Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fast Track through Vietnam

After Cambodia, I made my way with the group to Southern Vietnam.  It was a cool place. I think I'd like to make my way up north and along the coast. We stayed in a small town near the Mekong Delta.  I got my first ride on a motorbike and couldn't be happier.  My driver was awesome.  He was half Vietnamese, half Chinese (yesss my half Chinese brother!). We raced up a hill in the area. Literally, we raced up the hill :)  I learned that his father fought in the Vietnam war and he had the opportunity to move to the US but his mother wanted to stay in Vietnam.  He still wants to move to the US one day.

She's working it on the water!

Yup, we will win this race!

We didn't stay in this area much.  We had a casual walk through the market.  It had a lot of dried fish. mmmMMmmm and some buns.  Oh, how I love the steamed buns filled with deliciousness.  (Side note: I tried to make these once at home.  They were ok. I gotta find out all the secrets from the street vendors)  We took a nice ride on a boat and visited the people living on the water.  They are mostly Muslim which I was very surprised by.

From this small town, we moved to Saigon.  I wasn't super enthused. I felt like people were very aggressive.  I was grabbed a number of times in the market.  I'm pretty sure I was cussed out. It was really busy.  I was almost hit by a motorbike or two.  Those were the downsides.  The upside: I was asked if I was Vietnamese (haha again with the ethnicity that no one can place).  The food was good.  I was glad to try the Pho in the area. MmmMMmm I had soursop for the first time too.  It was delightful.  I also got to learn a bit about the Vietnam war from the Vietnam perspective...well I guess there are two.  There are those people that fought with the US and feel resentful or grateful for them and then there was the current communist Vietnam side of the whole thing.

I got to see the tunnels that the soldiers lived in.

Children were even born in these tunnels.  I also got to shoot an AK47 - holla!

The end of my time in Vietnam left a sour taste in my mouth with a charge from the hotel and an argument that ensued. I'd like to go back and really appreciate Vietnam since so many people say they love it. Eh...

Oh ya, so while I was abroad, I tried to extend my trip.  The group was going through Northern Vietnam, Laos, and Northern Thailand. I had a wedding to attend (Wedding in the Woods - it was awesome!). So, while I was abroad, I was talked into going to Nepal.  You might think, ok Nepal in 2013 or later...well later was going to be the beginning of July. Shout out to Jackie from STA travel that was able to arrange everything so quickly. Ya, so I left Vietnam knowing I'd return to the area in 2 weeks. <---yes, sometimes I'm slightly crazy!

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