Good Morning Vietnam!!!!!!!
Man.....I've been waiting days and days to add that to this page.
We crossed the Cambodia border and headed straght into Ho Chi Minh city (formerly Saigon). If I was to use one word to sum up Ho Ci Minh it would be "motorcycle". If I was to use three words to describe the city I would say "Holy @#$%# Motorcycles". They are everywhere....pictures will never do it justice. We hung out for a couple of days in the city and tried to force ourselves through the museum but I think both of us are kind of museumed out for now.
We headed up the coast to the nice little fishing village of Mui Ne. Several attractions here included: a nice little stretch of beach (in the pictures it's right on our front doorstep), some huge sand dunes (which we hired a scooter for the day to go out to and try to ride down on plastic slidy things), and the smell (Mui Ne is famous for its fish sauce)!
Fortunately, the ride up the coast was comfortable, due to the pre-reclined chairs on the double decker buses. Just lay back, enjoy the view, and imagine hundreds of American B52s flying overhead dropping thousands of tonnage of explosives (many of which never exploded (UXO: Unexploded Ordinance) and cause injuries to this day) obliterating kms of historical sites during the American-Vietnam War. The travesties of war torn countries just can never be felt through books or t.v. To live it and view it first hand is the only way to really appreciate it.
We headed up the coast to two more towns: Hoi An and Hue, taking in the sites around town. A lot of history to digest.
We just crossed over the border into Laos and we'll be travelling through here for about 2 weeks. As I open my Lonely Planet guide to get some history on Laos, I'm shocked to read that Laos holds the dubious record of being the most bombed country in the world, despite never officially being involved in the Vietnam war at all. It was all in an effort to delay Vietnamese troops in northern Laos. The things they don't teach you in school but should!! My learning curve increasing everyday.
An insightful read for anyone interested (stuff you don't learn in school and it's from the town I'm writing this in right now) :
So far (after a 12 hour bus ride for a whopping stretch of 260km), Laos seems very friendly, hassle free and beautiful. We're excited to see more.
D and T