Of course y'all know that these photos and commentary are from our recent Asian trip and we're back in Texas now. But I use my blog as a personal journal to record our travels, so this week will be a bit of recap of those Asian adventures.
Not necessarily in the order of our journey, today's photos were all taken in Viet Nam. We actually docked at three different ports along the Viet Nam coast, with the options to take excursions from the port of Ha Long Bay into Hanoi for 2 days, another stop was at Chan May with excursions into Da Nang , and the third port was Phu My, with excursions into Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
At one port the ship moored out in the bay and the ship's passengers were tendered in.... the life boats were lowered and used to take people ashore.
Some of the views from our balcony.
We were fascinated by those round "wash tub" looking boats. They sure didn't look very stable. We also saw lots of those Chinese junk-type boats with families either living on them or fishing from them. Guess I didn't get any included in this collage...
We chose not to take an excursion to Hanoi... there was plenty to do just wandering around the dock area....
Shopping is a huge thing for tourists, and, believe me, there's plenty to buy. I had a good time watching the lady in the upper right bargaining with the salesperson for that scarf. I don't know what she ended up paying, but bargaining isn't just accepted... it's expected. Personally, I'm not much of a haggler so I usually come away empty handed. One lady in our genealogy group had to buy 2 large suitcases in Hong Kong just to get her purchases home!
(wonder what that cost her?)
Bill and I often choose to do our own walking tour...
We're always looking for birds, or flowers or butterflies... trees and parks are so much more interesting to us than shopping. We do like museums, churches and love to see the various types of architecture, but in this particular area that we'd docked this day we caught these critters on camera.
When we docked at Phu My, Bill & I took an "On and Off" bus into Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
Getting there was half the fun!
We saw rice paddies (upper left), water buffalo (upper right), and the lower 3 photos seem to be of types of farming or banana (?) plantations.
The scenery isn't just the landscape....
That man hauling that load of tires is riding (driving?) a 3-wheel motorcycle (two front wheels, 1 rear wheel). And he's driving it right down the highway! The upper right cyclist sure does have a huge load of something! And the lower right... we'd frequently see people wearing long gloves (elbow length).
We really enjoyed our time in Saigon.
Quite modern - mixed types of architecture. That building in the lower left is the old post office, which has been restored and somewhat renovated to a unique visitor center/shopping area. There are several "high-end" shopping centers... Gucci, Chanel, Rolex, Hermes etc. within walking distance of the town square.
We had a wonderful meal in Saigon...
Not only did it taste delicious, the presentation was lovely. The beer wasn't bad, either.
But our favorite thing...
Was the kids....
Our bus driver told us that college kids hang out in the park on the weekends hoping to meet English speaking folks with whom they can practice their English. Sure enough, we met lots of kids and they were delightful. They usually had a list of questions they'd ask... "What do you like about Viet Nam"?, "Where are you from?", "Do you have children?".... that sort of thing. And that group dressed in red in the lower right asked us to sing a song in English. What? Well, I can't sing but what the heck.... I started singing "We wish you a Merry Christmas"... and darned if the whole group chimed right in and sang it along with me... and in English!
There are lots of highlights I hope to tell you about this Asian trip, but talking with these kids and seeing their enthusiasm (and lovely manners) is definitely high up on the list.
I figure that's enough photos for now. You'll be seeing more of the trip as the week goes on.
That's All For Today!