View Full Version : Uncle Ho

6th Dec 2014, 10:39
I was transiting through Ho Chi Minh City last week.......and it got me thinking to a few years back when I spent some time in Vietnam.....and it had me thinking about how the winner writes history....

I recall seeing pictures of American (USA) soldiers holding up the severed heads of North Vietnamese POWs.......grinning menacingly, well grinning as menacingly as those clowns wearing dishclothes on their heads as in ISIS.....I guess they were real photos.....I'm pretty sure 'Photoshop' wasn't around back then, but I stand to be corrected.......:ok:

But, back on topic...Now then the North relates the story that 'Uncle Ho' went to the USA and asked for USA assistance in liberating his country from the French colonialists....basically begging the USA to help in his struggle for freedom/ democracy...whatever, and en to the French suppression....

.....And the USA refused to help out Uncle Ho in obtaining freedom and democracy....

USA was not the only Country Uncle Ho went to, but eventually, the then USSR agreed to help Uncle Ho and Vietnam to realize their independence, free from the Cheese eating Surrender Monkeys......

All I know of the Vietnam war, as someone born in the middle of it, and too young to know too much about it, except that I have a PTSD riddled Ex RAN Iroquis Heli pilot for a Father in Law ..... I seem to only recall the \northern commies are bad!

Given the amount of dreadfully expensive cars i saw driving about, I don't know how truly Socialist they are..

But this....something never relayed to me previously......Did 'Uncle Ho', really go first to the USA, requesting USA assistance in realizing freedom???

6th Dec 2014, 11:16
Fliegenmong - Aquire a copy of 'The ten thousand day war' - it will give you an insight into both the war against the French and also against the Americans. Ho Chi Minh did indeed go to an American president -I cannot recall which-to ask for help in the struggle against the French. Another book to read is 'A Bright and Shining Lie'. The Vietnam war was a shameful business,The USA attempted to prop up a succession of corrupt regimes,war crimes were committed in the name of 'Freedom' and 'Democracy'. 15 million tons of bombs were dropped during the conflict. Three and a half million Vietnamese were killed for absolutely no reason.
If you can find it read an article by Nicholas Tomalin - later killed in the Middle East - ' The General Goes Zapping Charlie Cong'. It will appall you.

Metro man
6th Dec 2014, 11:55
Visit the "American War Museum" in Ho Chi Minh City for a different perspective on events.

BTW the Zippo lighters and dog tags on sale in the souvenir shop are fakes.;)

6th Dec 2014, 13:40
Was in the museum - now named the War Remembrance Museum about 3 weeks ago,sobering place. Also visited the Cu Chi tunnels just north of the city - fascinating. Was able to have a go with an AK47 - the VC ammunition must have been better as about one in three of the rounds I was supplied with were duds. Really did not know what to expect of the country but was pleasantly surprised,cleaner and more disciplined traffic than my second home Manila.

6th Dec 2014, 13:59
bcgallagher " and more disciplined traffic"

Are we talking about Vietnam here: When I was there about 6 years ago I would not have called the traffic disciplined.

Having said that, we learned to cross the road by maintaining eye contact with the oncoming traffic!

galaxy flyer
6th Dec 2014, 15:10

BCGallagher is comparing the traffic to Manila, not an absolute standard of "disciplined".


Boudreaux Bob
6th Dec 2014, 15:59
Vietnam is a lovely place to visit as the people are very friendly.

The Traffic in Vietnam is far more organized than Manila.

An unusual facet of the way they drive in Vietnam is the vehicle being overtaken gives way to the overtaking vehicle...even going up steep grades in the Mountains. Try that in the Philippines or the USA sometime!

Yes....Ho did seek US support against the French as he had worked with the OSS during WWII in the fight against the Japanese.

Harry Truman supported the French in their efforts to re-colonize Indochina after WWII. Had FDR's policies been maintained that would not have happened as he was all about breaking up European Colonization.

I could quite easily retire to Vietnam as there are some very pretty places that Tourists have not discovered yet....and hopefully shall not.

6th Dec 2014, 16:15
Was in Hanoi for a few weeks last month and absolutely loved it there. The city is vibrant and full of energy. The people are very nice, the only problem I had (apart from the lack of English spoken) was the food which seemed to be broth with noodles and bits of meat for every meal!
Communism seems to work there but only by the population adopting a truly capitalist attitude, in fact it was remarked to me just how left wing we in Europe were.
My daughter in law (who is Vietnamese) told me that a typical example of communism at work is the health service which is available to all but basically you pay or die!
Wonderful traffic system which consists of hundreds of motorbikes and scooters, few with less that two people on them. The amazing thing is that despite the solid traffic if you want to cross the road you simply walk across and the traffic magically avoids you - something to be experienced to be believed. At road junctions the traffic just mingles from all directions yet it all seems to work.
I could live there.

6th Dec 2014, 16:36
Impressive man, Ho Chi Minh, and his people; whom he led against the French, the Japanese, the British (1945), the French again, and then the yanks. As a young man, he worked in a hotel in Ealing (useless factoid).

uffington sb
6th Dec 2014, 16:44
Sounds like a place to visit.
I was in Cochin a couple of years ago, and an elderly Indian gent was cycling along the road with the back of his bike piled high with boxes.
As I crossed the road, I saw him coming so stopped to let him pass in front of me.
Big mistake! He was completely flummoxed that I'd stopped and applied the brakes resulting in him almost coming to a stand with all the boxes wavering precariously. Fortunately I saw what was about to happen, so I legged it smartish like. He wasn't best pleased and I can only imagine what he was thinking.
Loki. I didn't know that. Every day is a school day on pprune.

Boudreaux Bob
6th Dec 2014, 16:59
Crossing a street is easy....make some eye contact then ease out across the roadway making like a Rock in a mountain brook as the traffic "flows" around you. Don't hesitate or you really screw things up.

In Saigon, the Tourist Police in the Green Uniforms will escort you across the Street.

6th Dec 2014, 17:14
Radar 101 - visit Manila and you will find the word 'undisciplined' when applied to traffic has a whole new meaning. Everyone should drive in Manila at least once - it will make you feel grateful when you return to your own country. I have driven in countries where it was more dangerous - Saudi for example but never anywhere more frustrating. I have held a Philippine driving licence for 25 years but have never become used to the traffic.

6th Dec 2014, 23:37
Thanks fellow ppruners.......I wondered if it was just some propoganda re written by the victors...as is their want.

Hanoi is indeed a wonderful city.....and shooting AK47s in the Jungle at Cu Chi tunnels amazing as well...

I did notice though flying out of HCMC the other night a prolific amount of Golden rectangles lit up in the dark....they were too uniform to be boats.....almost like lit up rice paddies?

7th Dec 2014, 02:02
Had a couple of year long contracts in Vietnam over 35 years of wandering and as other posters have said I reckon I could live there largely because of the people.
As I assume as with most people who have travelled through work or whatever I regularly get asked where would I like to live and my answer is simple, home (NI) or Vietnam. Only downside to VN is the lack of aviation related sports.

7th Dec 2014, 04:25
We've been to Vietnam a couple of times and loved it.

As for crossing the roads, there was a story going round, probably apocryphal, of the Swedish family who arrived, couldn't cross the road outside their hotel, and left without ever seeing more than one block of HCMC.

We found the best technique was to find the oldest crone we could and follow her across "down traffic." We even helped some across, they were quite upset and yelled at us on their way back.

In Hanoi the street food wasn't as good as in HCMC but we found very decent local restaurants, (Trip advisor is you friend.)

If you are travlling you should visit Hoi An. Wonderful food and great tailoring, not to mention custom boots! A lovely place for bike tours and just hanging out drinking 25c beer.

7th Dec 2014, 07:41
Travelled through Vietnam on the back of a 125cc Chinese motorcycle with my new 'friend' Hong for 2 weeks.I had asked at the hostel in Da Lat if there was anyone that could take me.He was a lovely guy.He invited me back to his house twice to meet his family and have some food.

Once,during a rainstorm,we were sheltering under a tree.An old man living in the very modest little house nearby gestured for us to come in.He offered us some green tea while we waited for the rain to subside.Very friendly people,offering hospitality to complete strangers.

What really struck me on the backroads were the hillsides completely devoid of any vegetation in large swathes.The effects of Agent Orange,30 years on.

7th Dec 2014, 07:46
Agreed, the Vietnamese seem to be, by and large, a very hospitable nation....tremendous place...

7th Dec 2014, 09:02
visit Manila and you will find the word 'undisciplined' when applied to traffic has a whole new meaning.
Fully concur with that. Their driving is like that of the Italians, i.e. go for the perceived gap, but without the panache of the Italians.
In Manila the Mk1 eyeball must be kept in a permanent 360 swivel. You do get used to it but as my Scots gran would say "sometimes it fair draws your gims together'.
They do have a driving exam but no one does it. Many drive with no licence or insurance or lights at night. Red stop lights are understood to be advisory only, not mandatory.


7th Dec 2014, 16:57
After midnight it is safer to go through a red light - if you go on the green you will certainly be clobbered by someone running the red light. Some weeks ago a pizza delivery boy on a motorcycle swung out to overtake me and collided head on with another pizza delivery boy doing the same thing from the other direction.
Result was a lot of flying debris but no serious injuries

7th Dec 2014, 18:49
Spent last New Year in Ho Chi Minh city and enjoyed it, really friendly people and well worth a visit. We have decided to go to Da Nang this year arriving on January 1st. for a week, hope we enjoy it as much.
After the fireworks in HCM on New Years Eve we saw the largest scooter traffic jam imaginable as they all tried to go home, must have been tens of thousands. Apparently their are about 8 million scooters in HCM.
We were told that if we were worried about crossing the road it was always safe to cross with a Monk, however we never saw a Monk. We managed fine in the daytime but tried crossing in the dark and chickened out..

7th Dec 2014, 19:04
About firing an AK at Cu Chi Tunnels...

I bought 5 rounds at $US1 each.Another guy there bought a full clip of 30.The minder that had a hold of his weapon wasn't expecting him to flip the lever to full auto and let the whole lot go at once.It was entertaining,to say the least :p

Didn't make it to Cambodia to fire an RPG-7 @ $US100 a pop,although I've seen the YouTube videos.

Boudreaux Bob
7th Dec 2014, 21:13
I have a Phobia that precludes me from being around People shooting AK-47's which stems from a time when I was paid $400 a month to be the Target.:uhoh:

Back Pressure
8th Dec 2014, 02:30
Vietnam is a fantastic place full of fantastic people.

Crossing busy roads gets easier with practice. The only rule is, once started, do not stop.

Also, if you visit HCM in the mausoleum, maintain STRICT silence in the inner sanctum :ouch:

8th Dec 2014, 02:48
Crossing busy roads in Vietnam -

1. Walk across on a diagonal of approx 15 deg right.

2. Maintain a constant speed walking pace and DO NOT STOP NOR SPEED UP/SLOW DOWN. Being predictable during the crossing is the key.

3. Expect the odd close shave.

For taxis VINASUN recommended.

8th Dec 2014, 03:54

Hoi An is about thirty minutes from Da Nang by car or taxi. Hotels there will send a car for you inexpensively if you stay a night. Do visit it, something else entirely. A real village.

Go your second or third day so your clothes can be ready before you leave. Suits and dresses two days, shirts one to two.

Solid Rust Twotter
8th Dec 2014, 04:04
The minder that had a hold of his weapon wasn't expecting him to flip the lever to full auto and let the whole lot go at once.

Done deliberately or by accident? The selector on yer AK goes from Safe to Full Auto and then to Semi Auto. It's a bit counter intuitive compared to most Western types and can catch out the unwary who don't actually look at what they're doing (or read Cyrillic/Chinese).

8th Dec 2014, 05:30
I suspect it was deliberate SRT.

I was given the weapon in semi auto mode,so maybe he just flicked his to full auto.I just heard a click and the guy loosed off the whole clip.I think he had done his research beforehand,he had a spectacle in mind.He did have a very wide grin afterwards.His minder wasn't so happy :ok:

8th Dec 2014, 06:06
I also suspect so.

I've encountered more than a couple of people on the range who, with little or no experience, decided that THEY were 'in control' and proceeded to try to demonstrate it.
After having been verbally censured on the spot, and 'apologising' they claimed the experience was 'orgasmic' - indicating to me that the act was premeditated.

Thankfully, nobody got hurt - or worse.

John Hill
8th Dec 2014, 08:30
they claimed the experience was 'orgasmic' -

...gun fondler.:rolleyes::rolleyes:

8th Dec 2014, 09:53
Many thanks ChrisVJ. I was thinking about some new shirts, is Hoi An a better deal than Da Nang? We are staying in Da Nang..

Back Pressure
10th Dec 2014, 05:58
Hoi An old town is a must see. If you are in Da Nang you would be crazy not to go.