I’m back!! Though this comes as no surprise, I had an amazing trip. Not only did I get to experience an amazing country, meet a population of extremely resources, resilient and entrepreneurial people, eat amazing food (maybe a little too much), BUT I also was able to visit with some dear friends of mine that I am forever grateful to have. Their friendship means the world to me and to have shared some of these experiences with them is really a special gift.
Before I go onto trip details, I want to extend a special thank you to all the wonderful writers, recipe creators and business owners that I was fortunate enough to have come and grace us with their gifts and their talents. If you haven’t had the chance yet, I recommend taking some time to visit the previous 5 blog posts to familiarize yourself with some very note worthy healthy living and healthy eating blogs. Without them, I would have never been able to have this wonderful experience that will be part of me for life.
As most of you may already know, I have the gift of gab, but I will try and spare you the minute by minute account of my trip and hopefully allow you to experience some of Vietnam through photos. I’m sure they will tell you much more than I could! Besides with this many photos, who wants to be bothered with words. Pssst, that’s my subtle way of warning you that there are a LOT OF PHOTOS. I apologize in advance.
That being said there are a few things that I will elaborate on, that I think are worth mentioning.
For example, when you get a flat tire you do not need a garage. That is such a Western way of thinking…You can simply pull over to the side of the road/sidewalk and I guy will fix it for you. Right there on the spot. Brilliant!
You can buy ice cream on the street like you can in lots of countries, it just looks a little different…
It wouldn’t be realistic to not include a few photos from the markets since I spent a lot of time at them. I want to give a special thanks to Jed for showing me around. He took the time to explain what all the weird things were and let me try a million and one strange and wonderful foods! And some not so wonderful things. Just saying.
They also have motorcycles with airbags for babies…How creative. After all the motorcycle traffic is nuts! But I think the child safety seat might need a little work. A bamboo high chair either strapped on by bungee cords or just left as is may not meet most countries safety standards. This one below is especially fancy because it’s actually bolted in.
And then there’s plenty of random sightings.
After my friends showed me around Ho Chi Minh City (which I would have to say has some of the best food I tasted in all of Vietnam), my friends and I headed up to Hoi An for a little R and R. My girlfriend Dana had just successfully written her final and we were off to enjoy some quiet reprieve from the big city!
Hoi An is a UNESCO Heritage site and as a result is beautifully preserved. However, it does feel a little like the Disney World of Vietnam. It’s a little too clean, a little too picturesque and definitely touristy. As a center for silk, tailoring and custom made shoes, bags and clothing, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have some shoes made.
Dana doesn’t especially like riding bikes. She’s more of a runner. I think after the collision we had that day, it may be the last time this sort of things happens. So as it turns out, this type of photo (one that includes Dana on a bike that is) may just very well be the last of it’s kind…
But we did manage to get to the beach after a few more photo ops.
and finally ‘la piece de resistance’. The Beach. Cua Dai Beach was clean, quiet and relatively untouched. Magical!
The next day I headed up to My Son. This site includes partially ruined Hindu Temples built between the 4th and 14th Century by the kings of Champa. I was up at 4:30 am to see them at sunrise and it was totally worth it!
At this point my friends went home and I was off on my own. Here are a few highlights from the day trips I took around Hanoi, the capital city. The photo below of this stunning woman, is the one who rowed us around through what is affectionately referred to as Halong Bay on Land. Here’s an interesting factoid for all of you: They row boats with their feet…
Then off to Cat Ba Island to enjoy the incoming Typhoon…As you do when a ridiculous storm is heading your way. Luckily I did manage to get out for 2 afternoons and enjoy the sheer beauty of this place. No words necessary.
I’m certain it will come to no surprise that the next posts may have to do with some amazing Vietnamese recipes, so stay tuned!