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Mike & Mag's World Adventure

Good Morning Vietnam!

VIETNAM | Thursday, 13 March 2008 | Views [575] | Comments [2]

Let us begin by saying that Vietnam is our favorite place visited as of yet!  Anyhow, I believe we left off last in Mui Ne with the Sand Dunes and sledding.  Well, the sand dunes were beautiful and sledding down them was exhilirating; however, getting there was a bit of a challenge.  We signed up for the sunrise tour to watch the sunrise at the sand dunes and on the way there our jeep broke down.  Imagine being in a jeep in the dark with no other cars on the road at 5am and our driver is cutting wires, with sparks flying to attempt to get our jeep to start up.  I'm thinking, we're going to explode, but instead the jeep starts up.... that is for a few more miles until it breaks down again. This time the smell of gas is permeating everywhere and smoke is coming from the hood and we have missed the sunrise.  The driver finally gives up on fixing the jeep and we decide to just walk to the dunes since we are about a mile away.  The whole situation was quite humorous and we got a laugh out of it.  The dunes were white in one area and orange and red in another area.  I felt like we were in the desert of Egypt... it was surreal.  Once we finished our tour of the dunes a new jeep had arrived... all was well.

We then made our way to Nha Trang which is a beach town with beautiful islands and mountains along the coast.  Unfortunately, during most of our time in Nha Trang it was cloudy and rainy.  We only got one day on the beach.  But, we did have a nice spa day with a hot mud bath and a hot tub with mineral water from a hot spring.  That was a relaxing day. 

From there we headed even further north to Hoi An.  Hoi An is a really neat place (our favorite in Vietnam) because the town is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so all of the old history of the area is preserved, dating back at far as the 8th century. There's a section of town that you have to get to by bridge and they don't allow motor bikes or cars so it's really quiet.  The area was settled by Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese so their cultural influence makes Hoi An completely unique from any other city in Nam. Also it's a port city so, there have been many outside influences with all the trading networks formed at the port.

Outside of town there are some ruins from the Champa people that are as old as 800 AD.The interesting thing is all the buildings are made out of brick and the archaeologists dont know how they put them together because there is no mortar between the bricks! The theory is that they used some kind of plant oil and rubbed the bricks together to make a paste.  Then they would set the building on fire to fuse it altogether.But they still aren't sure.  Oh and more slanted commentary on the Americans. Evidently during the war the VC and North Vietnamese Army set up a military base where all the ruins are. Consequentially Nixon ordered that we drop a bunch of bombs on them and some of the ruins got destroyed.  You can still see all the craters....big bombs! When the guides explain it, they blame the US for all the shit being destroyed but they dont consider the fact that if the VC would have respected their own heritage and not set up shop there, we wouldn't have been dropping bombs! Anyway...

Aside from all the history, Hoi An is known for its clothing. So Mike got 2 suits and a pair of dress shoes made for less than $200! Maggie got a suit, a pair of leather boots and several other articles of clothing made as well. We were like 2 kids in a candy shop.  It was like no other shopping that we have ever experienced before.  We picked the design, material, everything and then 24 hours later... ta da... a perfectly fitted article of clothing.  It is absolutely amazing!
Currently, we are making our way up to Hanoi, and will head to Cambodia in just four days.  Will check in soon!  Please know that we are healthy, happy, and loving our journey! We love you all back home and think of you often!
Maggie and Mike



Hi Glad to hear you are having a great time. Linda

  linda bishop Mar 24, 2008 2:39 AM


Well, what business did the US have dropping bombs over VN in the first place?

  vietnamviking May 29, 2008 4:08 AM

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