Vietnam

We arrived in Vietnam after a lovely lightening storm trailing our wings. The whole plane was relieved to land safely. The sun was setting behind the storm clouds and was gorgeous, very dark and stormy. It quickly became dark. I had paid for the quick visa, then had received and email to be prepared to pay 45 for my visa when I arrived. Boy was I glad I paid for the quick visa. There was a man waiting for us with a sign, he escorted us to the line, took our papers stood in line, paid our fee. We waited for him off to the side for about thirty minutes. I don’t think the line moved at all in that time. Well worth the fee I paid. Our first day we went ChoChi. This is where there were 22 km of underground tunnels. There were three levels of tunnels. One was three km, one six km, and the last nine km. the first was for cooking, the live dine these tunnels for 45 years off and on. They ate, had schools, etc. they have a museum where you are able to see the tunnels and huts at ground level, and the guerrilla tactics they used.
I look around and see most people are under thirty, really twenty. A whole generation that never lived with the war just with what was left. Another step back they were fighting with everything they had for their land. Their inhumanity didn’t even bother them one bit….but then we were spraying their land with chemicals. There is no right or wrong in this just a very sick feeling….
The current generation works hard, they are friendly, on a whole looking to join the world. They are educating their children to have a better life than they did. As I look outside the window and it looks almost like any city I have been in, with busy streets, people going to work. Again even at night, some people scurrying through the streets on errands, others lounging on motor bikes or on plastic chairs being cute or smart with people walking by. Some of the people I would not want to meet on a dark alley at any time.
Yesterday, as we rode through the countryside I saw people using water buffalo to plow their rice fields. Along with a restaurant with two tree houses built in the worthy of any five star in the states.
Today we are riding out to the country side again. On the way we went by the delta and saw cargo barges loaded with rice and goods going up the river. The different houses and markets along the river were amazing. The stalls with vegetables, fish, chickens and people selling their wares flew by so fast I was unable to snap a photo. Then we’re drove by buildings that could have been in any small town in Texas. We finally came to a rest stop for some coffee and a hammock rest. The coffee was a drip type with condensed milk, a tad sweet for me. The hammocks were nice, till an ant bit me. With the breeze blowing, the shade, the sway of a hammock what more could a tourist ask for?
The day continued to improve. We went on a boat ride down the river. Saw a coconut candy demonstration, tasted honey fresh from the hive. Invested in the local economy. It is amazing how one is unable to resist investing in June local economy by buying items for home.
We went to lunch by flat boats, there was even a slight rush hour.it was so peaceful going down river under the trees, both of the paddlers pointed out their homes to us. We saw water coconuts, which looked like very large anise seed pods. We arrived at the dock then got on pony carts to drive through the town/countryside to arrive on the other side of the island for lunch.
Every time we have eaten the amount and quality of food has been excellent.
Back on a small boat for six, back to a large boat, back to the main Island, back to the hotel. Quick change, dinner and a surprise trip around the city on bicycle rickshaws.

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