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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

18 Days Vietnam + 5 Days Thailand trip

Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country on the South China Sea known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities. Hanoi, the capital, pays homage to the nation’s iconic Communist-era leader, Ho Chi Minh, via a huge marble mausoleum. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) has French colonial landmarks, plus Vietnamese War history museums and the Củ Chi tunnels, used by Viet Cong soldiers. For the last 15 years our summers from June till October are “taken” by our RV travels in North America, we love it and do not want mean time to change that , but it leaves us enough time to explore other parts of the world, last year it was 10 days in the Canary Islands and this year Vietnam and a a little of Thailand. As we landed in Hanoi and traveled from the airport to the hotel we experienced a culture “shock” while looking from the minivan window to the traffic and the streets, it seems that there are no traffic laws and everything is just a “suggestion", it is an organized mess but we did not see one incident, fight or a quarrel all went in a peaceful way – AMAZINGLY. The hotel was located in a fairly quite alley but close to the main streets, as we arrived we hit the road to get oriented, walking the streets was really an eye opener,resultants,small shops,traffic,noise and nice people were all over. I found it very interesting to look at the people, mostly happy, doing their thing, polite and do not mind if you take their picture. The markets are full of goods and bargain is excepted , some times you can get the 40% off the “original” price. We drove motorcycles, took a rickshaw trip,Elephants,worked in a rice field, visited wedding's that we saw on the way, sailed on a boat spending a night on board ,visited house boats where people live away from the land and had good local food that can coast 4-8 US$ with beer….did I say paradise???? It is a country that is still “authentic” that will change as time goes to be more touristic and run after the $ as most of the Western countries do, this kind of “real” people and countries are vanishing so the best time to visit is before it happens. Most of the hard work is done by women while the men have their tea or dose away, it still a place where the women work, keep the house, take care of the kids and make the men happy.. It is normal to see more that 2 people on a motorbike,it is scary for us the westerns that are for good reasons place a kid in a special chair with a safety belt to protect him, here the kids are born into it and have no fear. We loved the simple food and even took a cooking class in one of the remote farms, what we cooked we ate and it was good…. A 150 Mile Motorcycle day trip was great beside a slight pain in the a…but was worth it. Vietnam is the second largest country exporting rice,the rice fields are every where and it is sure not a picnic to work on the field but for half an hour it was an adventure…. Talking and mingling with the locals was a great experience, they love to hear and tell you all about their country and the living conditions with out to many complains. This beautiful young lady was my personal motorcycle driver in Saigon and she sure managed the traffic like a pro. In this short time we managed to “feel” the beat of the this magnificent country I just hope it will not change on our next trip there…. The beautiful hotel staff. The people in the mountains. Unforgettable….a different view on the country many Americans still remember from the war…

6 comments:

Zvi Shalev said...

Beautiful. You gave us an appetite to visit there.

Jim and Sandie said...

I know that the US is a marvelous place to explore but this is like the journey of a lifetime. I really wish I had been brought up in a climate of adventure and travel but my parents rarely left our small town in Montana and I really knew nothing about the world out there. So I am one of those without the courage to wander far from home. This makes me especially happy that you share your travels with us. However, I'm not too impressed with the women doing most of the work.

Danny &Shula Oren said...

Actually It is a Man paradise like some Far East countries where locel woman are seeking Western Men that can give them more than the local one.

Karen and Tony said...

Thanks for the tour! I often wander whether people in countries like Vietnam have any resentment towards the US because of all of the destruction caused by our involvement in conflicts that were none of our business. Did you notice any of this? Were there still signs of destruction? The old photos of craters from bombing and napalmed forests are heartbreaking. The loss of people is even worse.

Danny &Shula Oren said...

Dear Karen and Tony
We did not feel any resentment towards the US at all,they are so kind,inviting and pleasant that I want to go back again.
We visited the tunnels North of Saigon where their fighters would hide and emerge to surprise the US army, but it looks like a turist attracction rather then the real thing.
The jungle covered all the craters except some places that nothing will ever grow there again.
Send me your E-mail and I will send you some more pictures.

Karen and Tony said...

Thanks! Here's our email - tonyandkaren1@hotmail.com