From Jamie's Philippines Pics

We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.

We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.

Thanks for checking us out!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
- Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou






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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tet New Year's Eve

Day 2

After a much needed night's rest, we got up, ate breakfast, and headed out into the city to do the touristy things in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) or Saigon. We first took a cab to the Independence Palace. This was the presidential palace of South Vietnam but is probably best known in the world for the videos and pictures of the tanks crashing through the gates of the palace after the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese on April 30, 1975. The palace was somewhat impressive, and supposedly, they had tried to leave it in similar condition to what it was during the time. Nice building with beautiful grounds and architecture.

We had some time to kill before heading over to the War Remnants Museum, so we decided to go ahead and eat at the Hard Rock Cafe HCMC. Food was great as always and we picked up one of the cooler HRC t shirts we have.

A quick stop for pictures at the Vietnamese version of the Notre Dame Cathedral, and it was off to the War Remnants Museum. I would like to have had an opinion of a Vietnam War veteran of this museum, because it mainly showed and explained the American atrocities toward the Vietnamese during the "American War." The effects of some of the massacres and the effects of agent orange were graphically portrayed. Apparently, the museum opened just 5 months after the Fall of Saigon, so it is no wonder why there is such a biased slant on the war and these war time atrocities.

I had planned on purchasing some linen pants while I was back in Vietnam, and we wanted to purchase Gary some too. We shopped around before settling on a place where we bought 5 pair of linen pants at what we thought was a very reasonable price. I am delighted, and we'll pick them up next Saturday when we get back from Hue.

We were all pretty exhausted, so we decided to head back to the hotel for a quick afternoon nap. After resting for a couple of hours, Jamie, Kathy, and I headed back out into the city to check out the festivities for the New Year's Eve. Gary is catching a cold, so he stayed in.

We first ate dinner at a delicious Vietnamese restaurant call Pho Bu Vien Quoc Ky. They only served 2 things: white noodles and yellow noodles with some greens and beef in a broth soup. It was delicious, and we were helped by an Australian/Vietnamese college student who was helping out his family for the holiday.

We then lucked out, because as were walking through the throngs of people celebrating, we happened upon a small parade. This was the type of parade we were looking for last year in Hong Kong with the dragon dancers, big lion heads, and high energy. It lasted for about 10 or 15 minutes before moving on. 1000s of people were in the streets just walking around the loop of the pedestrian only zone. I guess you could call it the Times Square of Veitnam. It was quite a site and one I'm glad we were able to see. We then became too tired to wait for the fireworks and true New Year's Eve countdown, so we decided to head back and get some more rest.

Great day overall. We aren't sure what to do tomorrow because many of the stores and businesses will be closed. I'm sure we'll find something to do.

Be sure to check out the HCMC folder on Picasa for the pictures!

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