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Out of Asia

The pictures' album of Mamilu


VietNam was that we wanted to see.

That mythical country of Apocalypse Now that ten years after the end of the war against the U.S. giant finally reopened the borders.

We entered with visas No. 0036 and 0037.

Landing in Saigon [now Ho Chi Minh Ville] were still visible traces of the bombing of the area and the countryside, rice paddies and thick jungle showed a series of circles with the color of the vegetation more clearly where the various craters were filled and grown again.

On the sides of the runway landing were endless files of aircraft and aircraft from the American war machine guns and bombed and abandoned there as if everything had happened a few days before.

The Saigon airport had been one of the most important of Indochina but now there landing 2 flights a week, one from Paris via Air France and Bangkok a other one by Aeroflot from Moscow.

At customs they counted and registered us the notes and coins one by one, marking every last detail, down to scarf nose.
Arrived in the big main hall we seen on the wall a old advice "Exchange" but inside were deposited just bags of alimentary merchandise.

The country was far from be ready for tourism.

Everything had stopped in 1975, when the Viet Kong had liberated the city.
Everywhere there were traces of American, the few cars, air conditioners and the rest were old and unusable for at least 10 years and the feeling was the day after.

The transport was reserved for the Vietnamese people and many used the gasogene, from strange device-stoves installed and functioned as they could.
The plant of the city and its buildings in the center were those of a European city, but the life that took place it was as a third world country.
The vast majority of vehicles consisted of bicycles and derivatives, such as rik sho.
In the center were many antique shops, typically provided by nearby objects from China but also from Laos and Cambodia.
They making lacquered decorations that shine by the palm of hand for hours.
Everywhere were visible signs of war and of America. Their tracks have been carefully preserved for almost a warning to future generations.
The Vietnamese People seemed proud dignity, conscious of the value of their victory against the U.S., but very polite, helpful and friendly.
The Saigon airport was left  as the day after the American withdrawal and everywhere there were U.S. aircraft damaged by  Vietnamese attack weapons.

The Saigon river still showed the remains of bombing American based chemical defogliant and napalm.

In the center of Saigon, there were some Christian churches, well kept and visited by the part of Vietnamese Christian population.

Repubblic socialist of  Vietnam
Viet Nam Cong Ha Xa Hoi Chu' Nghia


 Area: 331,129 km
Population: 79,939,000 (estimated 2001)
Density: 241 ab / Km

Form of government: Republic
Capital: Ha Noi (1,236,000 inh., 3,000,000 aggl. Urbano)
Other cities: Ho Chi Minh 3520000 ab., Hai Phong 1,500,000 inhabitants.
Ethnic groups: Vietnamese 87%, Chinese 2%, 2% Thai, Khmer 1.5%, Other 7.5%
Neighboring countries: China to North, Laos and Cambodia to WEST

Monti key: Fan Si Pan 3143 m
Major rivers: the Red River 495 kilometers (Vietnamese tract, total 1180 Km), 220 km Mekong (Vietnamese tract, total 4500 Km)
Main lakes: Lake Yen Bai 220 Km
Main islands: Quoc Pu
Climate: Subtropical - Equatorial

Language: Vietnamese (official), Chinese, French, English
Religion: Buddhism, Taoism, Christian
Currency: Vietnamese Dong

Recipes by Vietnam

Tan Coc Can Tho, Delta of Mekong river