Worldwide Travel Blog
Worldwide Travel Blog Worldwide Travel Blog Worldwide Travel Blog Worldwide Travel Blog Worldwide Travel Blog Worldwide Travel Blog

 DAY TEN - Flower Market, Vietnam

Previous Blogs: Day 1 Tokyo | Day 2 Tokyo | Day 3 & 4 Singapore | Day 5 Singapore | Day 6 Ho Chi Minh City | Day 7 Ho Chi Minh City & Tunnels

Day 8 Can Tho | Day 9 Floating Market | Day 10 Flower Market | Day 11 Hoi An | Day 12 My Son Temple | Day 13 Hanoi | Day 14-16 Halong Bay

Day 17 Luang Prabang | Day 18 Temples-Waterfalls | Day 19 Mekong River | Day 20-21 Bagan | Day 22 Bagan | Day 23 Inle | Day24-25 Inle

Day 26-27 Finale

Click photos for a larger image...

Today was a day of just driving back to Saigon where we are spending the night before an early flight to Dan Nang, and then driving to the city of Hoi An.

Along the highway you see tons of these structures pictured on the left.

This is a rest stop for the locals. As much long distance traveling is done on scooters, you can appreciate you will need regular stops, hence these places. You can get something to drink and eat and they all have hammocks so you can get some shut eye too!

In Vietnam they drive on the right just like the USA, which is kinda strange because they drive on the other side of the road in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan.

However, they seem to hang in the fast lane and pass slower traffic on the right, which is the slow lane????.

Vietnam is the only country in Asia that uses a Western alphabet for their written language. This is because the language originated from China but the dialect changed so much the Chinese characters were no longer applicable and in order to communicate in writing in Vietnam, you had to learn Chinese first. So in the 17th Century, the French Jesuit Missionaries "created" a written language for Vietnam.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause! An honest to Goodness Christmas Shop in Vietnam! They LOVE Christmas!  Interesting as the majority of the country has "no" religion.  Everyone LOVES Christmas here!  Apparently, only Americans aren't allowed to celebrate anymore.  :(

Our only sightseeing stop was at a flower market. As the Chinese Lunar New Year is coming up soon, the flower business goes crazy. I have never seen so many flowers in one place before.


By the way, if you think going to the Flower Growing Capital of Asia (they literally supply ALL of Asia with 75% of flowers) is wussy....our other choice was a snake farm.  Wendy made the decision, and (call me a wuss) I FULLY support her flower choice!

Since these are family farms, the family is buried in the farm.

Talk about walking the plank to get to your boat! There is NO WAY I would walk this plank!

I wonder if our clients could handle an outboard engine like this? They would be chopping people's faces up backing off the island!

We arrived back in Saigon at about 4 pm with enough time to go for a walk and buy some supplies for the evening.

What's interesting is that there is no dedicated parking for scooters, they just pull up on the side walk wherever they can sometimes blocking it completely so that you have to step in the street to get by.

Walking across pedestrian walkways can be challenging because scooters stop for no man! However once you get the hang of it, no problem. The secret is to keep walking slowly, do not stop or speed up, or run, maintain the same slow pace. That way the riders can determine where you are going to be and will weave around you without a problem. It's still terrifying!  (Think of it like trying to avoid a squirrel in the road!!!).

As a rider, this takes practice. Our guide said that more tourists are killed renting and driving a scooter than in any other fashion. Leave it to the pros!

Below is a video I took of a busy intersection, note how the scooters weave criss-crossing each other when headed in different directions.

Really, once you get the hang of crossing a small street or multilane highway, it's quite easy. The system will not get you killed.  Um....unlike Egypt and India where there is no system.
Wendy's Note:  The more time I spend in Vietnam, the more "Western" they are. My expectations of this country were much like Thailand and Cambodia (developing).  I am significantly surprised how industrial, how wealthy and educated Vietnamese people are.  It truly is a beautiful country.  But I think I want.....less Western.  Also, learning about their "Socialist" government is not what we Westerners think of "Socialism".   More to come on these thought as we've only been here a few days.  As we travel northward the life is a little different there, according to our guide.  It's fun to get 3 sides of the truth. 
"Sea" you in Da Nang tomorrow!!

Tạm biệt  (Good Bye!)