Thursday, March 22, 2012

Good Morning Vietnam!!

(I'm sorry, but I couldn't NOT)

So, my two day tour down the Mekong delta was decent. My favorite part was the last day, where we went to one of the biggest floating markets in Vietnam. We spent the morning on a boat, passing by local merchants selling their goods. They show what they are selling by tying their produce to a flag-staff and waving it above their boats. I bought some amazing pineapple, an iced coffee, and a delicous rice/fig/banana thing wrapped in a banana leaf. We then went to a rice-noodle factory to see how the noodles are made.

I arrived in Saigon Thursday night. I got myself some delicous Pho (vietnamese noodle soup served with beef, pork or chicken, soy beans, onions, peppers...mmmm, to die for! I just had a bowl for dinner, and could go for another right now). I spent the night there, took a quick moto bike tour around the city (my new favorite thing to do), and then headed to Phu Quoc island, off the west of the country. I spent three nights in a beach side bungalow there. It was amazing! My first day I laid on the beach all day, but the second day I took an all day moto tour around the island. We visited a fish market, a pepper farm, the best beach on the island, and the Coconut Tree prison, which was used during the Vietnam war to house and torture prisoners. I was the only westerner there, and believe me...I felt those stares like daggars. I have so much more to learn about the war here...but I know enough that it makes me uncomfortable. I also found probably the only Mexican restaurant on the island, and treated myself to a margarita and a quesidilla after a long day.

After my marvelous beach weekend, I headed back to Saigon for a few nights. I visited the chu Chi tunnels outside of the city, where I learned a bit more about the war. We were able to crawl down through some of the original tunnels (widened for the westerners, thank you McDonalds) and watch a movie about the war. My favorite line from the movie? "Like a band of crazy devils..." is literally what was used to describe how the Americans invaded Vietnam. Awesome...

After that totally pro-American visit, I took a trip to the War Museum in Saigon. It was heartbreaking to see the pics of people who have suffered from side effects from Agent Orange, to see the pics the photographers took of the war (many of whom died in the war or after). Really eye I said, I need to learn more.

I met up that evening with Amanda, who I met in Siem Reap, for some dinner and drinks. We've been meeting up lots during my trip, it's nice to have a travel buddy! Hoping to see her in a few days here in Hoi An.

I left the next morning for Dalat, a mountain city in the middle of Vietnam, where the weather is cooler, the people are less pushy, and the scenery is amazing. I'll save that for another post, however, because 1) it's too incredible to describe in just one post and 2) I have an 8 dollar mani/pedi scheduled for the morning, and I'm just too darn tired to write anymore! Lots of tailor/shoe shops are callng my name here in Hoi An...thinking about getting a nice silk dress made for my lovely friend Sarah's wedding in September!! Good nite to you all....

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