jumped back in the car and headed for Cu Chi.If you are interested in learning more about this fascinating region and the tunnels dug over many decades that helped the Viet Cong decimate the US troops, then you can read more about it by visiting this website: Cu Chi Tunnels

The trip was interesting but very long. I think was in part due to me changing the itinerary half way there and deciding to go to Cu Chi first instead of Cao Dai, not realising that it probably would have been easier to do it the other way around. Mr An the driver was having to stop and ask directions on several occasions, and also make several phone calls to someone who was very helpful in directing us.

Here are a few images of Cu Chi. I will be posting video soon:

After Cu Chi it was on to the Cao Dai's Holy See, called the Tay Ninh Holy See, located in Tay Ninh. Now I had no idea how far it was, and Mr An made many phone calls to find the way! I must admit it was nice being out of the city though. The was not much traffic and we were able to go faster than 50km/h for a change! About 90 mins later we arrived at the amazing Cao Dai Temple. Rather than go into too many details here, I invite you to go to this website to learn more about this religion and the unique temple: Cao Dai Information

There was no service in progress when I arrived so my photos show an empty temple, but if you click the link above you can see the monks in prayer inside the temple. Here are a few photos I took showing the architecture and adornments of this rather garish building:

After taking in all that Cao Daism could offer me, I jumped back into the car to face what turned out to be a 3 hour trip home! That was a mission, and it was partly because we hit traffic at 4.30pm back in Ho Chi Minh. All in all a really interesting day that showed me two very different sides of Vietnam and her history.

Crossing The Street in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City Traffic