Existing Member?

Same Same, but... a little bit different!

The Many Modes of Transportation

VIETNAM | Monday, 17 December 2018 | Views [132]

Although our room was small, and what can you expect from a small cruise ship, it was pretty comfortable. They had 4 pillows, 3 blankets and the rooms heating/cooling worked perfectly. Although neither of us is sleeping well, tonight was probably the best sleep for a while. Perhaps it was the swaying of the boat.

Morning came early, 615 for Thai chi on the top deck. We got up, dressed and after wiping the dreams from our eyes we found ourselves meditating/stretching in the cool morning air. It was quiet and peaceful.

That peacefulness did not last. The class finished and the day rush began. We had 5 minutes to be ready for breakfast, 20 minutes for the first excursion. Too rushed, but got to fit a lot into a short time.

We boarded the small boat at 0730 and arrived to the floating village, Vung Viêng.

Situated basically in the middle of nowhere, the people have a traditional lifestyle, no electricity and the make their existence by fishing and pearl harvesting.

We boarded our private boat with a local that acted as rower, power. She chatted with the other guides and we suspect she was somewhat of a matriarch of the community. She paddles us off the normal route and we enjoyed splendid views.

The pearl farm was interesting. They demonstrated how the artificially implant a small plastic bead and some dye that after about 3-10 years, depending on the desired final size, would become a farmed pearl. It was a serious medical procedure that 50% of the oysters die from.

Small ball is the before, the shinny bigger ball is the pearl.

Small, 2-3 years, Medium, 3-5 years, Large, 6-12 years.

We headed back to the boat, we given time to pack our rooms and then did a cooking ‘demonstration’. We made pork spring rolls and they held a competition. Who would think Tim would come second, only to a Korean women, on making spring rolls. Was worth a free beer!


Our time had come to an end on the cruise, mixed emotions. We met a lot of fun people. We had beers with couples from Ireland and Germany. We chatted with a family in the US Navy, stationed in Japan. The stay, particularly Jackie, our guide through the attractions, and Hoang, the service director. The staff and people on the cruise made it a time to remember.

The shuttle back was not as nice as going there. We were stuffed in van that could fit 9 children, but we were 7 westerners. We arrived last and were crammed into the smallest spot. That didn’t last long until Tim rearranged the seating assignment. Begrudgingly, there was compliance.

The drive back did not seam as long. We stopped at the same craft spot and were at the Train station in good time. Tim had researched that if you asked nicely, the staff will allow you to use the staff storage area to leave you bags, for a small fee of course.

We headed to some of the attractions we missed the last time we in Hanoi, the tower and Ho Chi Minh mausoleum. We had to pass through security, but it was free. Interesting place which I could never ‘unpack’ without a tour guide or some serious research.

We headed back into the Old Town, stopped by our hotel to use the washroom and charge Tim’s phone. These people we so awesome, can you imagine showing up to a hotel inCanada a day after your stayed and asked for a bunch of stuff. They were great!

We headed back to the train, exhausted. After a short wait, we boarded and were happy to have just 1 berth mate. We pretty much racked out after a very long day!


Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About mitann

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries


Near Misses

My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Vietnam

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.