Sunday, November 25

Vietnam-Cambodia, Day Nine: I'll Miss Saigon

Another one of the "must sees" of HCMC are the nearby Cu Chi Tunnels.You can probably already imagine what these were, but once again it was the cultural heritage that stole the show more than any amusement we would have crawling through tunnels. If the intention was to make us empathic toward those who originally dug these tunnels then they did a good job. The tour guide in particular kept it real with his stories and assistance. Photos here.

Once we were back in HCMC proper we spent some time visiting the mosque and then, finally, found a halal restaurant to eat in (named Halal@Saigon obviously enough); and this time there was meat on the menu. Between the mosque and the restaurant we also got to meet a few members of the Cham, the indigenous Muslims from Vietnam.

As our time in HCMC, and indeed Vietnam, drew to an end so did our roles as tourists ebb away. We spent the evening wandering around aimlessly,  finally ending up sharing cupcakes in a shop across from our hotel. It was somehow a fitting end to our time in that country.

The flight to Seam Reap was speedy, and as in the case with us men as we began our decent into Cambodia the memories we collected this past week in Vietnam quickly began to fade. But I at least had seen enough to convince me to come back one day. It really was a wonderful place both culturally but especially because of the people. I don't think I've ever met a bunch of universally nice people anywhere on my travels.

We settled into the awesome Muslim run hotel we had been recommended and prepared for an early night - tomorrow is to be an early start; most likely the earliest we'll be having on this trip as we set out to experience one of the main reasons we had even come to this whole region in the first place.

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