Fall Break 2016: Vietnam
25 November - 18 December 2016
- About the Trip
- Mattopia Jones and the Flames of the Fates: Director's Notes and Travelogue
- Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
- Mekong Delta
- Cu Chi
- Ha Long Bay
- Myanmar (Burma)
North is north and south is south.
The contrast between Saigon and Hanoi was stark.
A young tour guide on my trip to the Cu Chi tunnels (north suburban Saigon) spoke fluent English and was full of energy. He spoke to me one-on-one and shared his love for America and Americans. He envied our pursuit of opportunity. In Vietnam, he commented, they live in a socialist country where nothing is free.
Traveling up north in Hanoi, while on a city tour, my tour guide was older and his English wasn't all that great. His sentences would start strong then devolve into a mumble. A sentence that seemed to have a certain trajectory wound up ending someplace else. When we spoke one-on-one, the tone was much different to my friend in Saigon. In Hanoi, the sentiment from my tour guide was that the world was headed for another arms race. The answer? Socialism.
What would Uncle Ho think of the current state of things? Well, I got to see him at his mausoleum. He seemed to have a smile on his face, but the experience was much less dramatic than the visit to Lenin in Red Square.
Technical note: All photos and videos were taken with a Sony A6300 except those on the iPhone 7 Plus as noted in the captions.