Ah, Vietnam

I love traveling. One of my favorite places is Vietnam. I know that I have written in detail about one of our tours, but there is so much more to say. One of the things that makes traveling particularly pleasurable is the learning aspect. Different cultures really are different. The culture of Vietnam is very special. It has all of the modesty and beauty of the Orient combined with French influence. Vietnam has lived through difficult times, but the people are amazingly resilient. And, there are surprises around every corner.

For example, in the lobby of our hotel we saw a lovely arrangement of flowers. It was only as I looked a little more carefully that I saw that among the flowers there were cabbages!

Centerpiece in lobby at Rex Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Leaving the hotel that morning, we came upon the following scene.

Some people thought that we were seeing a parade. There were people in white uniforms who were playing music and there was what looked like a float at the front.

But people were fascinated when we told them that what we were seeing was a funeral. A dignified funeral in Vietnam consists of a parade with music, mourners often wearing cheesecloth over their clothes or faces walking along the route, and an intricately decorated hearse.

We were on our way to the Mekong delta. On the way we stopped at a rest stop. There we encountered another surprise- a beautiful garden.

This garden was not adjacent to the rest stop. It was the rest stop. There were outdoor pavilions where people can eat and a beautiful, elegant shop with reasonable prices as well as clean bathrooms (Western style.)

The garden with a pavilion in the background

Our visit to the Mekong Delta was very lovely. We ended the visit with a delightful boat ride back to our bus.

This is the life!

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