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Have been back since last Thursday a.m. Of course, both of us have hacking coughs (we can't shake) but not colds. Probably due to the air pollution. Other than that and the lessening jet lag we are fine.

The trip itself was awesome as the kids say. The flight there was the trip from hell however once we arrived it was (mostly) worth it. 32 hrs in all flying/layover etc.....

We saw fantastic sights & sites. Went from N. Vietnam through to Central to South Vietnam including the Mekong Delta. A beautiful country but the poverty is indescribable, the lack of infra-sturcture, the air pollution etc....but friendly, wonderful people throughout the country. the south retains some of the infra-sturcture built with U.S. taxpayer dollars during the war, nothing has been maintained/fixed/repaired etc....but some of it ( the roads/bridges/ports/airfields - {that Bernie built <BG>) is still there. Hanoi, Hue, the rest of the North and Central have nothing...and probably never will have nothing!!! The people are impossibly poor, begging on the streets and sidewalks (what they have of it) is rampant. The children do much of the begging and they are pitiful and beautiful. The women throughout Vietnam and Cambodia are absolutely gorgeous. The men,not so! (wonder why). The women are slim, beautiful faces and bodies. We never did see a "fat" Vietnamese or Cambodian - maybe the lack of $ and food????

Cambodia's Angor WAt was the reason I went. What a site? What a sight? It was everything I thought it would be, architectural ruins and temples from the 7th century - a combination of Hindu and Buddhism - I loved it! Miles and miles of statues, drawings, figures,ruins,climbing up and down and walking through acres of temples along with the other tourists (not too terribly crowded though) and Buddhist Monks. We visited monasteries, prayer sites, climbed tricky stairs and paths, rode in Vietnamese Junks, visited (open) caves with stalactites, and stalagmites.....slippery, wet, paths to unbelievable formations etc....


An experience of a lifetime and now I can remove Anghor Wat from my bucket list.

We ate at local homes, made friends with some of the local people - so hospitable and interesting to talk with, visited the Hanoi War Museum (totally one-sided deriding everything American - very upsetting) however, one has to keep in mind this country is a Communist dictatorship and they do idolize Ho Chi Mingh! We saw water puppet hows, engaged in cooking demonstrations, visited a Vietnamese Orphanage which tore our hearts out, visited a gazillion pagodas, walked through ancient towns, saw fishing villages where the people live/sleep/work/play etc...no hygienic conditions here! Visited the formerly French resort city of Dalat which was lovely, visited silk/marble/lacquer ware factories etc....Toured several ethnic villages, people from the hill country and jungles, visited schools, even Universities - very interesting conversations with students/teachers etc...

Ate monotonously of chicken/rice/fish/soup 3X/day, 7 days/week - I don't think I ever want to eat stir fry again. The food was not bad, just too much of the same thing. Guess that's their diet but they must have some variety...surely!


Overseas Adventure Travel was very good - I would recommend them. There were 15 of us, very comfortable with each other and we made some good friends. As you know, I went with family members (2 of my brothers) and miraculously we are still speaking <lol>

We were busy constantly although had several parts of days of "free" time which was great! Gave us a chance to wander around and explore on our own.

It was, as all our trips, not a vacation!!! Maybe we just don't know how to do that. There's so much on my bucket list and so little time to see it all,right? I can sleep in another life! ;)


Anyway, that's a brief update, will "chat" more later....
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