Ho Chi Minh, Mekong, Mui Ne, Da Lat, Nah Trang, Hoi An

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June 8th 2005
Published: June 17th 2005
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500 Boats in the Bay500 Boats in the Bay500 Boats in the Bay

These basket weaved boats line the shores and were used for soccer goals, fruit selling stands and shade.
Of the 14 computers in this little café 13 are occupied by Vietnamese under the age of 16-18. As far as I can tell they are all on Yahoo IM flirting with each other, most in the same room. The guy next to me is lovelybabymuonyeu_139565 and he is making a girl behind me giggle. He types, 2 seconds later she giggles. Smoove. I guess that makes me an IM voyeur. Ahh, Hoi An, beautiful UNESCO Heritage Site untouched by war, old French style architecture, tiny passage ways, gorgeous trees, but for the motorbike sneaking up on you and then blasting the horn in your ear you would be in wandering bliss. And the girls here, I couldn’t figure out why so few Western girls were in Vietnam, they are here. Hoi An is the Rodeo Drive of Vietnam, over 100 tailors, wide eyed women with sore shoulders and arms, too many bags. When the bus moves on you can see them with big backpacks on their back and both arms burdened with plastic burlap sacks. My time in Vietnam has been wonderful, Siagon was my starting point, a city with 1 million motorbikes and 8 million people, it is surprisingly
Floating Market on the MekongFloating Market on the MekongFloating Market on the Mekong

The larger boats advertise their produce by hanging, say, a watermellon high above the boat on thin reeds.
clean, colorful and comfortable, going to the war museums and tunnels is a must as is the misplaced guilt you feel when leaving if you are an American. Heading south I explored the Mekong Delta, cuisine is exotic, frogs, snakes, eels and fresh water fish are the norm. Not feeling adventurous one evening I ordered chicken, I have to give it the blue ribbon for my worst meal yet, who knew a chickens neck was over a foot long? To get from Siagon to Hanoi overland will set you back 22 dollars for an open bus ticket, 5 stops, but its your ass that pays the price, a good guess is 50 hours of bus time to get up to Hanoi. Munie is the next stop, a coastal beach town, very quiet and peaceful, sanddunes are in abundance so are the people on top of them. Then Da Lat, another city untouched by the war, both sides agreed to leave it alone, it is cool due to its elevation has wonderful pastries, (cream puffs for 15 cents) and is very hilly. Strawberries are a large export to the rest of Vietnam, too bad they don’t travel well. On to Nah
Sunrise over Mui Ne DunesSunrise over Mui Ne DunesSunrise over Mui Ne Dunes

I roll out of bed Early for the 30km ride to the dunes for sunrise, me and 200 other people. It looked like a mini concert two dunes behind me.
Trang, home of Vietnam's largest public beach, who knew the phrase 'Happy Hour' could be for so many things. The Vietnamese are keen on it:"Happy Hour, Fresh Pineapple? good price" "Foot Massage? Happy Hour Cheap Cheap" "Postcards? Happy Hour Good for you, Good for me" About the only thing that isn't Happy Hour is beer.
Today marks three months on the road, I'm amazed at how many memories I have crammed into the short amount of time. Traveling alone has been amazing, if you can stand the occasional dinner by yourself a whole other side opens up to you. That said I'm grateful that Jon came to visit, his timing couldn't have been better, I was in the need of a good friend who knew my story already. I'm also super excited that Jessica might come out for a bit to travel with me, she has alot to do before she can go but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Additional photos below
Photos: 12, Displayed: 12


Sorting through the catchSorting through the catch
Sorting through the catch

Giant piles of fish dumped onto the cement, the wives worked just as hard as the husbands.
Get down fatty!Get down fatty!
Get down fatty!

This is a tourist widened entrace to the Co Chi Tunnels of the Viet Cong.
Beer bottle DragonBeer bottle Dragon
Beer bottle Dragon

This Pagoda is outside of Da Lat. Thousands of broken beer bottles were used to make a 30 meter dragon
Da Lat Farm LandDa Lat Farm Land
Da Lat Farm Land

Stawberries is the largest product from this area. A huge jar of jam will set you back a buck.
Hoi An LanternHoi An Lantern
Hoi An Lantern

At night these lanterns are made by hand in the shop.
Look at that smile!Look at that smile!
Look at that smile!

Couldn't figure out what they were doing though, I saw them roll up and down the street at three times.
Buddha BuilderBuddha Builder
Buddha Builder

Within 10 minutes this guy had created over half the shavings you see on the ground
Just ChillinJust Chillin
Just Chillin

This picture is for Jessica.
Night Scene Hoi AnNight Scene Hoi An
Night Scene Hoi An

The town shuts down at midnight, no doubt all the ladies need to rest up for the morning shopping spree.

11th July 2005

I'm traveling to Vietnam in 2 weeks and I enjoyed your photos and notes. Thanks!
30th May 2006

Hi Sean. we are planning to travel to HCM city in two weeks and spend 3 weeks on the road to HANOI, but friends of us in Bankok are (today) telling us that the weather is terrible and it will get worse....How is it ACTUALLY there right now? love your pictures! Thomas (Norway)

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