Our final stop was Hà Nội, the capital city of Vietnam. We visited my aunt’s daughter and her family. She gave us a tour of the city. We visited temples and Hồ Hoàn Kiếm or the Lake of the Returned Sword. This lake was known for the myth of the magic sword. It was where the giant golden turtle surfaced and presented Emperor Lê Lợi with a magic sword to help battle his enemies. When the battles were completed, Emperor Lê Lợi returned the sword to the turtle.
We did not have time to visit Hạ Long Bay (the Descending Dragon) and many other cities north of Vietnam. We ran out of time and had to return to Sài Gòn within a few days.
Once we got back to Sài Gòn, Chris and I went on our own to visit Vũng Tàu Beach. It was a run-down little beach town. It was not as nice as it is now. Chris wanted to see if there was any surfing available. We took a two-hour bus experience to Vũng Tàu. It was an interesting experience on the bus. At 5 feet 9, Chris was a giant to most Vietnamese. We had to pay for two-seat tickets just for Chris. The beach was empty and there were very few waves not enough to surf yet. We bumped into vendors who had never seen a white person before. They were mesmerized by Chris’ hairy forearms. A young Vietnamese man thought Chris was very handsome. He kept staring. It was awkward.
My Final Thoughts
Vietnam has evolved leap and bound since 1994. I have visited it again this past 2016 and it has become a beautiful scenic must-go place in Asia. I barely mentioned the Vietnamese mouth-watering food portion of my trip. The government welcomes all travelers and Việt Kiều. It is a much easier place to travel now.
The large cities such as Sài Gòn, Huế, and Hà Nội have cleaned up a lot. The homemade gas stations were gone and the pollution have been reduced tremendously. However, it is much more crowded now than before. Roads expanded and more toll roads were built to accommodate travelers and the tourist industry.
Reflecting on my life now and then, Vietnam is great to visit but for me, my life and family are here in America.
Have you visited Vietnam? Would you like to go? Any questions or feedback are welcome. Please leave them below.
Sources of Images: