Vietnam

Vietnam

I traveled to Vietnam in October.  Before going I read several books on the history of Vietnam and its relationship with China.  It didn’t take long for me to discover that the Vietnam War was most likely about China and the USA, not necessarily about the Vietnamese and the Americans.  I flew to Hanoi and visited the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, quietly filing past his body on display.  The traffic was chaotic and busy with lots of bicycle taxis.  I rode one to the market where I saw all sorts of food displayed from snakes and eels to rats.  The neatest thing I saw was a water puppet show.  It was amazing and very entertaining, difficult to describe.  The puppets were on top of the water and were manipulated by cables.   I traveled north several hours to Ha Long Bay on the Gulf of Tonkin, a resort area that was serenely beautiful and mystical.  I boarded a teak sampan and cruised the bay among the islands that appeared so lush it was as if I was in the movie “Lord of The Rings.”  I spend the night gently rocking in a lovely room.  The food was fresh and delicious.  The experience was one of the most memorable and totally unexpected.   I coached back to Hanoi passing through a small town having lunch at the golf course resort.  The caddys were all beautiful young women and men and the food was quite good.   There were many foreigners playing golf.   Upon return to Hanoi I went to the airport for a short flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia.  The airport was not busy.  That’s when I realized that the Vietnamese people cannot easily leave their country, hard to imagine for a world traveler.