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Published: June 14th 2017
Geo: 12.2453, 109.199THURSDAY, JANUARY 19 - OUR ANNIVERSARY
We had a time change where the clocks moved back -got an extra hour of sleep. We woke up around 5am to get out on the top deck and watch the ship slowly move into the Nha Trang bay. Beautiful site. This port city is a tourist town. Off to the right is a theme park, much like Disneyland and a water park too. There is a gondola ride that goes across the bay. The NCL Star tenders in as there is no dock for the ship. We even saw the pilot boat pull up along the NCL Star. We had breakfast there in the cafeteria area out by the pool.
Our excursion "Ancient Civilization" had a call time meeting in Stardust Theatre at 8:15am. Beacause there were over 200+ people signed up for the excursion, they broke things down in sections. Our section was the 'very last' to get on the tender boat. As we were waiting, we got to know a couple that sat next to us. Julian and Leslie, from Montgomery, Alabama. He is a lawyer. Ran for state senator. And he can "talk" - Just like a lawyer. We were even
on the same bus tour with them. Very intelligent and friendly people. They asked if we could join them for dinner, but since it was our anniversary, maybe the next day. So we had dinner with them on January 20.
The excursion was very enlightening. My first impression was how "crazy" the motorcycles rides were going around in circles and how the circle traffic just flows with very little stopping or traffic accidents. I also noticed the electric wires hanging for the electric poles. Crazy. We also observed how they use the horns to their motors. Very noisy city. There are 9 million people in Vietnam and 4.5 million motorcycles.
We first walked across the narrow bridge with traffic going fast. Horns blaring. It was a cultural experience. Off to the right were red and blue fishing boats tied up in the river. We had to walk under the bridge to get to the first stop, PoNagar Cham Towers. Dirty. Filthy. Peasants selling coffee, fresh fruits like passion fruit, apples and papayas. The temple was rebuilt about 200 years ago. There were folks getting long robes (think monks), taking their shoes off and entering the temple. One temple is where
you offer up food to the gods. The Towers are evidence of the ancient Cham civilization built between the 8th and 12th centuries on a site used for Hindu worship. David Blood, WBT missionary lived and worked in this area plus doing Bible Translation project with the Cham people.
Our next stop was a rest stop at a local restaurant where we could have either coffee or cold coconut milk. I enjoyed the coconut milk. Very good. Glenn chose the coffee. Thick. He didn't like it. They spell the word coffee - as Kaphe. Glenn got the password for email connection and I checked emails that had come in. Nothing urgent. Sent a real quick email to GrandDaddy. Remember, it was 11am here on 19th of January, and it was still 9pm on January 18th Dallas time.
We stopped at another Buddhist temple. Long Son Pagoda. 152 steps to the top. At the middle point, was a "laying down" Buddha. I made it to the top. This Buddha is sitting on a white lotus blossom. This place was rebuilt several times since late 19th century. Lots of people here, tourist and the like.
In the center of Nha Tran, we visited the DAM
market where we were able to walk through the market by ourselves for 30 minutes. As we walked thru, Glenn found a lady working with her sewing machine, making something. So with our sign language, we asked her to "sew up" my backpack that was ripping apart. All for 2 dollars. I got some good pictures of that. We tried to find a souvenir spoon, however Glenn got a teaspoon. He barely made it back to the bus in time.
Our last stop was an embroidery workshop/museum. We ran into those folks from A & M. And I asked, what we shouldn't miss here - she said the embroidery of "the Last Supper". This took 4 months to make with 2 people working 6 days a week with only 1/2 break. The cost $3,000. The 2 ladies work 2 hours, then 15 minute break to rest their eyes, then 2 more hours, break, 2 hours, break, etc. The ladies use DMC thread - same thread I use for my cross stitch projects.
Once we arrived back at the port, there was a l-o-n-g line for folks to be "tender" back to the NCL Star. There were some back-shift tourist booths. Glenn
found me a Vietnam spoon for $4.00. I wanted to buy him a t-shirt, but we didn't get one. Instead, we walked up 1/2 mile to an internet cafe. Checked email. But was too tired to send anything out. We told the owner of the small coffee shop that it was our anniversary, so they gave us free internet service and 2 small glasses of beer. Didn't drink it. I just watch the traffic and people under the thatch roof.
We took a shower really quick and got to our dinner reservations at La Cucina just as they were opening up at 5:30pm. NCL gives us 2 FREE dinners with our Latitude status, so we decided to use one of them for our 37th Wedding Anniversary celebration. I ordered Alfredo Carbonara. Glenn had steak and mushroom. We also had crème brule for dessert. Darla and Rick stopped by and visited a little bit. Then when the restaurant crew showed up with an Anniversary cake for us to share, Darla and Rick came over and sang with them. That was special. We also went to the evening show. I forgot what it was. We had a long day. Good day. During the
show, I actually fell asleep a couple of times. It was a magician. Very good. But I just couldn't stay awake. Who would have thought that we would be spending our 37th anniversary in the country of Vietnam?
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