The Rest of Vietnam – Newsletter

Hi!

I am back on the ship. It’s taking less time to get reacquainted with ship life than it did before.

My last two days in Vietnam were good. After checking out of the hotel and having lunch on the ship I walked to the zoo. The zoo also boasts a botanical garden, while in many aspects it was similar to my zoo at home there were some slight differences in some of the animals and of course there were some animals we do not have at all. The zoo was filled with Vietnamese for the most part, so I also enjoyed a little people watching. After the zoo I walked about 5 minutes away to a café. Vietnam is the only country not covered by my phone plan so I needed the wifi to connect with friends. It turned out the museum they were going to was right next to the zoo, so I walked back over there. It was the Museum of the History of Vietnam. We weren’t therefore very long and I was tired from walking all afternoon so I did not absorb much but there were a lot of statues of Hindu gods and Buddhas which were interesting.

Not much happened after that, we got a meal from a food court in a mall then they went to the water puppet show. I had already been, so I just sat at Starbucks. We walked back to ship and along the way I bought some pink elephant pants.

The next day I woke up early and managed to get on a field program (these are organized by SAS). The program went to the Mekong Delta, which is actually 2.5 hours a way so I spent much time in the bus. After we reached our first destination, we used boats to get around. We went to a brick making place and a coconut plantation. We also had a farm fresh lunch! After getting back to port, Ho Chi Minh, my friend and I tried to use the wifi at the port café. It was too busy with everyone trying to get their last wifi before our five days at sea.

I did buy a Michael Kors bag at a small vendor next to the café. A real Michael Kors, it had the same tags they do at home. One of the things I regret not bringing is a small purse. I told myself I was bringing too many bags and did not bring one but that means I either have to carry my clutch or my overnight backpack when I go out for the day.

I ended up going to a domino’s with a couple friend, of course, I did not have any pizza. I ate when I got back on the ship.

A little ship drama – some people went to Cambodia without bothering to check if they had multi entry visas for Vietnam. Similarly, some people went to Hanoi, which is actually the capital of Vietnam, so they would not think they need a visa. However, their return flight (supposedly) did not say anything about a layover in Cambodia. I am not sure how they got all this worked out but somehow everyone made it back on the ship by 2am, just 6 hours after on ship time. Usually we leave a port much sooner, I am not sure why we were scheduled to leave so early the next morning, but those students were lucky we were.

I truly enjoyed my time in Vietnam. While I could not eat a lot of the local food I enjoyed the way of pedestrian traffic and the friendliness of the people.

Yesterday, we had the Sea Olympics. My sea did not win but it was a great break from classes. We reach Myanmar in about 36 hours but of course this won’t be sent ‘til I am there!

Ciao                                        

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