farewell vietnam

nha trang beach

nha trang was our last beach destination in south east asia. we will fondly remember our hotel stay there as it was the nicest place we had stayed in a long while. our hotel was 2 blocks from the beach, provided a scrumptious and free breakfast, had cable tv, a mini fridge, air conditioning and an extremely comfortable feather top bed. all for $24 a night! 3 cheers for ha van flamingo suites!

communal mud baths
we decided to take one of the tours that was offered by the hotel to the thap ba mineral & mud spa. neither of us had ever tried one and it was comfortably in our budget if we used the communal mud bath and not the couples romantic type bath. as it turns out we were treated to our own communal bath and were able to float flat out in the mud...like pigs...in mud...
once we were slathered and soaked in the cool mud we were instructed to bake in the sun. after you could no longer crack a smile without cracking the mud we showered under the hot mineral water to get clean...very clean as the signs specified. several people ahead of us were sent back to get cleaner still before being allowed into the soaking pools of hot mineral water. the rest of the afternoon was ours to enjoy leisurely by the swimming pools and waterfall. one of the pools was filled with 38 degree mineral water and had an amniotic affect on me. i just wanted to curl up and go to sleep right there in the pool...dangerous to be sure!

large hot mineral spa

after relaxing until we felt like jello we were dropped off at the cham tower which was close by. it was a small but `superb´example of temples built in vietnam by the cham dynasty between the 7th and 12th century.

po nagar cham tower

vietnamese women leaving the towers

(note: it´s ok to wear pj´s to pray...or anything else for that matter)

ho chi minh city hall

our last stop in vietnam was ho chi minh city. we were really looking forward to this part of our vietnam trip. not because of hcmc but because we would be there for tet and would be meeting our friends ron and ali again.
tet is short for Tết Nguyên Đán which is the lunar new year celebration in vietnam. it is a huge deal and used to last for a month but now with modern society what it is, it has been reduced to 4 days.

chuc mung nam moi! happy new year! buy a balloon!

the streets after the fireworks on nye
we were on our way to try out a local bar with ron and ali on nye. we were prevented from making it to our destination as there were crowds and crowds of people on the streets. at one point the crowd got so thick that we couldn´t go any further so we decided to stick it out and see why everyone was gathering. a while later we were rewarded for our patience with fireworks shooting over the river nearby. we were so close to the fireworks that we were sprinkled with their ashes...in some cases still smoldering ashes. the walk back to our hotel was quite an adventure. throngs of people were walking and even more were on their scooters. you cannot even imagine how many people were on the streets that night. crossing the street was akin to frogger at its highest level! what a way to end our visit to vietnam.

1 comment:

gayle said...

You guys will have such awesome memories of Asia. Your adventure has been truly amazing! Love and Miss you Mom/Gayle