Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday, Feb 26th, Saigon History Museum and Zoo


First, let's get to the key issue.  What's with paying thousands of dong for everything?  The exchange rate is 21,000 dong to the dollar.  That means you're carrying around millions of dong in your pocket.  While it does inflate your sense of worth to be paying 180,000 dong for a bottle of wine, you come down to earth when you realize it's still only $9.  The hard part is when you haggle over 1,000 dong because you think that 1,000 of anything ought to be worth haggling over.  Not when it's 5 cents, and especially not when it probably means an extra meal to that guy you're arguing with.  Vietnam ought to get rid of a couple of zeros on their currency.

After catching some of our friends leaving over the past day, we took off for a day at the Saigon Museum and Zoo.  I think it's a testimony to the tour that I felt that I knew most of the information which the Museum presented.  From the 54 ethnicities and eight languages, to many dynasties and emperors, to the inter-relationships between Kampuchea, Champa, and the Viets.  I won't say their was nothing new there, but most of it was old hat by now.

The zoo, on the other hand, contained some animals I hadn't seen on the tour.  I enjoyed the Indochinese Tiger, several deer species, and the beautifully colored egrets.  And though there was a porcupine which looked like ours, most more resembled what Pat hates - opossums.  And my favorite friend was there to remind us to slow down and enjoy the ride - the orangutan.

It being Saturday, we saw several wedding photos being organized around the Church and the Park on our walk back to the hotel.  One even had to dodge the street cleaner to get her's taken.  We're getting used to dodging motorbikes and cars crossing the streets, and probably will miss the thrills when we get home.  Tomorrow, we fly to Vientiane, Laos for the next adventure.  Not sure if there will be wifi during the whole time, but we'll catch up in Bangkok on Friday night before our flight home.  A week from today, we'll be home.

To see all of the photos taken today, click on: Saturday, Feb 26th, Saigon History Museum And Zoo


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