Vietnam – the final post….

Here are just some random images of things we did or saw or experienced

Biking through Hoi An, early in the morning, which is why it isn’t crammed with people and bikes and motorcycles and chickens and and and and…..

We took a Cable Car Ride near Phu Quoc

Apparently, wearing matching Dorky Outfits is a “thing” in Vietnam….  Sooooo many people had these on, it was astounding……….

Boats in Hoi An, in the Touristy Area

NON-Touristy boats – these are the real deal, that they live on.  Makes you really appreciate your own home, eh?

Hoi An at night………

We took a TriShaw ride, loved it!

Monks……….  They were everywhere, and it’s just a magical thing to see them wandering….

One of my most memorable moments – spending time with 8 year old kids at their school, teaching them English words.  These kids were SO keen to be in school….

Lounging in our beautiful luxurious cabin on the Meikong River Cruise – Shout out to AMA Waterways!

Oxen……… gorgeous gentle creatures………..

What a fabulous adventure with my wonderful travel mates………………..

 

 

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Vietnam…… Cooking Class….

While we were in Hoi An we took a Cooking Class with Van, of Green Bamboo, and it was FABULOUS!  There were 12 people in the class, and they were all great fun and good company.

First, we walked through the market to gather our supplies.  Notice Jen rockin’ the Dorky hat – I opted out of this particular fashion statement.

Then we went to Van’s home and everybody prepared their own dish, and we ate and ate and ate and ate till we thought we’d burst!

 

Van doesn’t use Spatulas, so Jen had to flip all her Crab Cakes with two Chopsticks!

 

We all took turns flipping Asian Pancakes – Mine ended up on the Flames, NOT back in the pan, sigh….

If you get a chance to do this, jump at it.

Jen and I also made our own Lantern, with “The Lantern Lady” of Hoi An, and she was absolutely lovely, and a delight to work with.  The cost for this $6!!!!!!

More to come….

 

 

 

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Vietnam….We got scammed…..

So, one of my “visions” for this trip was biking through rice paddies, surrounded by beautiful water buffalo……………..

While in Hoi An, our first hotel came with complimentary Bikes, so off we go.  First we had to bike through town, which was HORRIFYING and scary, and frightening and death-defying.  I honestly believe that there were three moments where I came within an inch of being smacked by a motorcycle, or a cyclist, or a huge roll of Metal Fencing on the back of a bike………….  I really truly was scared………..

Anyway, we made it out of town unscathed, and we’re travelling along a small highway, just about to make a turn off for the Rice Paddies, when what do we see on the side of the road?  Two old, grizzled, weather-worn men, in tattered farmer’s clothing, flagging down some tourists so that they can take pics of themselves with the old guy’s Water Buffalo.   Whaaattt??  This is PERFECT, sez I!

So, we park our bikes and go over to the 2 old geezers, and they’re grabbing Jen’s and my arms, and they’re hauling us down the gully into the Rice Paddy, and they’re dragging us through the muddy muddy muddy gucky muddy rice paddy over to the water buffalo, and they’re putting their old sweaty tattered farmer’s hat on Jen’s head (I declined…), and our guys are snapping pictures, and when we leave the field, the geezers are scooping up gross muddy filthy water to splash onto our feet and legs to “clean” them, which is hilarious, and it’s awesome, and then…………

BEFORE we started taking pictures, we had TRIED to find out how much it cost.  Admittedly, I was giddy with excitement, and allowed myself to be dragged along into the fray before we found out the price, because REALLY, what would it cost?  A couple bucks each?  Right?

Sooooooooo, all the pics are taken, and the guys are now ready to pay the two old geezers, and they ask for $25 US.  Per Couple!  Uh, what?  That seems a little high.  We don’t want to BUY your water buffaloes, we just want a few pics…..  But the geezers are really aggressive, and there is much confusion, and chaos, and discussion, and we manage to get away with only having paid $30 US, all in.  In hindsight, we don’t actually think those 2 guys even owned the water buffalo, as they had 2 old bikes parked in the field, like they’d just stumbled upon a brilliant entrepreneurial idea and jumped on it…..

But wait, it gets better!  The next day, we move to a new hotel in Hoi An, again with complimentary bikes, and one of the tours they offer is – a bike ride through rice paddies, a photo session with a water buffalo, where you can actually get ON TOP OF the water buffalo, and it’s all for FREE!!!  ha ha ha, we laughed sooooooooo hard!

We really are all fairly seasoned travellers, but my excitement got us rooked by a couple of old guys.  Really, who cares, we can afford it and it just makes for a good Dinner Party Story.  Here are the pics…………

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Vietnam – the journey is almost over

Boy, we’ve seen a lot, and done a lot, and eaten a LOT!!!!

The food has been fantastic every single place we’ve been.  This has been true whether we ate at a local teeny restaurant, or on a 5-star River Boat.

Some of the hotels have had the oddest things, like this super-giant bed!

Or oddly place plugs, for boiling water.  Ken’s got the kettle precariously balanced on a Wicker Toilet Roll Holder.  The only other plugs we’re in middle of their Giant Bed.

Or bathrooms where ALL the walls are glass – I won’t post a pic of that, ha!

Here are a few more random pictures of things we’ve seen…..

more to come…………..

 

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More “found” Watercolor In My Journal

(Click any image to see it bigger in a new tab)

A few more that I had forgotten about…..  sometimes my journal isn’t handy, but I’ve got scraps of watercolor paper laying around, so I paint on them, and tuck them in a safe place……  and then eventually I stumble across them again…………

I just never tire of painting whales

This house!  Wow, I’ve impressed my OWN bad self!!  I think I MIGHT have posted it previously, but not sure…..

Cactus

Flower Sketches

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Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh City

We ended up in Ho Chi Minh for more days than we planned, to get our Visas for Cambodia straightened out (and they were).

We had two rooms in Saigon Corner House, down a twisty-turny-rabbit-maze of a road.  Rooms were great, and we had a 5th floor sundeck on which to have happy hours.  We paid about $25 CDN a night, and it was worth it.

 

Our alley was really interesting, with very typical locals hanging out every day.  Because it was still Tet, there were lots of young and old folks just hanging around, all day.  Our favorites were a group of 5 old ladies that played bingo most days, in the alley.  They always smiled and said something that we assumed was “hello” whenever we spoke to them.

We also went on an evening food tour.  You had the option of being picked up by a person driving a motorbike, and he/she would take you to the meeting place for the start of the tour, or there was also a “Scaredy Cat” option, where you were met by the guide and he took you, via taxi, to the meeting place.  We opted for Scaredy Cat, ha!

Food was great, tour guide (Vu Vo of SaigonStreetEats.com) was delightful, and we all really enjoyed the whole evening.  We went to four places in total, and sampled lots of yummy stuff.  Nothing strange or off-putting, just good flavorful food.  My only complaint was that all the chairs were SO small and SO low, that my butt was really sore by the end of the evening!

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Vietnam continued

More of Nha Trang

I know I’ve talked about the traffic.  This picture is on a SLOW day, with basically NO traffic, and still it’s just a cacophony of noise and chaos.  There were days where you just prayed to the gods when you tried to cross the street.  I held Paul’s hand, I was actually that scared…..

We weren’t able to take a good picture of the traffic, but here’s a pic from the ‘net that’s more indicative of what it was like, no exaggeration:

Image result for vietnam traffic

 

The electrical wiring on the streets is just astounding…  Most of it hangs down low enough to catch your head on…….

And Vietnamese coffee – yowza!!!   I like my coffee strong, but man, none of us could drink the VN Coffee without diluting it 3-to-1.  It comes to you as a 1-cup-drip set up and makes about 2 tablespoons of thick black sludge.  It tastes great once you add water to it.

One morning we walked across a bridge to explore the area, and it was such an interesting mix of ultra-modern buildings and old traditional boats.

Next, Ho Chi Minh……………..

 

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