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28 July 2017

Back Home

After a grueling, 29+-hour, Saigon to Beijing to Dulles Airport (DC), 8,000+mile-trip, I finally made it safely home (to Winchester, VA) yesterday about 5PM.
I hope that you all have enjoyed my blog updates. Thank you all for following and commenting on my travel blog!

26 July 2017

Good-Bye Vietnam

I begin my 24+ hour return to the US at 3AM - about 4.5 hours from now. I treated the Phamily to a farewell dinner this evening. I also realized that I had not yet posted what I thought was a good pic of purple-yellow lotus - my favorite flower in Vietnam!

24 July 2017

Classical Vietnamese Music on the Perfume River

Last night was our last night in Hue. We spent part of the evening on a Dragon Boat listening to classical Vietnamese music, lighting boat candles/making wishes/& releasing them on the Perfume River.
We go back to Saigon early this evening.

23 July 2017

Hue Pagoda & Kings' Tombs

We spent the day touring Hue sights other than the citadel, purple palace and forbidden city.
Top pic of us in front of the famous Hue pagoda (built in 1845 - built by an emperor to honor his mother). Other 2 pics are of us in front of Vietnam emperor tombs. The emperors built the tombs as palaces away from the purple palace and used them extensively as such until their deaths at which time they were secretly buried in these palaces/tombs (with their concubines and many of their court's official who were executed and entombed with him).

Perfume River - Hue

These are views of the Perfume River from my hotel room balcony .

22 July 2017


I am treating Linh, Thuy (Linh's mother), and Linh's grandmother to a 3-day/2night trip to Hue (see We flew here from Saigon (400 air miles north) today (Saturday) and will fly back to Saigon on Monday.
The last time I was in Hue was 9+ years ago - during my 1st return trip to Vietnam in 2008. Linh and her grandmother have never been to Hue before. We are staying at a nice hotel next to the Perfume River (see
Top pic = us having our first dinner in Hue.
Center pic = us at Hue Citadel 
Bottom pic = us at main gate to the forbidden city 

Sent from my iPhone

18 July 2017

Uber versus Grab

Uber has come to Vietnam - about 1 year ago! Difference is that Uber in Vietnam are motorbikes not cars. Grab is Uber's only competitor and are also motorbikes.
Uber and Grab are only found in major cities. The taxi companies hate them because their cost is 80% less than cabs! Also, like US Uber, you have to call them and they tell you what the cost is before they pick you up (normally in less than 10 after you call them) - but, unlike Uber, you pay the driver.
Top pic is Linh paying my Uber driver after I took it to a restaurant where we met for lunch.

16 July 2017

Ben Tre, Mekong Delta 1

Linh, her brother (Long) and 2 of Linh's girlfriends and I did a day trip to the Ben Tre area of the Mekong Delta. We started the day with a 6:30AM, 2.5 hour drive from Saigon to Ben Tre where we spent the day doing touristy stuff. The large delta barges are still elaborately decorated with spirits to prevent the boats from harm. We also tried hot tea with honey, pollen, royal bee jelly and lime juice for which Ben Tre is renowned.

Ben Tre, Mekong Delta 2

Lunch was great including these tasty dishes!

Ben Tre, Mekong Delta 3

We tried many forms of transportation while in the delta - including pony carts and sampans!