I finally figured out I have a b/w feature on my camera!
I realize itâ€™s been quite some time since I did an update. Iâ€™ve been traveling with a group of about seven the last week and I find I donâ€™t get on the computer much when Iâ€™m not alone. So for those of you who have sent words of concern, donâ€™t worry!
To be honest, there isnâ€™t much to report. I feel as though I havenâ€™t really taken in Vietnam like I should. Iâ€™ve spent most of the last week or so on the beach. From Hanoi, I headed down to Hoi An to meet up with the crew I met on the Halong Bay boat.
On the bus ride there, I met a Vietnam veteran from Duluth, Minnesota! Iâ€™ve been wanting to meet an American Vet as I know they do come and travel through Vietnam, so I was even more excited he was someone from home. So one night in Hoi An my group met up with Scott Cameron for dinner and listened to him chat about his time here and what heâ€™s done since. He almost lost his life at aged 18, and after 40 some surgeries, is still going strong and is very active at home and abroad on anti-war campaigns and such. He caused a stir a few years back by hanging a sign near an Army recruiting office in Duluth that said donâ€™t forget our fallen Iraqi veterans and listed the number of lives lost to date. Right now he is chronicling his journey in Vietnam for an ABC Special.
This girl is a doll! Her mom sold me some water.
That was the highlight for me in Hoi An.
The rest of the time we hit the beach and shopped. We rented motorbikes one day and headed off somewhere near China Beach. My travel companions were into getting stuff tailor-made as that is a big thing in Hoi An. I have no need for nice clothes at this point in my life so I did my best to avoid buying any shoes.
Scott and I after dinner.
As is the case when I meet others, I decided just to follow the group to our next stop, Nihau Trang, another beach town but with not as much character as Hoi An. So far weâ€™ve, well, hit the beach some more. We also did a day long boat cruise to some islands, but that mostly involved partying. At one point we all waded out to a floating bar and that was loads of fun. Nha Trang is like the mugging capital of Vietnam, however.
One guy in our group got mugged on the walk home from the bar and another girl lost her wallet from her room. Iâ€™ve kept a tight grip on my stuff here. Some of the most interesting things Iâ€™ve learned in the last week are about flying. In our group are two flight attendants and one pilot, so theyâ€™ve got lots of stories. I didnâ€™t realize that at any given moment there are probably dead bodies on board and eyeballs in the flight deck (for transplant that is; they must keep them up there so the blood vessels donâ€™t burst).
She was tiny!
Like I said, I donâ€™t feel like Iâ€™ve really gotten to know Vietnam like I did Laos. Iâ€™ve definitely eaten the local food (not my favorite cuisine) and found myself at local soup joints late at night with the motorbike taxi drivers. Thatâ€™s about it. Iâ€™m going to let this entry be mostly pictures, as even though I feel like Iâ€™ve done little the last week, I sure have loads of pictures!
Iâ€™m bidding my group farewell (for now anyway) and boarding a train this afternoon to Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City where I plan to actually do some things to write about. The train journey may prove interesting as well. Iâ€™ll let you know when I hit HCMC!