I dipped into the archives and found some pictures from my travels in Vietnam a couple years back. This was my first trip to Asia that was not with the Navy! We endured a 12 hour flight from San Diego and ended in Ho Chi Minh Airport. San Diego to Los Angeles….into Seoul Korea and then onto Ho Chi Minh (Saigon). It was a heck of a long flight, and we landed around midnight. We awoke early the next morning to have bun bo hue (pigs feet noodle soup) in 90 degree weather! I had no idea what to expect and enjoyed destroying all my stereotypes about this country! The land and the people were fabulous!!!
This man got my attention when I walked by and asked me, with hand gestures, to shoot his picture.
This was the first interaction with the locals….which was a good one.
About a block from the house….these kids were yelling in Vietnamese and
wanted their picture taken, too! I was beginning to like this place.
Ho Chi Minh City has a population of over 6 million people and I’d say they
must have about 6 million mopeds, too! You see a car or two, but the streets are packed full of mopeds. There were
moped repair shops on every block!
Downtown Ho Chi Minh City was really nice and had plenty of shopping and restaurants.
Rush hour…..with millions of mopeds and no traffic lights!
I made some friends…..can you see me? I’ll give you a hint….I’m the large white guy! lol
We took a trip out to the country and these kids showed me around their village. We walked
around and they pronounced and pointed to all the fruits and flowers.
Ho Chi Minh City has no drainage systems and when it rains…..it floods!
Later in the week we took a 3-day bus trip to northern Vietnam.
During one of our stops, I found the road to Cambodia with the BMW and the shady dude! The best part was during our
stop…..a popcorn vendor with carnival music blaring set up shop next to the bus! Twilight zone?
After 2 straight days on the bus….we stopped into the cool town of Hue. Showered up and was back on the road again.
Outside of Hanoi we stopped at very small village. Local farmers were
burning trash and the smoke created a cool haze!
The city of Halong Bay in Northern Vietnam was beautiful!
Sunset at Halong Bay was wonderful, too. Ha Long Bay, meaning of the Descending Dragon is often touted by proud Vietnamese as the world’s Eighth wonder. One of the main attractions of Ha long is the bay’s calm water and the thousands of limestone mountains dotting the seascape. Some of the islands are quite large and there are small alcoves with sandy beaches where swimming is possible.
This was a community of floating markets that we stopped by on our 5 hour boat ride through the bay. We stopped and picked up fresh fish that our captain cooked while we hiked the caverns. It was the freshest seafood I have ever had. These floating villages are about 2 hours away from land and make their living selling seafood to people passing by. Also, the captain of our boat lived on the boat with his wife and kid (like many others)…making their living giving tours and cooking for tourists. The 5 hour tour, which included cooking our fish, was only $20.
Our Captain’s son.
View from the Cave of Awe (Hang Sung Sot).
Typical Vietnamese market place.
Vietnam and the Vietnamese people were amazing. I can’t wait to go back!