Friday, June 19, 2009

Vietnam 1

So much travel to post about. We were in Vietnam from May 19 through June 14. We had a great month visiting the country where Hung was born. We started our trip at Hung's oldest brother's house in Ho Chi Minh City. Huynh and his family moved to Vietnam last summer from Bangkok. This is Huynh's first time living back in Vietnam since he was 14 years old.

The pace and energy of Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) was startling. This city is growing and moving at an amazing pace. New buildings are going up all around the city and there is no sign of a slowdown. The first thing you notice when you step out onto the streets of HCMC are number of motorbikes. There are so many motorbikes. As residents have grown more prosperous and cheap imports have come in from China (Honda motorbikes average between $400 to $1000), more and more people have switched from bicycles to motorbikes. We were talking to a friend that grew up in Vietnam, he said a couple years ago every family had one motorbike but today every member of the family owns a motorbike. I can only imagine what traffic will be like when motorbikes turn into cars, this city does not yet have the infrastructure to support a million cars.

Hung and his Nephews, Ryan and Jeffrey and Hung's childhood best friend, Darian. Ryan and Jeffrey were ready for a day of school at the British International School--don't they look cute in their uniforms! Darian met us and travelled with us for a whirlwind week.
Hung and Darian after a breakfast of Pho (hot Vietnamese noodle soup). We ate at the Pho restaurant where Bill Clinton ate during his visit to Vietnam.
Touring the reunification palace in Ho Chi Minh. This was the site of the official handover of power on April 30, 1975.
Chilis and Limes