Despite the long trip from the docks to HCMC, we had decided to go back the next day to see sites we didn’t see the day before. It was a do it yourself excursion but , of course, that was not to be the case. Before we had barely put a foot to the ground, we met Mr Ho who asked us if we wanted a taxi. After I explained that we needed to change some money, he took us to his favourite and “best deal” exchange and then proceeded to suggest how much we pay him for the taxi to the War Museum. We didn’t want to be ripped off and we had been told that a taxi there should only be about $2. We negotiated from $35 (for a round trip to the museum and then to the market ) which was his starting point to $20. We made sure it was for both of us and that it included entrance to the museum. Then we would get to the market. We were happy with $20 and Mr Ho also said we needed to go to the vietnamese pagoda because we had been to the Chinese pagoda the day before so that was included in the $20 by Mr Ho.
We arrived at the War Museum and Mr Ho wanted to have his photo taken with Paul in front of the war helicopter. A poor man with damage to his face and limbs came up to us and offered his amputated upper arm to shake and wanted us to buy books about the war. We offered him a donation which he refused. The War Museum is a must to go to but is very confronting with images and stories of the Vietnam War. Mr Ho wanted to show us around but we preferred to go on our own so as not be rushed. He was there waiting for us when we came out and then on to the Vietnamese Buddhist temple. At the Buddhist temple Mr Ho made offerings and again waited patiently for us to finish.
When we arrived at the market, he again wanted to come with us and show us around but we explained that we were happy to look by ourselves.We gave him the agreed $20 and he then asked for some “happy money” so we gave him another $3… so all three of us ended up happy!!
We wandered around the market and I got”scarf disease” again…how many scarves does one person really need?
Then off to an air-conditioned restaurant to get out of the 36 degrees C heat and have some seafood lunch – yum!
After we arrived back at the ship, we went to the lower levels to view “The Man from UNCLE” in the small cinema. After dinner in the dining room with waiters Mario and Mon, we went to see the Marriage Game Show in which Dan Dan,the cruise director, asked personal questions to the couples including one couple who got married 4 days before.