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Vietnam

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Hanoi to Danang

The last day in Hanoi was supposed to be a little stroll around the lake near the hotel and a leisurely ride to the airport to catch our plane to Danang. However, we had seen a picture in the bar at the hotel that we both liked (an unusual event) and we asked about it. We then remembered that the gallery we had been to earlier in the day had other works by the same artist. Our stroll turned into a mad taxi ride to the gallery, plus a frantic look, a photo op with the industrious staff, and an eventual purchase.

The plane to Hanoi was delayed and delayed, ultimately for four hours. This was our first delay on the trip. Consequently, we arrived at the resort (the courtyard of the resort is at right) just in time to unpack the bags and go to dinner. The food in Vietnam has been excellent and remained so with the evening meal.

The Furama is considered the best resort in the Da Nang area, at least for the time being, since a lot more resorts are planned for this part of Viet Nam. It is on the site of one of the many former US military installations in this area. Our room, which is decorated in a bit of a funky Tahiti style, looks out on the ocean. The resort is surrounded by the worst slums we have seen so far, and they are also on the ocean. The slums were really hard hit by a devastating typhoon about a month ago. Speaking of which, when we arrived it was windy and periodically raining and we were told that in two or so days, would you believe, another typhoon! Mist and fog and rain and smog, so why not a typhoon? It is beginning not to phase us. Next it will have to rain frogs, because there aren't many meteorological alternatives left.

Danang is really a very poor and rural city, although it's running to catch up with the development of Hanoi and HCM City (Ho Chi Minh City, aka Saigon). The guide we have is very personable, very knowledgeable, and worked to keep us busy. We started at a museum (I hate museums) and progressed to an old seaport city that died and found an afterlife in the tourist trade because it got designated as a World Heritage site. I felt sorry for the guide who brought us to a marble and embroidery factory only to find that we were not interested in making a purchase. But CC had a traditional Vietnamese silk dress made by some enterprising women who had set up shop in an arcade of the Furama. She looks smashing in that all black outfit, which I want her to wear when we go to see Madame Butterfly at the Kennedy Center next month.

We ended the trip with lunch. I was frankly concerned with what we would be served as we were out in the country and the surrounding countryside was squalid and rundown. Surprise, the place was outstanding. Clean, beautiful, interesting and the food delicious. We returned to the hotel to rest and take a walk on the beach. Tomorrow at noon we leave for our last stop, Saigon.

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Hanoi-1 | Hanoi-2 | Danang | Saigon | Observations

HOME  |  AUSTRALIA 2003  |  ACROSS AMERICA  |  IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA  |  VIETNAM  |  AFRICA  |  AROUND THE WORLD 2009  |  SOUTH AMERICA 2009  |  LEGENDARY CULTURES 2011
  |  TURKEY AND GREECE  |  CIRCLE THE ARCTIC