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Guest Book

2008 Trip

Journal of our trip July - August 2008

Friends old and New

China Beach Danang

Fishing in Danang

Hoi An

Mui Ne

Mekong Delta

The Alley

Around Saigon

Park, Water Puppets, Circle Sportif

Ben Thanh Market at Night

Cholon Market

Ana Mandara - Dalat

Church of Saint Marie - Dalat

Crazy House - Dalat

Around the University - Dalat

Around Dalat


The Alley
The alley is a wonderful place that is a self contained entity. Everything happens in the system of alleys that is in the block to the West of De Tham Street. Children play and there was a funeral of an old lady whose son came from the US to attend. He told me the funeral lasts a month. There are restaurants and bars. Hotels and shops. Characters galore. A lady who worked at Long Bing while I was stationed there in 1968. There was a man who got drunk once in a while and made a lot of noise. There was a retarded boy who would get wound up and loud. I would rub his hair as I walked by and he would settle down. I met a new friend there whose name is Ut Nho though her friends call her Hoa which means flower. Through Hoa I met her friends. The group would spend the days in the home of one or another and talk or play cards. I got to sit in and meet these people. Hoa’s best friend’s husband owns 5 buses and is part of one of the travel companies. One friend Worked in Spain with her husband. She did not like Spain so she came home and her husband remained in Spain to work for a few more years to save up some money. This lady speaks Vietnamese, English and Spanish. All speak Vietnamese and English except one. Others would tell me what she said ant her what I said. Hoa was married to a Dutch man and lived in Holland for a while till he was transferred to Berlin then Paris. Hoa speaks a little Dutch, German, French and English. Everyone I meet here is so interesting. Another friend had everyone in and put out snacks and played the guitar, which she played very well, she is the lady releasing the birds in the photo below. Her English was very good. Meeting people is so much fun and often one leads to another.

Under Construction - I have more to add to this page

Hotel Thuan Duc
This is the hotel that a new friend named Ut Nho (Hoa) found for me. The hotel is in a maze of alleys that is to the West of De Tham Street. I had mentioned that this is a very nice hotel in my Journal, and only $12USD. Air Conditioning is a little extra but the room was airy and I was comfortable with the fan.

Across from the hotel was a small place that served drinks and snacks. A western man came by each night and had 6 or 8 beers and went on his way. One man drank a little too much beer once in a while and had to be quieted by a group effort. I bought coke there and as they got to know me the price went down. A few words of earnest but poor Vietnamese goes a long way to open doors.
This restaurant was opposite the Bar. Their speciality was seafood.
Freeing Birds
This is the lady who had everyone over to sing and snack. She had a lady come buy who brings birds. You purchase however many you want and then you free them. This gains favor for you or your ancestors. It is a Buddhist thing.
Dai is going to Arizona. I was asked to go along since I knew a friend of his mother. It was thought that since my weight was closer to his than anyone else I should go. As it turned out it is good that I went because I could go into the airport and Vietnamese can not so I could go in and see what was up when the family worried. Here Dai has called his Scout Troop to formation and attention and they all saluted one another. It was very emotional for all concerned.

Dai is filling out some paperwork before going in.

Even Dai's dog came along. Here Hoa is holding the dog. Hoa is my friend who thought it was important that I come along. Next to Hoa, in Pink, is the daughter of her best friend and cousin of Dai, who came to the Circus with us.
The Funeral
Standing, in white, is Mr Anh Ba who is from California and has returned to Vietnam for his mother's funeral. His sisters are also dressed in White. I spoke to him and he invited me to stay for the dinner that day.
The Funeral
The photo of Anh Ba's Mother is sitting on the end of the coffin which is covered with flowers and gifts.
Susan, My Wife, had to send my Meds to me in Vietnam. She chose DHL. I had sent her the name and address of the hotel Thuan Duc and the phone number. A few days later I was in the lobby, talking with Loan, when this bright yellow motorbike pulled up and there was my package. Is it not fascinating how things can be shipped to the other side of the world and here they are in only a few days. And talk about service with a smile. When I got the camera out the driver, who was most pleasent to begin with, lit up a beautiful smile.

Looking Towards the hotel Thuan Duc in a Northern direction Towards Pham Ngu Lao Street which is the Northern side of this block of alleys. Right is the restaurant I spoke of before and beyond that is the bar and just beyond that, on the left, is Hotel Thuan Duc.

This is looking into the entrance of the alley system from Bui Vien Street which is the Southern boundary of this block of alleys. There are 7 entrances to this maze. There are also a few which come into the block but do not meet up with any other alley.