Politics, Ho Chi Minh City
Though Vietnam seems like any thriving capitalist city in asia, it is still a communist country by heart. You'll see propaganda pictures and policemen everywhere, even in places like Apocalypse Now ( A Happening Night Spot Frequented by Tourists and Yuppies)
Needless to say , talking about politics is a no-no but asking about Uncle Ho is fine. The old chappie is seen everywhere on posters and sculptures and he's usually posing with kids.
Being a National Hero and father of the Nation, I was expecting to see portraits of HCM all over Vietnam, in every shop, corner and public building.
But surprisingly, the cult of the personality doesn't sem to go so far here, and I just saw a few portraits in some govermrnment buildings... oh, and in every bank note too!!
Is it OK to call Ho Chi Mihn City, SAIGON…? YES
In fact, most Vietnamese locals prefer the pre 1975 name of “Saigon”…the name Ho Chi Mihn just doesn’t match the city…Saigon is just too zany, loud, independent and free-enterprising…to be named after a communist leader…no matter how loved
Pictured here...Dong Khoi street from the rooftop of the Rex Hotel...Dong Khoi was
known as Tu Do Street (meaning FREEDOM) to the American GIs during the war....it had a glut of bars (enough said)...now it has fancy high end boutiques and souvenir shops
Even with the free enterprise in Saigon, Vietnam is still a communist country and if you look you will see evidence of this. The Government of Vietnam posts bill boards everywhere giving messages to its citizens. Some of the bill boards just say to be a good citizen, where others talk about family commitment, getting regular immunizations for children or warn about AIDs.
Pictured here...one sign with several messages