Ho Chi Minh City

We've come to Vietnam to attend the wedding of Tuan and Alice. Tuan and I worked together on Google Summer of Code 2013. Regrettably, I haven't been well and spent Thursday and Friday in bed with cold/fever. So, all I've seen on Ho Chi Minh City is from the taxi. We are here for a week and I hope to explore on foot in the next few days.

My first impression of Vietnam is "looks good". For sure this country was one of the world's poorest when the Vietnam War finished in 1975. 10 years of Marxist "Command Economy" did nothing to improve matters. However, reforms starting in 1986 are clearly working well. The downtown area near our hotel is impressive. While much needs to be done, I feel optimism for the people of Vietnam.

I've worked with lots of Vietnamese people in Silicon Valley. I have always found it easy to get along with people from here. They are smart and work hard. The average age is about 30, so this is young country with lots of smart and quite well educated people. I'll watch the progress of Vietnam in future with great interest.

I'm not going say much about the Vietnam War other than to mention the movie "The Fog of War" and Ken Burn's "The Vietnam War". President Johnson (and Kennedy) totally misunderstood the situation. They mistakenly saw Vietnam as a piece on the Global Politcal Chessboard. The Vietnam War was a struggle for Independence. That the USA was defeated says a great deal about the determination of the Vietnamese.

We are staying at the Caravelle Hotel. It's beautiful. We purchased our tickets and hotel booking on Expedia.com Our package includes use of the lounge. The quality and spread of buffet food at breakfast and dinner is excellent. Alison vouches for the wine. The lounge is on the 9th floor and has great views over the city.

On Monday, I felt a little better and Alison and I had a walk downtown near the hotel. It's very hot and humid. Crossing the road at the river is a death defying adventure to wade through all the scooters, mopeds and motor cycles. When we booked our trip, we hoped to take a bus trip to the delta of the Mekong River. In view of my health, we'll stay close to the hotel. We fly home on Wednesday. The taxi will collect us from the hotel at 16:30. It'll take 24 hours to get home on Thursday morning. Very long night flight via Hong Kong.

Opera House

Our hotel

Tunnel Machine


The New Metro


Opera and Hotels

Opera and Hotel

Flag of Vietnam


Pedestrian Street

Times Square


Mc Donalds

Mega Building






City Hall

New City

Bird by river


Another bird

Hotel Majestic


Riverside Gardens

Millions of mopeds

Old and New

Downtown street

Opera House

Hotel Lounge

View from lounge

From Lounge

Out the window

Old neighbours

Saigon River

Opera House and Hotel





Notre Dame

Cathedral Square










Caravelle Hotel

City Hall

Ho's Statue (wrapped)


Mc Donalds

Saigon Center



Metro Construction

Saigon Center

View from room


River from room



City Hall

Main Drag


City Hall


From City Hall

Flags of Poland and Vietnam

Our Hotel

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