Parks, Gardens and the Zoo
Among the rattle of bikes, screeching of buses and malodorous fumes, Saigon has a liberal smattering of gardens, parks and green spaces. Well tended, neatly trimmed.
Blades of grass of uniform height with hedges so straight I almost expect to find Queen, a la Alice, to be painting the roses.
Hardly wild places, they still provide welcome oases of calm and cool.
Generally you just walk in and wander round. Enjoy the shade and the well tended lawns. The ‘Botanic Gardens’ is the exception. But for around £1.75 you will get two trips in one. The Botanic Gardens and Zoo.
Having read some horrific reports of the Zoo here I was somewhat sceptical about visiting but as I’m living here for ‘a while’, it was worth seeing for myself. It would perhaps be an interesting contrast to Singapore Zoo.
Even before seeing any ‘wildlife’ there were animals, past and present. Ornately painted dragons. Topiary to rival the stately homes of England. Green elephants and rabbits, with dinosaurs peering out of appropriately jurassic foliage.
Not an inmate – another visitor
Cages were hardly hi tech, and enclosures hardly spacious. But the animals looked healthy of body if not of mind. It is easy to be self righteous from the comfort of a western income and forget that even our beloved David Attenborough was part of Zoo Quest 50 years ago.
Giraffes with a high rise back ground was somewhat incongruous but some of the other visitors caused me more intrigue than the inmates.
Even in the zoo, lunch and a siesta will not wait.
So yes, I prefer to see elephants in wild Nepal, but I was hardly horrified.