Sunday, March 08, 2009

Vietnam Family Trip- Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang
Before starting my post, here are some pictures of us on our way to Vietnam.
Our bus ride to Narita airport in Tokyo
One of the many crazy freeway signs in Tokyo
One of the play areas in Narita airport

We went on this walkway at least a dozen times

After shopping for my new bag, I headed back to the hotel room. Eric told me the girls were asleep and to go get a foot message. Our hotel has a real nice message parlor and we had seen the poster in the elevator for it. The elevator arrived and I was greeted by a pretty lady who spoke a little English. She pointed out the different options and I chose the massage with lava stones for 75 minutes. Only $19 (and that's on the expensive end for Vietnam). Turns out it was more like 90 minutes and wasn't just a foot message, ended up being more like a full body message. I enjoyed it! Plus, the girls were still asleep when I got back!
Here are some pictures of Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon). All are taken around Ben Than Market or our hotel (Lavender Hotel).
A busy intersection. No lights and no rules when it comes to driving here.

This is Ben Than Market, I wish I would have spent more time shopping there. We haven't seen as good of selection anywhere else. Imagine any time of purse, shoes, clothes, food, jewelry, sun glasses, and watches, you can find it there.
Less busy early in the morning

We asked the front desk if they had any suggestions for good local food within walking distance. We ended up at a pretty busy restaurant and the food turned out to be ok. I randomly picked something and boy was it salty with a side of kimchi (didn't know that when I ordered it). It wasn't very good. However, Eric's beef was good and the girls had some sticky rice with some meat on top. We even had some drinks and our bill was just over $10.
I commented earlier about the friendliness of the locals, well it was proved again at the restaurant. Mostly every worked came over to see the girls. Some of them would touch Etta and one girl picked Etta up and took her outside to show her off to other workers. She came back a few minutes later with candy in hand. It's fun watching the girls get fawned all over.
We took a short domestic flight to Nha Trang which is a tourist destination with beautiful beaches. It took less than 60 minutes by air then another 30 minutes by vehicle to get to our hotel. I went through a travel company so we got a huge vehicle with driver and guide. He tried giving us information about Nha Trang along the drive, but the girls were unruly and tired by then so we didn't hear or understand most of it. We got settled in, relaxed, and then found our way to a local brewery and restaurant. Other than the complete tantrum Etta through inside the restaurant, dinner was wonderful. Even I liked the beer, there's a pool for patrons to use, as well as being on the beach. Five beers, two juices, three meals, and dessert came to about $30.

Our hotel in Nha Trang, Asia Paradise
Louisiane Brewhouse
We had a tour planned for the next day. Our driver and guide picked us up and drove about an hour through Nha Trang. We saw some of the local sites without stopping, our destination was an out of the way beach. It's more common for locals to hang out at there. It's fairly shallow with very little wave action. The girls loved it as well as all the dirt! The girls were fawned over plenty while we were there, even Chloe got groped twice by women trying to find out if she's a girl or boy. Etta and Chloe or now retaliating on the locals when they are getting touched, hugged, or looked at. They turn there heads away or come running for Eric and I, it's funny.

After the beach and seafood lunch we were taken to Monkey Island. Of course there are monkeys there. In 1985, 30 monkeys were brought to the island for research and now there are 1,500. We were given some monkey food and got to feed as many monkeys as we could. The older monkeys only wanted the peanuts and the little monkeys would take anything they could. Later we saw lots of baby monkeys picking up the popcorn off the ground since the big ones didn't want them.

After feeding the monkeys we watched a little circus show with monkeys, dogs, and goats. It's one of the strangest things I've seen, but yet entertaining. See the pictures to get an idea of what we saw!


Vicki said...

Wow, looks like you guys are having fun! I love the picture of the street sign. We must be way too simple here in the U.S. :)

Tara said...

I love seeing your pictures and reading all about your trip. How exciting! It looks like you had a great experience. How was the pho, by the way? :-)