The Hassan's

Uncle Ho and
Chairman Mao

World Tour '98


(Read Other First Person Travel Stories)

Good Day From Saigon

Hopefully this "short message" will get out. I had composed a long message but once again it disappeared when I tried to send it. Working through the Vietnamese Post office internet and the last sentence of my original message made a remark about censorship. Then the message disappeared.

We have arrived in Saigon and found a place that is so much different that what we had seen in 1993 when we last came here. Now there are thirty story glass and stainless steel towers all over the downtown. The old city is quickly being leveled to make way for more offices, apartments and hotels for the multi-national corporations. Several weeks ago they leveled the old American Embassy to make way for the new USA consulate. It is a different Saigon without that building.

McDonald's is not here yet but Kentucky Fried Chicken and Baskin Robbins are. There will be a Hard Rock Cafe in a couple of months. There is now a renegade HRC that makes a black Gibson and red Gibson guitar pin that are dead-on copies of the real thing. Until you pick them up you can't tell the difference.

Tonight we leave on a 21 hour train ride to Hue. Supposed to be a very slow and beautiful ride. After the waves of motorbikes that have replaced the slow bicycle traffic of '93 in Saigon we are looking forward to a slow train ride.

We'll try and communicate from Hue, provided the Vietnamese Post Office doesn't revoke my internet access.

LOIS & JOHN

Copyright 1999 Lois and John Hassan

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