You know how there are usually not enough hours in the day? This week it’s the opposite. Since getting home from our trip, my sleep schedule is a mess and I’ve been up around 4:30 the past few mornings. I work for a couple of hours, clean up or fold laundry, do my workout and shower all before the kids get up. Dale was faring a bit better, but today he was awake for the day at 2:30 a.m. We are draggy in the evening and fall asleep instantly, but those early mornings are a bugger. I’m hoping we’ll be back on track in the next couple of days.
But --- you know what’s coming -- it’s Worth It. The trip was fantastic. Vietnam was amazing; I’d go back any day. The people were lovely, the scenery was beautiful, the history was fascinating (though often tragic), and the food was delicious. There were 46 people in our group; it’s the first time I’ve ever done a tour like that. There are definitely pros and cons to travelling with a large group, but the pros outweighed the cons. We had local guides in each area we went to and they were excellent. They were unbelievably knowledgeable about everything. They could answer every question we asked them. Their passion for their country came through clearly and you could tell they genuinely wanted to educate us and love their country. Since Vietnam is a communist country, we wondered if they were told what they could or couldn’t say, but they freely answered even the most sensitive of questions. Whether the answers were truthful or not, I guess we wouldn’t know.
The first thing that struck me when we arrived in Vietnam was how foreign everything was. I’m not very well-travelled but I’ve been to Japan, Hong Kong and Costa Rica, and those places are very modern compared to Vietnam and Cambodia. We arrived in Ho Chi Minh City (used to be called Saigon) late in the evening but even then I could see it was like nowhere else I’d ever been. It was such a great feeling to step out of the hotel the next morning and feel like you were in a whole new world. Thousands of motor bikes and scooters on the streets beeping their horns, crazy heat and humidity, skinny buildings, street vendors, people with face coverings (protection from vehicle exhaust and to keep their skin lighter), strange smells, tiny shop after shop along the street. It was overwhelming and amazing and I loved it.
I’ll post more in the next few days, but I'll need a couple more early mornings to go through all my photos.