Sunday, 25 February 2018

Sunday in Saigon

We were up early this morning and went out for a run in the park opposite our hotel. Everyone else gets up early too and it was full of people exercising, doing tai chi and playing badminton. It was quite hot but we had a good run. 
Next we went to a nearby park that we remembered from the last time that we visited. It was full of people who had brought their pet birds with them and they were all sat around chatting, while the birds whistled away to their own feathered friends. 
Then we went to the Reunification Palace, which was the place where the Vietnam War ended on 30th April 1975. A communist tank crashed through the closed gates and on to the lawn and then the president surrendered. The tank is still sitting in the grounds today. 
It was a very interesting place and very modern. It was built in the 1960's in the style of the time and has not been altered since. It was like a James Bond film set with circular settees and a purple coloured cinema.
We went up on to the roof terrace where a helicopter was parked. It used to be used by the president, but I think that it is just decorative now. 
Just next to the helicopter were markings on the roof where two missiles hit the building a couple of weeks before the surrender. They were fired by a communist spy who infiltrated the enemy airforce, took a fighter jet, fired the missiles and then made it safely out of the city to another airbase. 
The plane is also in the grounds of the building.
Disclaimer - I am not totally sure of all of my facts here, but they are roughly correct! 

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