Vietnam

Posted on July 27, 2012

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I am officially back on US soil, and have been working while I re-adjusted to the time difference. This post has taken me well over a month to write since I have been back, but I think part of it has to do with the large amount of things that occurred in such a short time. Every time I have attempted to write this post, I have given up before I even finished a paragraph. Why? Who knows. Maybe it’s the pressure of writing about my brother’s home country knowing he will read this. While we were in Vietnam he asked: “So, is this going on your blog?” I nodded my head and thought How does he know I have a blog? Oh sh*t, now this post has to actually be good!

So what have I been doing since being back? I threw myself back in the grind working a ton and at the same time, taking a very intensive graduate level Spanish course in grammar/syntax, and I am close to hating it. The mere thought of it makes me want to cry, vomit and pass out all at the same time. Despite all of this, I have Vietnam remaining fresh on my mind.

Vietnam was a great experience and I would go back in a heartbeat. I will start with Hué, which is by far my favorite place that I have visited, but perhaps I am feeling a bit biased based upon the fact that it is my brother’s hometown, and his family was nice enough to take us out and show us what makes Hué a truly special place. The first thing I love about Hué is that it does not exist to attract tourists, but it attracts tourists because it simply exists. It calls out the inner tourist, the inner adventurer, the inner traveler and inner need to look at something real. Personally, while I like museums and some historical things, I love seeing people in their real element and Hué did not disappoint. I got to eat a lot of specialties, but I also got to go to markets and watch people selling their items and see how they actually live din the present, not 50 years ago. The whole purpose of this trip was to meet my brother’s family and see where he grew up and spent his earlier days. Although I was only able to stay for two days, I quickly fell in love and would hop at the chance to go back. There is a festival that attracts tourists every year, and I hope to go during that time someday. Bottom line, what Disney is to a smal child, Hué was to me. The picture below comes with a funny story in the caption to see the owner’s photos you can click here.

This is one of the many specialty dishes in Hué. The owner of this particular restaurant is a photographer and gave me postcards of his work

Lunch with my brother’s family

Inside one of the citadels

Taken from a xiclo (I am sure I just butchered that spelling… sorry bro!)

Hoi An was the second place that we visited. In order to get there, we had to drive over a mountain. This is a place that tourists would normally hit. The city seems to heavily rely on it’s tourists, while showing many beautiful and historical aspects that on would expect to see. I was able to see some cultural dances and see some of the old architecture.

We stopped in the mountains so I could take pictures

The zoom on my mom’s camera is so good that I was able to photo-stalk this guy from the top of a mountain

The boats in Hoi An have eyes to help fishermen through stormy weather

The last place we went to was Ho Chi Minh City. This is a very modern city, so if you are one for staying in the comforts of something modern and urban with the ability to choose between Vietnamese food or Subway, this is the place for you to go. While I was unable to see a lot of the city, there is a lot of really cool markets one can visit. Another cool aspect is the fact that you can buy brand name items for a fraction of the price you would buy them in the United States, but only if you’re into it. I am not, so therefore I did not go.

An engrish mixup… can you see it?

Each place was so unique in terms of personality, and I was able to see which place fit me best.

Advice:

Drink a ton of water

Dress appropriately

Bring a hat

Learn a little Vietnamese it will make your life a lot easier

Remember that all produced is washed in the water!! (not for the weak stomachs)

 

Until Next Time Vietnam!

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Posted in: Vietnam