We went to the market.
Enjoying a bike ride through rice paddies and making a new friend before our cooking lesson. The cloudy day was a plus on comfort, but photos are dark.
Our travel to Hué ran smoothly and a guide picked us up at the airport to visit The Citadel surrounding the Forbidden City and royal Tu Duc tomb. You should google that if you want great photos because we’ve had a rainy day and my pics are not so clear.
Hué is in the middle of Vietnam so there is rich history from the Vietnam war as well as the history of the Nguyen dynasty. Hué was once the capital of Vietnam until 1945 when Hanoi became the capital. This city was the site of the TET offensive in the late 60′.
We’re going into town to see what we see and then plan to come back to our luxury cottage and relax at the piano bar. I hardly recognized this water dropping from the sky. Dot reminded me it is rain😳
Yesterday was busy because we planned our trip for today, got facials, went to a new theater production and met friends for a late dinner. Today we are going the middle of Vietnam, villages and a wee bit of time in Cambodia.
We’ll be gone a week so I have to pack and go!
The reason I show photos of us eating traditional Vietamese is because it is, by far, my favorite. When we go to restaurants with Alan they are “modern” restaurants just like any big city in the states.
The show was “The Mist”. It was modern dance, lively percussion and great music depicting rural life and that always means agriculture. Dorothy has our ” Flat Stanley” doll in the pic with the cast.
Today was a relaxing day for all of us. Dot and I caught up with Alan at church. They attend Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica aka Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception. It is a cathedral located in the downtown of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Established by French colonists, the cathedral was constructed between 1863 and 1880. I felt very welcome and at ease because I have been attending Notre Dame in Kerrville with Steve. No, I did not participate in communion.
We toured Alan’s office and had a fantastic lunch at a Vietnamese Vegetarian restaurant which was truly to die for.
One thing I enjoy is hanging about key places like the post office or city parks allowing clever students to practice English skills. These young adults are so happy and eager to learn not to mention they are absolutely adorable. We chat but never about politics because this is a communist country and I would not forgive myself if I carelessly caused students to stand out or be under any suspicion. There is no paranoia nor is there caution. You just instinctively know to be kind and that means careful.
I also snapped photos today of some graduates and a soon to be newly weds.
Weddings are interesting in a myriad of ways. I don’t know much about it, but I’ll tell you a bit. The groom pays for everything! Wedding photos are taken months in advance and all of the outfits for the big event are rented even if the day requires several changes.
Here are a few more Sunday afternoon pics.
Graduates and propaganda signs. No relation other than found around the church and park.
Cars are very dear, but available. Even abundant motorcycles are expensive. You don’t see us complete negotiating and paying well before our driver shows up! That would be silly.
After a great day, we met Alan fo authentic Italian food as local Vietamese cuisine is not his favorite. No worries! Dot & I eat that scrumptious grub every time he’s out of sight. The food here is internationally known for greatness, it’s cheap and every country is represented. I have my eye on several spots for foods I crave like Singapore Chili Crab, Korean and on and on and on👀!
Anyway, it was too late for the Spa so we closed the night with a Chinese foot massage kind of like what is offered at Lillian’s in Kerrville.
Yesterday was busy. We were up early & to “backpackers” early to ride a coach bus one hour 45 minutes to My Tho to explore the Mekong River Delta. Backpackers is just an area, but aptly named because it is where backpackers congregate in Ho Chi Minh City referred to as Saigon by locals.
The Mekong River flows through the countries of China, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and finally Vietnam. The Mekong begins in the plateaus of Tibet, now a part of China, and flows about 2,703 miles south to the China Sea.
The Mekong is one of the longest and most biologically diverse areas in the world, with hundreds of types of fish, as well as river dolphins, crocodiles, and otters. Indeed, fishing is a very important activity on the river. The soil pushed to the banks of the river is extremely fertile and this region in Vietnam is basically the bread bowl of Vietnam or should they say, Rice Bowl?
The group on the bus was friendly and we had a great day. To see the area we took various transport including the bus, horse drawn carts and various sizes of boats. Lunch was Elephant Ear Fish and snacks were plentiful because we watched people make rice chips, tasted fruits well known and new plus don’t forget the promise to see the utility of the coconut!
In the morning, we’re off early to major fish farming by boat. We’ll arrive by bus & travel on a small boat along creeks to the Mekong River Estuary. We continue on to the island for lunch (included) before we are pelted by craft vendors selling goods made from coconut trees. More boating through the quiet Ben Tre Province. Did I mention I HATE boats.
Anyway, we carry on to orchards, bee keeping farms, eat honey, drink honey wine & take in indigineous local music. We then visit a coconut factory where we will witness first hand just how many things can be produced from coconuts. This trip better be worth the 8 bucks it is going to cost. Have faith, it will be great.
We get back in plenty of time for the spa. No worries! I had every intention of moving on to a facial. The mere mention of so many small boats might just make me think I should fall back to the full body deep tissue massage and shampoo to wash that Deet right out of my hair!