My Vietnan Trip to Date – Spetember 1, 2010.

To save space and weight, the 3 of us decided to take 1 small computer and share it. Sea has a small  10″ screen? so we took it. Unfortunately all the instructions, ext are in Chinese, so my writing and pics are generally a mess. Here is what I have so far. I’ll clean, spell check, re-order, etc. after we return to Shenzhen.

Mui Ne Pics

Last Day in Hanoi

I am writing this from Mui Ne Beach. It is breath taking, but I’m going to try to keep thisblog in some sort of chronological order.

August 30-September 2.

For the past 4 days I have been unable to upload pics to this blog. Consequently I have lost everything I have written too. So from now on I will just write a few words and will update the pics, etc. when I return or when I figure out what I am doing wrong.
We left Hanoi and flew to Ho Chi Minh City. Spent a day visiting my old froiends and hang outs. Remarkably little changed. After we return from Mui Ne I think I’d like to spend a couple of extra days in HCMC instead of heading straight out.
This morning we got on the bust to Mui Ne where I am now.
I am writing this from the outdoor beach front restaurnt wgere we are staying. Mui Ne Beach in southern Vietnam. The resort is breath taking and  fabulouos in every way. If it was in Hawaii, I’m sure it would cost $800./night. I have been taking many pictures and will post them later.
August 28

August 28, 2010. Ancient Temple

Woke up to heavy rain this morning. The girlls and I had a trip scheduled to a 1000 year old temple today, but the weather looked so bad I considered cancelling. But in the end I went, figuring at least I could look our the windows of the van and see some things. If I walked around I’d just get wet and be miserable.
The van was right on time and picked us up at 08:00. After a couple of hourse we reached the temple. I was in the anciend capital of Vietnam which is a city in name only now.
We arrived at the temple and walked throught it. It wasn’t very impressive except for its age.
When the French owned Vietnam they taxed the houses based on their width. Consequently the houses became tall and thin.  Most have a business on the ground floor then 2, 3, 4, sometimes more living rooms stacked on top of each other above.
After the temple we stopped for lunch at the town of Minh Nin. It was good, but nothing special. The restaurant was supposed to be famous in some way.
After lunch we were led to small row boats where we were given a two hour tour of a place that reminded me of Halong Bay. There were giant limstone out croppings, and the water had a distinctive green color. Unfortunately it was raining and windy. We got soaked within 15 minutes even though we all had umbrellas.
Some boat rowers used their feet instead of their hands. They moved faster than the arm rowers.
We passed throug several natural caves including one that was so low that we had to sit in the floor of the boat. Unfortunately there were a couple of inches of water in the floor of the boat from the rain.
Finally our ordeal was over. We climbed back into the van for the drive home. We were dropped off at the hotel right at 18:00.
The girls wanted to change out of their wet clothes. I waited in the lobby. Then we had a light dinner, booked our plane tickets to Ho Chi Minh City tomorrow, and called it an early night.
I went to a coffee house with WiFi where I am now. I’m the only customer. It’s 23:00. Good night. 
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August 27

August 26, 2010. Hanoi

First  of all I’d like to say /i know there were dozens of typos in my previous entry. I am using Sea’s computer and everything is in Chinese. I can’t figure out how to run spell-check, among other things. I will correct things later.
The girls went to Halong Bay today. I planned on going to cooking school at Highway 4 Restaurant, but because they only had 3 others sign up for it, the price was too high. They charge $245.00 per class. If 1 person shows up it costs him $245.00. If 10 people show up it is $24.50 each. 20 people, $12.25 each. I didn’t feel like paying $80.+ especially since I have taken the class before. You can choose what dishes you want to make, so it would all be different this time, but still decided against it.
Instead I spent the day doing what I enjoy most, wandering the streets and alleys.
About 13:00 I came to the main market where I had a couple of grilled hard shell crabs at a street vendor before going in. They were delicious. I just stayed a few minutes because it was very hot.
About 14:00 I headed for home.
I have been on a coffee drinking binge the last couple of days. I think it caught up with me yesterday afternoon, forcing me to spend the rest of the day close to my room, if you know whay I mean.
About 21:30 th girls returned from Halong Bay. I met them for dinner t a nice little cafe specialzing in Hue cusine. Delicious. Then to bed.
August 25

August 25, 2010. Hanoi

We made it by about 0:100 on the 24th. When we arrived Hanoi was more or less closed. TThe streets were dark and free of people.
The guest house had arranged for a car to meets us at the airport. We were 1.5+ hours late, so he was there holding a CHARLES E. KIRTLEY sign. 
When we got to the guest house the guy at reception told us it would be a few minutes before our rooms were ready and encouraged us to look through some tour booklets while we waited. This was at 00:30. I told him we’d look in the morning and insisted to be taken to our rooms. He complied. There were a couple of minor issues with the rooms which the guy took care of, happily. 
The next morning I remembered why I like Hanoi so much. I had a cup of the best coffee in the world for breakfast. Then the girls and Went out walking. It was cloudy and relatively cool.
I am writing this on Sea’s computer so some of the pictures/words may not match.
We walkede to a 1000 year old temple and toured it. Nothing special.
Then we walked to West Lake which one of the larger lakes in the city. It seems quite dirty to me. There were several floating restaurants that I would never consider.
Then we waqlked to the Presidential palace and Ho Chi Minh’s masoleum. The masoleum was closed.
About 13:00 it began to rain. It didn’t stop the rest of the day. We returned to the guest house abot 15:00. I was hot, wet and generally uncomfortable. Then we stopped in at a cafe about a half block from our hotel for lunch. Then I remembered another reason I love Vietnam. The food is wonderful. We had 5 things. Every one was light, fresh and flavorful. Quite different from China where most food it fried in oil or animal fat. We had 5 things. Every one was perfect.
It continued to rain the rest of the day. The girls went out for some noodles about 20:00. Not having an umbrella, I stayed in.
The rain has been brought on by a typhoon that hit south of us. By tomorrow afternoon it is supposed to be clear.

About Charles Kirtley

Have been living in SE Asia and China since 2007. I have an opinion on most every subject, and don't mind sharing them. Lover and collector of worthless facts.
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