Walking in District One – Malls, shopping, restaurants, and all the other stuff too…

Today I wandered primarily in District One (I think). I had decided to spend a day downtown and see the malls, the city center buildings, the post office and that kinda stuff. It was a pretty good day except for some continuing rather sad personal news of a friend I worked with previously. There’s nothing good that comes out of divorce folks. I’ve tried mightily to not say much about it here if anything at all besides maybe a passing bitterness. In my own case, I have left so much behind but in all honesty divorce is never-ending. You do not just wake up one morning and say,

well so much for that. New start. Gonna take care of some new stuff

At least it was not that way for me.

So I thought a bit as I walked the city about my friend. Then it dawned on me there are actually two people going through the same thing at the same time. So I guess I count my lucky stars that I was able to get through that, reach a point where I could retire, and then hit the road forever. The path to get to the retirement is always interesting but what really is unique I think for each person that leaves forever is how they did it.

I thought about that walking in the Vincom Mall and having Ice Cream today. Thought about it over Vietnamese Coffee and banana bread this morning around the corner from my home stay.

Enough said on it. Too bad I cannot do that with the thoughts that come.

I do want to say some things about the downtown area where the huge blocks are, with malls and banks and small blocks with restaurants and little shopping districts. Ho Chi Minh City is unbelievable folks. The idea you can walk a block or three and go from local shops to mega-malls, upscale restaurants I would never eat at is amazing but has to be seen to be believed. Then there are the backpacker millennials, the old guys like me, the urban socialites and a whole bunch of Japanese people suddenly like a mixed salad and tossed together. Combine that with a hearty dose of beautiful architecture, wondrous places to stop and examine like the Post Office, and the government buildings and you have this city that is truly amazing to spend more time in.

Each day after the morning coffee wherever I go, I can decide on a basic direction that my walk will take me but it never ends up that way. I alway find myself down other streets, looking at the street food stalls, saying hello to friendly young people and kids and taking pictures of security guards all over the place.

If you are gonna travel Asia and are casting about for a place to go, may I humbly suggest a few weeks in Vietnam? I would set an itinerary to cover at least:

  1. Hanoi. You must see Hanoi so you can see the differences between it and Ho Chi Minh City. But go to Hanoi and exit the old quarter. Get yourself to other places and see what Hanoi really is. I was always amazed by the change in walking just a few blocks there.
  2. Hue. You must see Hue. Take a day tour of the tombs of three of the emperors and see the difference in how they lived and prepared for the after life waiting for them. Eat the local foods in Hue. See the forbidden city and palace. Also walk the non touristy parts and see the genuine people that live there. Fascinating and wonderful and such a glimpse into the imperial past of Vietnam.
  3. Hoi An. I would say this place offers a few things. If you want clothing made it could be that you should wait and get there. But most of all go there for the nights when the city is lit up. You must see it.
  4. Finally, Ho Chi Minh City. I think you do this last because it will assault your senses and make you question all the other places. What a mix of things! A beaitful skyline, small shops, wondrous restaurants, a true international flavor.

I’ll finally put a plug into walking. For the most part I walk the cities. I do this because with a camera in hand, you stand the chance of seeing things completely missed on tours, on buses, bikes, cars, or tractors or whatever. Foot power is the most basic of methods to see it all and be a part of it all. You are at the level of everyone else and smiles, hello’s, places all come alive.

So there in a nutshell you have my recommendations for some weeks in Vietnam. You can tie this all together in many ways. The truth is that Hoi An and Hue are close to Danang. You could just add Danang and use it for a base of operations for a few weeks. Maybe you need a month in Vietnam. Don’t hurry. Take your time. So much to see and you will see more if you travel slow. Remember to bring your appetite. Because eating and drinking here are the things! And you so want to be a thing, right? 😉

Unfolding Days and Reasons to create – see what you think!

While here in Ho Chi Minh City have been staying in a homestay which is a rather fun experience. I have a room that I think is pretty nice with a great AC which is really appreciated. The cable TV gets some English channels. Then there’s the food. The home owner believes I just do not eat enough food because she fills my plate up numerous times with homemade Vietnamese food. I cannot tell her “No” really because it just happens anyways. So I eat! She sits and talks with me. Sometimes she asks me where I went that day because I told her I walk every day with the camera.

The homestay experience is pretty cool since you live in a real home with the family there. Boys, girls, parents, etc. Its an interesting experience. I think if you want to experience what its really like, the homestay thing is good! She also does my laundry every day. I’ll be setting out one change of clothing she will do and return to me in a day for free.

There is plenty of privacy here too. Once I go upstairs to my room, that’s it. She gets back to her husband and kids and mom and I watch some TV, perhaps look at my photographs for the day and start deciding what I should do the next day.

A fun thing here has been finding a new coffee shop each day that has food. I found a great one today but its a bit of a walk so tomorrow there is one basically around the corner which I will try. I do have a few which I really like a lot. I will probably go back at some point to them but there are so many here that I can be here 30 days and not really go back to one.

Sitting at the K Mart and thinking…

It seems some days I stop for water and perhaps see a thing which strikes me and I will sit on the curb and watch people going by, take photographs of what I see, think about things. Today was no exception. I was thinking through what I’ve done since I left the states. My time in Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong. I started this whole thing on 1 March leaving the states after retiring. I had wondered what it would be like to stay longer in a place. For me, longer is three months to a year. I am not interested in racking up the countries and stamps in my passport. What I really want to do is live in a place and settle down a bit. I did that in Hanoi. Its worked well for me.

Then I can do the shorter trips like to Halong Bay, Hoi An, and Hue. I get to get away to a place, see the sights there, do the same stuff I like doing but during shorter getaways. The trip to Hue was a great one for that. Soon after that trip I was leaving for Hong Kong and then I would ride the train from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.

I will do short trips in Da Lat when I get there as well. I already have two planned.

So what this has left me with is a consideration of how things have worked, what my expectation was, whether I would want to ever do something more with the blog, and whether I would want to. For how things have worked, I’ve not made many huge errors. I understood how the visa process worked here and knew I had to leave for a visa run. I also had an idea about what I would do in Vietnam and the places I may want to go. Some places I added later.

Then there’s the final question about the blog and its place. I asked this question because I was reading a blog post over on Lets Vagabond and they mention turning the blog into something more than a travel blog. Perhaps a resource for the vagabonder to understand the ways and means they employed to break free. But I think there is even more than that. People are genuinely curious about what it takes from a planning perspective I think. What to do about things like mail, banking, phone service, US phone services. I think what is probably needed is a resource type site which can provide a deeper level of information for people departing their current situations and perhaps taking on the wanderer role. On top of that, there are the ways and means to get around in a new country, ways to plan the travel and maximize the resources that are provided for travel in Asia. I sometimes think a spreadsheet or table type thing that would let people browse the choices and make decisions that they may end up changing later but the resource base is there.

I have never seen a resource site tailored to people leaving forever. A life spent wandering sounds romantic and carefree and fun. And it is. But my belief is that you cannot leave the things at home to happenstance. The plan for leaving must be as good or better than the one you designed for the new place.

I also think there is a danger of over planning where you try to satisfy all the uniqueness by answering the question one woman asked me at a Pho place in Hanoi,

Where will you be a year from now?

I had no idea.

Getting back to this blog…

Now getting back to this weblog and some closing thought since I have been rambling on for awhile. My blog, Mikes Thoughts, is not meant to be a travel blog even though I blog things about my walks and places I go. It really is meant to encapsulate the life of this Mike. Goods and bads, Thoughts from a one time anthropologist and archeologist and program manager for large IT companies to a retired old guy that gets his kicks wandering roads that turn vigorously left and right. I don’t have ambitions for this blog to be anything more than it is. I want to be able to use it to communicate and create and if you choose to read it, good! If you don’t, I really don’t write this assuming you will read it. I do this more for myself. Perhaps I am the blogger cut from the old threads. Back when I started, bloggers created content. We did not have the monetization, branding, affiliates, ads to concern ourselves with. We simply wanted a place I believe to create. And it becomes like I’ve said before the 5 pound chicken and the 10 pound egg thing. You get constipated and upset and irritable if you don’t create. Its not so that 500 people will like your blog and follow it. Ask yourself, what is the real reason you do this? List it out. I have always done this to create and put words next to each other. The wandering thing and leaving the states happened to come along after I started the blog on wordpress.com.

So those were the thoughts during and after the walk today and perhaps some have been percolating around for awhile. I wanted to create a post that is not about my wandering so no link to photographs today folks.

Give it some thought though why you do this thing. Do you know the history of blogging and perhaps you’ve read some of those founders so to speak of the platform. Its come so far and its so different now. But for me, its the same. I write these things to create and place the words next to each other. I will leave it up to others to lift them higher an create resource content that can be used to help or guide or even transmit the knowledge. I just like to create the words. If you choose to read them, welcome. If not, I don’t really care. I don’t do this for you. Sorry.

The Hem in the Nick of Time in Ho Chi Minh City

Today was something different in Ho Chi Minh City. I decided to go for a longer investigation and get completely lost but I also wanted to find the “hems” or alleys of the city and see them. I also did this in Hanoi. The hems are fun places which are microcosms of the bigger city. Small shops and people come and go. Children run down the alleys laughing and smiling and I can hear the echoes of their “hellos” as they duck into a small shop to buy something or to find friends. I saw similar things in the small streets of Tokyo and Hiroshima. The alleys and small streets are cultural dynamos with people and things coming together in wonderful ways.

Finding a hem to explore is fun as well. You never know if one will end or if there will be connecting alleys that have even more surprises in store as you wander. I wandered one north of the old quarter in Hanoi where it ended and as I was walking back, one of the people sitting out in front motioned me to turn right. She was smiling I think knowing I wanted to explore the hem.

So today in Ho Chi Minh City I found one as well turned out to connect to another street that, in turn, connected to a street I wanted to get back home. I don’t like just taking the iPhone out to check Google Maps without trying to find my way. As I exited the hem today, the other thing I was wanting became evident. A Circle K store with ice cold water waiting for me. Ahh! To sit on the side of the street on a chunk of concrete or a step and drink that water. I felt renovated and continued on but the hem I found would not be repeated today. I don’t know what district it was in or where it connected or started. I also don’t know where it ends because as I turned away it continued across a major street.

So I got away today and got lost but got found. And in the work of doing both I managed to take some photographs of my voyages down a hem and other streets in Ho Chi Minh City. A wonderful day spent with steps and camera. Its like the thing I enjoy more than anything when venturing forth in a place.

Here is a link to the photographs from the day’s explorations. Its just updates to my shared Google Photo album but contains the “today” photos you can view. I will be going back tomorrow to something new or perhaps something old. Perhaps a museum tomorrow or a walk along the District 1 streets or a visit to the market may call me.

Capturing the Day — Another wondrous exploration of this city

Today I set forth late as usual to see this city. My goals were quite simple actually. Get to a street that looked good, power up the camera, walk some steps, and then start taking photographs of things which interest, puzzle, or make me laugh. Truth be told HCMC is a city that makes it easy to be that urban or travel photographer. Its a wonderful transition from quiet blocks to seeing the American Embassy to the Hard Rock Cafe. Then down to the riverside to look at the signature skyline of Ho Chi Minh City. I will go at night one of these nights and capture the scenes then as well but today was a day tour brought to you by my feet and my Fuji X Series camera.

Here are a few images in lieu of uploading to google photos which seems to be a problem now.

A beautiful city to wander in, find yourself, and then get lost again! Tomorrow is a repeat of today just in a different direction with no real purpose to it all.

Just a beautiful day out to experience the city folks. I got my steps in and took my photographs and then got back to my home stay place for some home cooked Vietnamese food. It was all good! Today was good and the reward was the seeing of things along the path I chose so randomly.

Tomorrow, more of the same. A different direction and focus perhaps. I don’t know. Tomorrow has not arrived yet. Tonight I will sit in my room and think about the things I’ve seen and how this slow travel has been so beneficial to seeing Vietnam.

Tomorrow comes along when it does!

Cheeseburgers and Fries in Ho Chi Minh City – Oh yeah!

So normally I write about my walks and the places I see, perhaps share some photographs of those places. I did have an interesting day today and visited a museum and a palace here in Ho Chi Minh City.

There is something else I want to write about and its food. Food on the road. You can imagine in Vietnam or Japan or Hong Kong, that there are restaurants galore. I have to say in Hanoi there was never a lack of places and I am finding my way around Ho Chi Minh City and there are the places as well. But I can only eat so much Pho or Bun Cha or noodles or sticky rice. My system craves something else. So every so often, I must cheeseburger and fry. Its not terribly difficult finding those places. In Hanoi it was S&L Diner. I met the American owner a few times there and we discussed eating in Hanoi and how the ex-pats and travelers visited. Unfortunately it was not always a positive sum game for him. I guess no matter how much you do, there is always someone who wants more.

But way back in Chennai I had a place too called Sparky’s Diner. It was a wonderful mix of food and the chef Thom coming out and talking with the guests. Lemonade was bottomless, the shakes were good, and the place had old signs all over the walls. As you walked downstairs it was like instead of getting out of the auto you had instead entered some kind of time machine and found yourself in a typical American diner.

Here in Ho Chi Minh City I found Chuck’s Burgers. I went tonight and it was everything I could expect. Great burgers and fries! I crave this sometimes I tell you. I have to have a burger and French fries. Why? I don’t know. I think that no matter how far I’ve gone there is still a stub left in me crying out for that one food that I truly love. I can eat local foods at street food stalls, restaurants, small places that only do Pho or Banh Mi. I love all that stuff. But it comes down to wanting a thing.

Like tonight it came down to desiring no steamed rice and veggies and stuff. I wanted the basic cheeseburger the way I like it. I don’t like Mayo or super secret sauces. I like the burger with tomato, lettuce, dill pickle and onion. I like the Fries all crispy and I want a thing of Catsup that will douse them liberally. Then I want to feel like its not a stretch for the place I choose. The fine folks at S&L in Hanoi always made the food the way I asked for it. Thom sadly now deceased knew that the grill in Chennai was an ex-pat and traveler favorite and cooked the same way. The Chucks Burgers guys in Ho Chi Minh City are the same. Its that understated thing with a burger and fries. You are not looking for some kinda big statement. Its that diner fare that satisfies and leaves you happy.

I don’t need it all the time or even most of the time but I know when I do. Its that feeling that a bowl of Pho or Bun Cha just won’t do it. I am craving that food. That one food which I can always find at a place like Hong Kong or Tokyo or Vietnam or Chennai India.

If you vagabond the world, sometimes you need the thing that takes it back home. Maybe just for that one 30 minutes to an hour and the owner from S&L would stop by and chat about eating and food and his happiness at bringing American food to Hanoi. I have the same feeling from Chucks Burgers. Its the case where the burger is just a thing but its the feeling it invokes that makes it more.

Now I’m back in my home stay and my tummy is happy and I feel that tangible satisfaction from giving in to that urge that comes over me for that burger. Another one is Pizza. I will find a good place to do Pizza because Vietnamese people simply love to eat! I had my favorite place in Hanoi for Pizza too. Not often but sometimes after walking and then sitting at Hoan Kiem Lake, I knew.

And that’s the best thing. Food brings the world closer together and I can find that one typical diner dish so common in America. And find the place where the people love to bring it, love to talk about it, love to see people eating.

Thanks to all the places that have fed me. But tonight I am in my happy tummy spot thanks to Chucks Burgers.

The beautiful, urban, small town flavors of Ho Chi Minh City

If I were blindfolded in Hong Kong and whisked to Ho Chi Minh City I may think I was still in Hong Kong or some incredible mix of different cities that make up one city. For this city has the mix of skyline, rivers and parks, beautiful buildings, friendly people, and open sidewalks to meander down. Today was only my first day wandering with the camera and I have some weeks more.

What I saw today reminded me of a mix of cities I have been to. So different than Hanoi and the old quarter. HCMC with its urban sprawl yet quiet streets where tourists were not seen reminds me of some kind of strange space and time travel where I could be whisked between countries and privy to some strange conveyance of machinery and fantasy that would allow me to view all the different HCMC’s there are.

Today being my first day and not really knowing what to expect since I got in at night, I was astounded at the beauty of the city. There are wide central avenues, river walk areas, quiet little parks where a person and his smart phone can sit and take notes. There are the bustling blocks plied with tourists on the hunt for perhaps restaurants and good deals on clothing or souvenirs. There are the little places where the local people hang out and there you see steaming bowls of Bun Cha and Pho.

Then it rains. But the rain is brief. Its like some God decided to wet the earth and then offer the delight of a brief interlude. To prove out my novice hypothesis of many different cities all encompassed in the one, I offer a few photographs of the many.

You may ask and its fair to ask, what does the city mean? What central meaning does it convey to the new vagabond with a camera and time on his hands? It tells me as it rains as I sit over a Vietnamese coffee with milk that there is much to see. Many roads to wander in this city of cities. There is not a single Ho Chi Minh City like there is not a single Hanoi or Hong Kong or Tokyo. Each one with its neighborhoods is a poem of diversity written by the hand of geography and climate and sometimes humor. For you have to have humor to be a vagabond. You have to take the rain that comes in the afternoons in rainy season and understand that’s why there are coffee shops. You have to learn how to gently say “No” to the rickshaw and cab and scooter drivers that ply their trade. I learned that you really don’t want their service because you will see an hour of a city that they think you want to see. There is a city out there beyond the ken of the cycloped and GrabBike. A city that moves in so many different directions. Its like an organic thing that breathes and throbs and likes and dislikes.

Yes, its a city of many cities like every city. Everyone moves to their beat and feels the rhythm of the rain. You can tell when it will rain. Suddenly the wind grows a bit, the sky clouds over and you know that it shall rain and then it shall pass.

This is the nature of the wondrous and sublime city of many cities I find myself in. The city of model sailing ships and majestic skyscrapers. The local Pho shops and markets and the quiet of the home stay.

Will I stay in wonder of this city as my days grow to weeks? I think so. One never learns the mystery of a Hanoi. The city won’t let you see it. It hides behind the rain and thunder and no matter how many steps you walk, it recedes from your view like a shadow as the sun crosses over.

I walked today and it was good. It was a journey of the finding and losing. An old retired guy testing his wings in a new place. If you have a desire to see the entire photo album of the travels of a single day in a wondrous place, here is the link to the album.


30 Hours Later and here I am — at my homestay in Ho Chi Minh City

Wow! What a train trip. I think I saw a part of Vietnam or parts that I would never have imagined only being in cities and some of the more touristy places. Remote places with trees and valleys and no one. A person I met on the train told me the central part was known for the central Forest and it just goes and goes! Then you wake up in the sleeper the next morning and you are seeing rice fields and farmers stretching out to the distance. Just amazing terrain. After some time of that and a few tunnels and stops in smaller cities, we are at the ocean. The train goes down the coast for some hours as well so you get to see just about all the geography.

It was a long train trip but I am so glad I did it! Next time perhaps I would divide it into three smaller trips but I wanted to do this part of the plan and say that I rode almost the entire length of Vietnam. If you ever decide to do the train travels here, few things to note:

  1. Food is cheap and they feed you almost continuously. The dinner was 35,000 VND or about $2.00 US and you get a lot of food. Dinner is the same. Then the people stroll by offering bottled water, snacks, instant noodles all the time. If you are hungry on this train, something is wrong.
  2. This is not a bullet train folks. This train does about 55mph and sometimes slower. It also shares the tracks with freight trains so every so often it stops and lets someone else go.
  3. There are three classes of seating. There is the hard seat (think wooden bench), the soft seat (perhaps it reclines, don’t know), and then there’s the soft berth sleeper type thing. This is 4 to a berth. Go for the sleeper! You will be more comfortable and able to stretch out on a semi soft sleeper.
  4. The train stops and lets off and takes new passengers. This goes on the entire trip to big cities like Danang and smaller ones. But to the credit of the SE5 train, we got to the Saigon Railway Station on time. That’s pretty good for a 30 hour train trip folks
  5. Don’t expect things like wifi on the train but there are USB chargers which was nice since I used my iPhone almost the entire time. My cell provider Viettel was stellar on the trip!

So in a nutshell, in 30 hours and a lot of stops and beautiful country which I captured a few shots of here  on my iPhone you end up all the way in southern Vietnam. In my case at a homestay with a family that cooks dinners every night, provides laundry service for free, and seem to be the greatest people. Tonight I am going to do a little less and get prepared to start seeing the city tomorrow. I’ll find the usual coffee and bakery shop I can visit regularly around the homestay, investigate a new city tomorrow, and see the places I can go with the camera.

Bye for now vagabonders! Happy dreams and new places await!

The Reunification Special SE5 train from Hanoi to Points South

Today is a transit day on the Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City train. I’m sitting in my sleeper berth after the dinner meal. They serve huge portions of rice, veggies, some meat and an egg. All for about 1.73 USD. It was the same for lunch. Now we’re set for the night. The train trip is pretty cool once you leave Hanoi and the northern parts of Vietnam. You get into a huge forest with streams and rivers, rice fields and farmers. It’s a completely different look to Vietnam.

We’re going to be at the halfway point here in a bit. I think Danang is close to it. The train is called the Reunification special and I think there are 3 or 4 of them. The trip from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City covers almost all of Vietnam. There are two or three different passenger classes. There are hard wooden benches, soft chairs and then the sleeper berths. Each berth holds 4 people or more kids and people.

Tomorrow will see us way past the halfway point and we will get to Ho Chi Minh City at some point in the evening. From there it’s a 15 minute cab ride to the Homestay I am at for a month.

I think the train travel here let’s you see a completely different Vietnam and the people are a mix of western backpackers, students, families and workers. It now gets a bit quieter as the kids calm down a bit after dinner and the train rambles on. The sun has just about done it’s disappearing act and it’s the quiet evening time.

An amazing day on the train!

Evening at the Sleep Pod at the Hanoi International Airport

The Hanoi International Airport has sleep pods. These are small roomettes you can rent right at the airport . I guess most people get these when they have a last minute flight change or layover. That is until I heard of them awhile ago. I decided after getting back from Hong Kong to get one. They are in a quiet corner of the domestic terminal. Each pod has a TV, AC, is very clean. You get some free goodies and water when you check in. The extra special politeness by the Vietnamese folks that run it is in full force too. She smiled and laughed a lot as I was checking in. If you’re curious, the pods look like this from the outside.

sleep pod

You get a key card lock and there are restaurants you can walk to. There are no en suite restrooms so you use the facilities at the airport.

Today I wandered Terminal One watching people leaving. Lots of people leaving. I bought some Pringles and water and sat there. Soon someone else sat next to me and then another person. We had filled up the little seating area. They all smiled and said hello to me. I waited a bit longer and decided to head on back to the pod. I’m not flying out tomorrow. I ride the train. Instead I will have car service take me to the railroad station at 7am. I guess I just felt the need for a change. Sometimes the travel is all set. Rooms and restaurants and places to go and the normal becomes the too normal.

It also dawned on me today that its Fathers Day today for me. My kids are in the US so they are just getting there. It seems I always remember some of the events of life on these days. Some of the good things. Some of the bad things. Having children is a mix of things. You look back on what it took, what they delivered. Some of the challenges along the way. Its not easy really to get divorced in the middle of things. It causes so many changes that while they are necessary cause even more stress and unhappiness with the kids. I’ve left most of that behind now but truth is that you never do. Its one of those life changing events and even though its been almost 10 years many of the events and what happened after are small pin pricks in the memories.

Now though with the vagabonding, I have something else. Not just a pod. I have a new life. I did a thing which I dreamt of back when. Sitting at the Changi Airport in Singapore I wondered. What would happen? That was 2011.

Now its 2018. So much has changed. The kids are grown and have things. I’ve grown to and have things. But we still share the moment. The moment may be separated by miles and time and space. It matters not.

As I sit here in the Pod with the TV going and the AC running; its dawned on me yet again on this Fathers day. Its not just about the day. Its about the connections and the feelings and the wonder I felt. The wonder I still feel.

I’m a dad. It makes me feel good to know that even though my two children are busy attempting to adult that there are moments like I said on quora awhile back where they still ask. The questions have changed.

Before they were:

Dad, can I?

Now they are:

Dad, how can I?

I’m glad I still maybe know some how’s and why’s to them.

Last day in Hong Kong

Yesterday was the last day of wandering Hong Kong for me. I ended up walking along the Bay for some distance but was rather disappointed that its really difficult to get to a point to see the skylines easily. They have construction going on all over by the Bay side so ended up walking to the Convention Centre and was then able to have a view of the most magnificent skyline!

Hong Kong was a lot of fun and rather expensive down to the almost $20 burger and fries last night for dinner. My other meals were less expensive.

Today I fly back to Hanoi and then tomorrow start the train journey from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. Since a lot of the travel is during the day, I am hoping to capture some of the changing tapestry of Vietnam out of the train window. This is not some bullet train so the passing views go by at a slower rate of speed. I’m looking forward to the trip and being able to see hopefully parts of Vietnam that are not visible by tours and definitely by flying.

Here’s the google photo album for the last day here. It was a beautiful day out!

Catch you all on my train trip.