Eyes of SWILD

  Touring Vietnam - from Saigon to Denang to Hue to Hanoi

Cu Chi Tunnels

Squeezing out of an opening from a Cu Chi Tunnel sure was tight work. Traveling through Vietnam before the trade embargo was lifted was also a little tricky. Credit cards and American traveler's checks were not accepted.

Saigon animal market

Many animals were for sale in the markets of Saigon. The streets were alive with hordes of bicycles and a few trucks. From dawn to dusk, Saigon resonated with the sounds of a boisterous city, teeming with life.

Street food

Street food was exceptionally cheap and good. Great noodle soups could be found on most corners. I rarely found the need to sit inside for any meals. The French loaf sandwiches were an absolute delight.

Rusting tank

Quite a few tanks were left over from the war. Everyone was very friendly especially to a traveling American. There were always lots of smiles and excited talking in fast paced Vietnamese when I stopped to talk with the locals.

Gas station

Traveling by taxi - an old white French Peugeot - meant refueling every so often. This was a typical gas station - a bottle of gas propped up by a lonely chair or table by the side of the road.

Saigon markets

The markets of Saigon were always chaotic with crowds of people and exotic smells and sounds. It was great fun wandering through the open air stalls.


All of the temples in Vietnam were ornately decorated. A sense of calmness was present once you stepped inside even with the city' hustle and bustle outside.

Marble mountains

Along the coast near Denang, north of Saigon, lies the Marble Mountains. These outcroppings are pure marble with incredible 'Indiana Jones' style caves weaving throughout them with hidden temples.

Thien Mu Pagoda

Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue has been preserved from the ravages of time. Very impressive. The local guides were also very friendly always wanting to practice their English with travelers.

Hue temple

The Vietnamese temples are all very ornate. Quite different from Laotian or Cambodian temples. Some of them were being reconstructed to their past glory.

Hanoi War Museum

Hanoi was very different than the rest of the country. This truly communist city did not have the vibrancy of Saigon, yet it was changing in it's own way. An old American airplane is hung out to dry in the War Museum.

Red side of Vietnam

Statues abounded of Vietnam's past leader. Very stoic. Yet his ideals were ever so slowly crumbling in the face of capitalism.

More markets

The markets of Hanoi were just as lively as Saigon though there were fewer things to buy for a traveler. The majority of items for sale were basic food items. Though they did have Zippo lighters and American dog tags (all fake).