Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Vietnam, 36 hours later!

It took a while to leave Kingston for good because my dear husband had left his wallet at home...  So we had to turn back to retrieve the very important piece of equipment.

Thirty-six hours of travel and we finally made it here, in Vung Tau Vietnam, where Logan and Toan are from.  I'd like to say it was a smooth journey but we had a few small problem along the way.  For start, it is not recommended to forget your wallet when you travel abroad.  Michael realized he had done so as we were almost halfway to the airport.  Then, we managed to drive past the airport... about 20 minutes past the airport!

The take-off in Toronto was fairly rough, thanks to Sandy!  For Michael to almost barf, it says it all!  Myself, as always during take-off or landing, was on the verge of a panic attack.

Eva Airway is fan-tas-tic.  The cabin crew members are stunning beauties, to the point where it's hard not to stare!  The food never ceased coming, always served with the most beautiful smiles: take that Air Canada...!

Taipei airport has beautiful facilities.  I only wish the Toronto airport authorities would have the same focus on customer service, cleanliness and the level of service.

We landed in Saigon and were welcomed by the ever friendly lady who works for our agency.  We left some luggage at the hotel in Saigon where we will be staying from Nov 3 on.  We took a cab to the boat to Vung Tau.

The ferry fleet to Vung Tau consists of former Russian hydrofoils.  Maintenance is questionable but it is a comfortable, fast, interesting boat ride which is also an eye opener.  I would recommend it to anyone who is travelling to Vietnam.  The boarding and unboarding is interesting as you have to cross some wooden planks over open water...  sort of like a wooden ladder laying down, all the while you are lugging whatever luggage you decided to take.

Once in Vung Tau, we took a cab to our hoter, the Green Hotel, situated on back beach.  The hotel is ok.  Listed as a 4 star, maybe would get a 2 star rating in Canada.  But on the upside, it is inexpensive (25$ CDN per night) and has an excellent all-inclusive breakfast.

We went on a stroll by foot after we settled.  Michael and I can't help but try to imagine what our sons' lives would have become had they stayed here.  People look happy though, perhaps due to the fact that this is all they know.  Our western eyes see it all from a different perspective, somewhat shocking.  We walked a good distance, stopped for a Vietnamese coffee at the Cafe Garden III, and then made it to Good Morning Vietnam for a pizza and a glass of wine.

We took a cab back to the hotel as it is dark from 6pm on and it is not recommended to walk in the darkness.  We skyped home to talk to the kids, it felt so good to see them all smiling.

By 7pm, we had absolutely no juice left and we went to bed.  we managed to sleep until 3am, then we both took a melatonine which carried us to 6am.  All in all, a very surprising good night sleep!

We got up this morning and went for a run on the beach at low tide.  Amazing how many people were already there, collecting their work for the day: seafood, seashells, scanning for any metal left by the tide, and the odd expat taking a walk.  We ran 4K, the toughest 4K in a long time.  You say HOT and HUMID!!!  I don't remember ever sweating as much.

We indulged in a nice breakfast, very far from your typical western breakfast, but this is not why we are here.  Vietnamese coffee is exquisite and we had a beautiful view of the beach.

We are waiting for a friend to come and meet us for fun times today.  We might ask her to take us on a tour of a bouddhist pagoda.  We will be going to Lan Rung for lunch and then off to the orphanage where our sons are from.  We brought sidewalk chalk, thanks to people who contributed in helping us find it outside of season in Canada, and we will spend time playing with the children.  Again, seeing those left behind will be sad, for sure.  I hope not to see familiar faces from last year, but I know I will.

1 comment:

  1. Quelle arrivée!C'est palpable ce que tu écris. J'aime ça.
    Ta cousine