Our camera arrived last night! YAY!!! I now have the pictures from Nha Trang, Vietnam. This was Isabel's favorite stop because of the mud spa we visited:
|Our tour guide Thom!|
|Cool building in Nha Trang|
|Happy New Year|
|Entrance to Nha Trang Big Buddha temple|
|A little shocking to see the swatstika. Old religious symbol from before the Nazis.|
|Take off your shoes before you enter the temple.|
|You rub the Buddha's elbow for luck|
|Dedicated to the monks who protested the war by setting themselves on fire.|
|Cemetery in Nha Trang monastery.|
|This bell is used by the locals when their baby's are fussy. The sound inside the bell is soothing.|
|Weaving mats with the locals|
|Weaving mats wight he locals.|
|Lets of mud bathing!|
|Massaging jets that sprayed directly into Isabel's eyes!|
|Mineral water bath|
After we left Nha Trang, our next stop was Ho Chi Minh City, or old Saigon. This day was... annoying/interesting/frustrating.
Our tour guide ( or who we THOUGHT was out guide) met us at the ship. We hopped into our van and headed out of the port. I asked the driver if we could stop and get some Pho for breakfast. He nodded and said "yes." We got excited.
As soon as we left the port, our driver jumped out of the van and switched with another man who waiting...???
With the new driver, I again asked if we could stop for Pho. He wouldn't respond. I asked 3 times and there was no response... Chris asked... and then he replied "No" and continued driving.
We were stumped... What do we do now?
I realized he wouldn't acknowledge me. I think it is because I am a woman...huh...
Finally, and hour into the drive, we made it clear to driver that he needed to call the tour company. I tried to ask for an additional tour guide who spoke English, but they were not able to have anyone meet us. We were dropped off at the Reunification Palace in Saigon (similar to our White House).
|Outside the port|
After getting back in the car, we requested Pho again. Our driver called the company and I was finally escalated to someone who spoke sufficient English. I explained that we were frustrated with the lack of ability to communicate. We only wanted Pho and shopping.
The company explained this to our driver and he quickly delivered us to a Pho shop across from the main market area. We were sooooo happy!!!
|The restroom sign|
After lunch, we went to the market across the street and were able to score some durian ( stinky fruit). We headed outside to try it out. I wasn't too disgusted by it, but Isabel didn't like it. Chris... vomited! LOL!
So then... Isabel and I almost were run over!
Our driver was parked across the street and we headed over to his direction. We got his attention and headed toward the car from behind the car. As I opened the back door to put Isabel inside, the driver started moving the car forward!!! I pulled Isabel back into me as I was dragged about 3 feet by the car. We started screaming and he stopped the car. He was trying to pull it forward to give us more room to open the doors. I was PISSED! We got into the car and headed towards the port.
By the time we arrived at the port, I was calmed down, but happy to see our ship. I asked our driver how much money I needed to pay for the tour and he REFUSED payment! Maybe because the tour company approved it, maybe because he almost ran us over...
Whichever one it was, I was happy I didn't have to pay for this mediocre day. Not the best introduction to Saigon.
Vietnam as whole, which was what I was looking the most forward to, was a disappointment. I would give it another try, but generally, I much prefer Orlando's Vietnam to ACTUAL Vietnam, Vietnam... I know how American that sounds, but that is how I feel...
I kinda miss Pho Hoa off Colonial Rd in Orlando now. I guess I better go visit them now and enjoy the food and culture I have come to love.