Ho Chi Minh / Saigon was the last stop on this crazy Southeast Asian adventure of mine. We only had one full day there and we spent it visiting the War Remnant Museum, eating Pho and having an amazing night out with our friend from Canyoning.
⋙ WAR REMNANT MUSEUM
This museum is filled with remnants from different wars. Outside there is an exhibit of artifacts from when they were trying to declare independence from the French and then the inside is filled with weapons, stories and photos from the Vietnam War. This museum was a hard pill for me to swallow. It wasn’t just filled with stories about how horrible Americans were. There were stories of photographers & journalists (American, French, Vietnamese, etc.) who gave their lives in this war. Then there was the Agent Orange room which was too much for me. I was in shock when I walked into this room. It’s filled with stories of the affects that Agent Orange had on Vietnam, not only during the war but in the generations after. It was filled with photos of children with horrible deformations, jars with preserved fetuses that were stillborn and also deformed because of Agent Orange. After reading about 10 of these stories, I had to leave the room. To be honest, it affected me so strongly that I cried. It was tough, but so eye-opening.
The outside of the museum
The portion of the museum about the Vietnamese revolution from the French
The horrendous tiger cages
The room of weapons
The Agent Orange room
peace pins from the anti-war movement in the U.S.
Bombs and missiles that had been dropped on Vietnam
After a tough museum visit Stacey and I spent our afternoon strolling through markets and feasting on pho one more time.
That night our friend Tim, who we met in Da Lat while we were Canyoning, asked us if we wanted to be treated to a night out for our last night traveling together! (I was heading home the next day, and Stacey was heading off to Thailand to go back to Safari Park Zoo!) So, Tim bought us a feast of a dinner and then we went out for drinks! Thanks again, Tim! Hope to catch up with you somewhere around the world soon!
The next morning, Stacey and I woke up bright and early to send her off for her flight. After a tearful goodbye Stacey was off for her new adventure and I spent the afternoon reflecting on this amazing trip, the things I learned and the things that I experienced.
I had an afternoon of sipping coffee and strolling through tiny alleyways thinking about how weird it would be to wake up in America. The whole day this Jack Kerouac quote was stuck in my head…
“Live, travel, adventure, bless and don’t be sorry.”
I asked a man at the airport to take a photo of me before I checked my pack so I could do a day 1 / day 101 photo.
My almost 48 hours of flights and layovers seemed to take forever, but it was great to be able to start forming some of these blog posts and putting it all together. It also gave me the time to think about all the amazing things that I had in store for me back home… Especially one thing.
I have to take a moment to give a huge thank you to my fiancé. Matt supported and took care of me from thousands of miles and continents apart. Plus, he drove 10 hours to pick me up, then 3 to take me from St. Louis to Springfield just to drive 12 more hours back home to Asheville (I followed a week later.) I couldn’t have done it without you!
My parents deserve a massive thank you, as well! You guys have always encouraged me to follow my dreams & you gave me so much support along the way.
The biggest thank you, though, has to go to Stacey for taking this wild, crazy ride with me. We learned a lot together and will never forget these amazing adventures over 101 days in Southeast Asia.