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Vietnam Wrap Up:

It’s so difficult to put into words how incredible everything about this country was. The character of the country is definitely defined by the wonderful friendly, hospitable and playful nature of the people here. We couldn’t believe the selfless acts of niceties we experienced all over the country, from the warm smiles from everyone, to the attempts to speak and learn English from us, to a woman actually sharing her food with us on the train. Not only were the people wonderful, but everything about the country was incredible. The food was probably the best overall we’ve eaten on the trip – everything is very fresh, especially the seafood which often times is straight from the ocean to the grill. The one thing that took us by shock is the insanity of the motor scooters that seem to flow through the towns like waves in the ocean. Crossing the street in itself was an activity that took a lot of care and concentration, however by the end of our time in Vietnam we were courageously walking into the street like the locals without a care in the world.

Highs/Best Moments: Warm friendly smiles and greetings from everyone; “spa day” at La Maison de l'Aporthiquaire in Saigon; surviving our first cyclo ride; late night scooter ride that turned into an exciting rour of Saigon; our meal at Opera in the Grand Hyatt; Talking to the woman on the train and her sharing her food with us; lounging at the pool in Phan Thiet; watching Weeds on our front balcony in Phan Thiet at night; scuba diving in Nha Trang; getting my hair straightened in Nha TRang for 1/10th the normal price at home; our seafood lunch in Doc Let Beach served up by Song; everything about Hoi An; Miss Ha laundry ladies being soooo cute; meeting Damon and Marie and hanging out with them; afternoon at Cua Do beach in Hoi An; conquering the art of crossing the street in Hanoi; water puppet show; Halong Bay – everything about it!

Lows/Worst Moments: Day trip to the Mekong with bus full of wild children, and “Marlborough man”; train ride to Phan Thiet from Saigon; terrible internet connection in Phan Thiet; not being able to catch a flight for an extra two days of Nha Trang; discovering so much garbage on Doc Let beach; complete eeriness of Vinpearl; cockroaches on our boat in Halong Bay; trying to walk around towns and cross the streets with the onslaught on scooters;

Sights: Endless sea of motor scooters; cyclos; coastline; beaches; rice fields; exotic fruits everywhere; the Mekong Delta; sidewalks covered with anything and everything making it impossible to walk along them; mini-restaurants on sidewalks; families of 4 on motorbikes; French Colonial architecture; huge breakfast buffets; karst limestone mountains in Halong Bay; chickens and pigs on the back of motorcycles; tour guide singing karaoke; passed out crew member on Annam Junk; secret grotto in Halon Bay

Food and Drink: Fresh seafood; steamed whole fish; fresh herbs; soups and noodles; Pho; prawns in every dish; breakfast sandwich at Life Resort; Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk; seafood buffet at Victoria Resort; fresh croissants; dragon fruit, rammatans, and mangosteen; Elephant Ear fish on the Mekong; dried Jack fruit snacks;


Towns: Hoi An

Accommodations: Life Resort in Hoi An

Food: Fresh rice paper prawn spring rolls; white roses; fresh seafood of the beach

Restaurants: Opera at the Grand Hyatt; Sailing Club in Nha Trang; Bobby Chinh in Hanoi

Drink: Tiger Beer and Vietnamese Coffee

Activities: Cyclo and moped rides around towns; Scuba diving Nha Trang; laying by the pool at resorts; sea-kayaking in Halong Bay; swimming on Cua Do beach; exploring all the marketplaces in Saigon, Hoi An and Hanoi;

Internet Connections: Renaissance in Saigon

Least Favorites:

Towns: Vinpearl in Nha Trang

Accommodations: De Syloia Hotel in Hanoi

Food: mushroom soup aboard Annam Junk; processed mystery meat on-board Annam Junk boat for breakfast

Restaurants: Senses restaurant at Life Resort

Drink: snake wine served up by the captain on Annam Junk (literally burned the back of your throat)

Activities: scratching mosquito bites; crossing the street; cable car ride to Vinpearl and everything about being on Vinpearl

Internet Connections: Victoria Resort in Phan Thiet

Currency Exchange Rate: 16,000 Dong to 1 US Dollar