Leaving Vietnam

To sum up Vietnam is quite a hard thing to do. Of course we have only had a too short, 3 weeks here and as we have stayed in real luxury with Mum and Paul for 2 of them that has made it a fantastic holiday. Before we came to Vietnam we heard many people say it is very beautiful and I’m sorry that we didn’t have the time to experience some of the most picturesque areas of central and northern Vietnam.

The biggest impact Vietnam made on our family is the friendly, gentle and welcoming nature of the Vietnamese people. Without exception, everywhere we visited we have been treated to smiles, laughter and interest in us. We all admitted that prior to our visit here we had some pre conceived thoughts about Vietnam, having witnessed how American history portrayed the war here but from the minute we arrived here all those images were swept away. On reflection it’s very hard to understand the American war here and the use of chemical agents such as napalm was a terrible crime against the Vietnamese people.

My image of HCMC will always be of thousands of motorcycles. Weaving in and out of each other with amazing dexterity, we witnessed lots of minor bumps that we sorted out in seconds. I will always picture the Vietnamese women in their beautiful national dress. They are absolutely stylish, elegant and graceful with their conical hats and long silk gloves clutching a magazine and sheltering their faces from the sun.

The weather here has been at times overwhelmingly hot. In Mui Ne we were so lucky with clear blue skies and bright sunshine everyday. Paul said it is the only place he has ever been where the aircon causes condensation on the outside of the bungalow windows in the morning! I read before we started our trip that only the hardiest of travellers come to SE Asia in the killer month of April and feel proud to now class myself as one of the toughest of the tough! Come On!

The food in Vietnam has been nothing short of awesome. I have absolutely loved our diet of steamed rice with “something else” laid on top and we have certainly had our minds broadened as to the possibilities of what can constitute “edible”

I will be sorry to leave, of all the countries we have visited so far in Asia, I feel like we have seen the least of Vietnam. It has been an education for us all, particularly I think in forgiveness, pulling together and getting on with it. Despite the terror of the war that tore the country apart and only ended 35 years ago the Vietnamese people really do seem to have rebuilt Vietnam. It is a lovely country and I think we all leave here admiring the spirit of the place and hoping that we will come back one day.

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