China & Vietnam Newsletter

Good Morning, Vietnam!

I have got a lot to catch up on!

I have not written a thing about China! So, in between Japan and China we only had two days at sea. At this point I do not remember if anything special happened. In China I had one day in Shanghai before my schedules started. I went to Disneyland with some friends. It was my first time at Disney in probably 12 years. Disneyland Shanghai only recently opened so the mechanics and themeing is the very best out there! My favourites were the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and the 7 Dwarves Mining Training rollercoaster. We had such a fun day at Disney! Even though it was colddd. Shanghai taxis were impossible to get…and…and…blocking the beginning and end of the day out.

The next day my field program, Highlights of Beijing, started. We flew to Beijing and then walked around the Summer Palace. We also visited Tianamen Square. My favourite part of my time in China was when we visited The Great Wall. I thought it would be anti-climatic but it was amazing and such a fun time with my new friends. We took a ski lift to the top then hit up 3 towers, before we tobogganed down the mountain. That afternoon we visited the Ming Tombs. We flew to Hong Kong the next morning.

We got back about 6:30. I grabbed dinner on the ship and then went in sat in the mall with some friends to use the wifi. Internet access in China is censored so we had a lot of things from home to catch up on. I actually had to be on the ship by midnight because I had a field program the next day, which is part of the reason I did not explore the city. My field class was for Science of Global Climate Change, we visited the Hong Kong Observatory and a University. Everything was closed and crowded because it was the first day of the New Year. However, the celebrations did not start until after the ship pulled out at 12.

We had another 2 day stretch between China and Vietnam. I am still in Vietnam but I am going to go ahead and write about my first few days here.

Day 1: was the first day of the Vietnamese New Year, Tet. One of my friend’s parents immigrated from Vietnam. On the first day we hired a car to take us out to the town her mom is from. Traffic was very bad that day because of the New Year, so we did not have much time there. We did walk up to a Jesus statue where my friend’s mother and grandma would go every day to pray. Once we got back to the ship, we headed out for dinner (accidentally at a Japanese restaurant) then we went to a penthouse Airbnb with a pool for the night for my roommate’s birthday.

The next day I went to the Sky Tower with some other friends. We went to Notre Dame, the Saigon Post Office, a cute coffee shop, and walked through some bookstores. Then we went to a water puppet show which is traditional Vietnamese theatre.

The next morning, I walked around the port area – which I think is pretty local for the city. I met up with some friends who came with me to check into my hotel room for the next two nights. We then headed to a coffee shop and then to a nail salon. We were absolutely hungry so we went to a Pho place were I found something I could eat. Not along after that we split up. I found a western grocery story and then headed back to the hotel for some real dinner and video chats.

Today, I woke up a little later and then went to the War Remnant Museum. The War Remnant Museum was amazing and very humbling. Afterwards I went to Starbucks and then walked to the “pink church.” I grabbed some Korean food after that xD and since then I have been at the hotel. I checked out the pool, did laundry, showered, and am eating dinner.

I have got 2 days left here and I have so much to do!

Only China pics 🙂 Vietnam pics in the next newsletter!

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