Ian goes downhill


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Breakfast at Hotel Caravelle

Ian still didn't feel quite right when he woke up and I was still very blocked up with my cold. We ventured down to the ground floor restaurant for breakfast.

We thought breakfast at the Raffles Hotel in Siem Reap was fabulous but this was even more splendiferous. What an incredible spread we had to choose from. The restaurant was quite large and the buffet was just about as big. It was so difficult to choose what to eat. We both wished we were hungrier. Being unwell does take the shine off your appetite.

Nonetheless we had a fabulous feast. Their french style pastries were one of the highlights for me.


Excursions in Ho Chi Minh City

Today we had places to visit planned by Cruiseco. We would be taken by tour bus to the Re-unification Palace, The War Remnants Museum, a Lacquer Factory, The Post Office Building and Notre Dame Cathedral followed by an organized lunch at a restaurant somewhere. It sounded good.

Re-unification PalaceRe-unification Palace, Ho Chi Minh City


Tank at the palaceTank in the palace grounds
Meeting roomImportant decisions were made around this table


We had a look around the Re-unification Palace (also known as the Presidential Palace). Ian was starting to feel decidedly dodgy and by the time the Palace visit was over he just wanted to collapse somewhere cool. He didn't seem to be coming down with my cold germs. He wasn't feeling nauseous or needing to race to the toilet. He just felt unwell and totally lethargic.


War Remnants MuseumWar Remnants Museum


Helicopter at the front of the museumHelicopter at the front of the War Remnants Museum


The War Remnants Museum

This was the sort of place Ian would ordinarily have enjoyed checking out but he simply couldn't. There were not many seats in the foyer of the building but we found one for him so he sat there whilst I had a mooch around. I was able to go upstairs to see some of the displays and at the same time keep looking down through the atrium into the foyer to make sure he was fine.

The part of the museum that interested and horrified me most were the displays relating to agent orange. It makes me feel sick and faint just thinking now about some of the photos I saw and the information I read.

This is definitely a place to visit if you are in Ho Chi Minh City.




Information on agent orange


It is estimated that it will take six generations for the effects of agent orange to be gone from the population.


Hi Chi Minh City - Highlights

Find out what to see in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Guide

Lacquer Works Factory

I felt like Ian needed to be taken back to the hotel. He was too unwell to be looking at tourist sights in Ho Chi Minh City. He said he would struggle on for a bit longer and just take things easy. This next stop was to a Lacquer Factory. Ian plonked himself down on a chair in the foyer of the building.

Lacquer project in progressWorkers in the Lacquer Factory



Finished projectCompleted project

I found it was very interesting to watch the artists at work. Egg shells were evident on their desks and these were broken down into small pieces and carefully formed into art works. Some of the shells are dyed to produce brightly coloured segments.

The place was a hive of activity - I could have stood there forever watching the artists work. It takes a long time to complete even a simple, small tray. There is an interesting link here on how the process moves along, see: Huong Nga Fine Arts

There are some fabulous photographs well worth looking at on this web page too: http://retireearlylifestyle.com/lacquerware_factory.htm

From the workshop we were ushered towards the shop. There were thousands of items for sale and all were totally fabulous. There were trays, vases, pictures, small containers, jewellery boxes etc. plus big furniture items too. I'd hate to think how many months of work would be involved in creating something as enormous as the furniture pieces. I would also hate to think what such enormous pieces might cost too.

I looked back towards the foyer to see if Ian was OK but he wasn't there. Where was he? I found him sitting just inside the shop area with a couple of other folk who needed to sit down. I think someone had recognized he wasn't very well and had suggested he move somewhere better.

It is definitely worth visiting this place even if you have no intention of buying.

At one stage during the morning a few of us were waiting for the others on the bus. The bus was parked on the edge of a very busy roundabout. The roundabout was full of motorbike riders. As we gazed out of our bus windows two motorbikes collided and landed on their sides. The two riders smartly hopped off and we could see one was a woman and one was a man. We think the lady was the one at fault. Anyway she wasn't too bothered at all. She just dusted herself off and took off again. No words were spoken between the pair of them. After just a couple more minutes the man got back on his bike and he took off too.



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