Wednesday, December 28, 2011

10 Days in Vietnam...planes, trains and automobiles!

Wonders of Sapa...Hmong Woman and me
I am not the sort of person that orders a hamburger when I travel.  Honestly, I have never liked them anyway so why not experience the food that local people are eating?  But this morning I am questioning that decision.

Day before yesterday we decided to take a boat excursion so the family could snorkel and everyone could fish for their lunch.  The wind blew but it didn't seem to dampen anyones spirits as we baited hooks to fish then donned snorkel masks to leap off the boat and paddle around rock to see Angle Fish in Vietnam waters south to Phu Quoc Island.

The fish was cooked in the kitchen of the boat by a woman that cleaned up after we had eaten  (Note:  I was sick last night!)  But it was worth the experience and everyone seems to be just fine.....

I also am all about the details...a prison on Phu Quoc Island held captured Viet Cong for the French and then the Americans.  We drove by the prison walls and the memorial site when the Vietnamese prisoners were held.  Many died during those years.  In fact the prison yard is visible from the road.  It made me feel very sad.

Did you know that in Vietnam they have a  floor 13.  I didn't notice if any numbers were missing because their "bad luck #" is different from ours.  Hotels here have casinos and the Grand Hotel where we are staying has a beautiful elevator to take gamblers to the tables.

People live on the fish farms that keep a price catch ready for the right boat to come and purchase them.  We cannot even imagine the living conditions where children are raised and adults spend all of there lives.  The people are cheerful and laugh with each smile.  Americans are treated with respect and here in Ho Chi Min City we are not assaulted on the streets by vendors.  We drove by the American Embassy that stands as a monument to the "American War" with the helipads preserved so that tourist can see.

This journey from Shanghai to Hanoi,  Hanoi north to Sapa, Sapa south to Hanoi, Hanoi to Ho Chi Min City (Saigon), HCMC to Phu Quoc, Phu Quoc to HCMC, and finally back to Shanghai has been one of the most amazing of my lifetime.  It has brought new meaning to "planes, trains and automobiles" because we have traveled in them all.  I honestly can say I am writing From Vietnam with Love.

Hanoi Street Scene

Phu Quoc Harbor 

Sapa Tour Guide (Su, was featured on Luke Nguyen Vietman Cooking Show) 

Amelia goes Snorkeling 

Beach hopping on Phu Quoc

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