Ho Chi Minh City: War Remnants Museum.

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“No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now” – Nixon. 

 

This quote stood out to me for a number of reasons. Firstly, being European and under thirty I don’t actually know a lot about the Vietnam war. Of course I’ve seen Apocalypse Now and Platoon but that’s all the information I’ve ever really learn’t.

Another reason for the quote is that I’ve read some of the information presented at the War Remnants Museum to be sensationalist, or overindulgent; to use phrases that sound nicer than propaganda. I’m no scholar on war history so I’ve no idea what is true…

Propaganda however, is one of the reasons I wanted to take a look.

I love propaganda art, so I was really happy to find a great ‘arts’ section, which was sadly lacking at the Military museum in Hanoi. Another area of the museum I loved – which conveniently links in with the aforementioned quote – was the focus on the photographers involved in reporting the war. It was interesting to learn about characters such as Larry Burrows, Henry Huet, Sam Castan and Dickey Chappelle, who was one of the first Female war correspondents. It seems like such a dangerously captivating profession, with fantastic photography and unfortunately an extremely high mortality rate.  All of the above, and many more featured died chasing photos.

 

Other disturbingly graphic and quite upsetting exhibits included photographic tours of the results of Agent Orange and Landmines. No holding back involved.

Aside from the dubious factual content,  it’s a good museum and it was cheap, 15’000 Dong (less than $1USD)  Also, I got to sit in a helicopter and pretend I was a pilot – childhood dream? Tick!

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Adelaide : Central Markets

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Adelaide has got a great feel to it, we should like to go back one day.

 

Check out my other Adelaide photo’s here!

 

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We Are Here: Sydney city art projects.

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One of my favourite things about Sydney is it’s vibrant arts scene. There’s loads of galleries, a great graffiti movement and a progressive program for public art provided by Cityart.

‘We Are Here’ is mixed media installation art, based on Foley street, Darlinghurst off Oxford street.

The curator states

The WE ARE HERE mural transforms Foley Street into a time-travelling, rambunctious romp through the complex history of the local area. Taking its cue from the hundreds of celebratory and solemn parades that have travelled up Oxford Street, the work turns the façade into a topographical map to create the WE ARE HERE parade route.

Deeply connected to the location this parade is filled with a motley crew of heroes, villains, musicians, bohemians and gangsters. Imbued with the ghosts of those who’ve come before; the prancers and preeners; bakers; brewers and street workers. This is a celebration of the folk who’ve made Darlinghurst their home or the source of their bread and butter.  

The work  – collaboratively executed by artists Sarah Howell, Dylan Demarchi, byrd, The Dirt & Gui Andrade  – revives lost fragments of the area’s history and brings it firmly to the present. Using paint, collage, mixed media, photography and stencil, the mixed and contrasting mediums employed by the artists play with the inherent polarities of the Darlinghurst and Oxford Street narrative. 

The often dark and gruesome history is melded with times of celebration. The work rejoices in the swinging pendulum of its fortunes, from cultural backwater to creative epicentre, from slum to designer living, a place of protest to a place of celebration, from the six o’clock swill to sophisticated cocktail culture, criminal to respectable, addict-ridden to health-driven. This is an area that has seen and been it all.

Check it out for your daily dose of colour and art!

Whats your view on street-art? Can it be productive artwork, or is always vandalism? All opinions respected.

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About us

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“I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.” – Bill Bryson.

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We travelled a lot independently, but as an awesome tag team we recently spent two years travelling using over a year of that time in South East Asi exploring all it’s delicious foods!  in 2013 we lived in Sydney, Australia using our working holiday visas and exploring the city. We traveled to India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia. We’re back home in the UK for now but are always planning trips, adventures and hopefully a plan to move somewhere more exotic in the reasonably near future.

We like tea, photography, fish fingers sandwiches, bookshops, graffiti, galleries, and lots of sushi..

Check us out on Facebook, too. We update it a bit more often and post silly pictures of our lunch, general stuff and excellent examples of Engrish.

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Come and say hello!

Twitter @hungrybpackers 

Send us postcards, we love postcards.

Kuang Si Waterfalls : Luang Prabang

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We had such a great time in Laos, it surprised us in every way.

We expected it to be a lesser event surrounded by Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia but we were so happy to discover Laos, and especially Luang Prabang.  The food was delicious and apart from getting REALLY bored with people relentlessly trying to sell me drugs in Luang Prabang, Laos people were friendly.

We spent four days in Luang Prabang, and could easily have spent ten more. I loved the pace of life, the fact there is little to do and mostly that you don’t have to worry about being run over by a moped every five seconds like the rest of South East Asia. The population is only 50’000 and they’re all too busy running guest houses and awesome restaurants to be playing Carmageddon (I really hope someone else played this game!) on the streets.

One of the highlights of our trip to Luang Prabang was an afternoon at Kuang Si waterfalls. 

Firstly, it’s beautiful and its relaxing and superfun, but if anyone thinks you’re headed off to your own private little hideaway you’re going to quite disappointed, It’s pretty busy!

The water is so clean, so blue and also so cold! It’s also full of little bitey fish  which took great interest in my scabby knees from when I fell down off the kerb outside Chiang Mai train station the week before.

It’s a great way to spend an afternoon and there’s even a rope swing  which always makes for a great spectator sport.

** Top Tips : Watch out for the moss around the busy pool with the rope swing, it is so slippery and don’t put your towel down, or sit on anything or you’ll end up with slimey mess all over your lovely stuff. We learn’t the hard way, twice.

We arranged for a shared minibus, it worked out pretty cheap, only downside was prearranged arrival and leaving times. we found two hours at the waterfalls to be plenty. You can also get there by tuk-tuk, hiring a moped or cycling. It’s a fairly long way, and anybody who cycles is pretty much crazy in my opinion.

You can also see my Luang Prabang gallery here.