November 01

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Kindhearted!

The people of Vietnam are so warm and kindhearted!

Found a list of “Top 10 Places to see in Vietnam” according to touropedia.com.   I have been to 6 already so I set a goal to hit all 10.    My Son #9 on the list was my trip for the weekend.  My Son was only 45km from the town I was in Hoi An which is #3 on the list so I decided to make the trip via motorbike.  This is where my adventure begins, the trip from Hoi An took me through several small towns or villages each unique in their own way.   I love exploring the local markets, each market I try to find something new or different, so I stopped in a small village.  This was your typical outdoor market, fresh veg, pork, seafood, street food stalls etc. and it was large for the size of the village.  “Hello” is typically how tourist are greeted and it must me a secret code word in markets.   I was greeted with my first “Hello” and within seconds like crickets across the market I heard “Hello”, “Hello”, Hello”.   By the way the did have crickets and grubs for sale. It was genuine but you could tell they get don’t get many visitors from outside the community, every one was warm and wanted to greet and try to converse with me, people were following me and telling their friends as they pointed at me. Again it was a genuine and cool to see how they reacted to a outsider visiting their village or small town.

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Back to finding something new, this is the first market that sold fresh tobacco. The kind of tobacco you would find in Ybor City Florida for cigars. Selling the tobacco were 2 very sweet elderly ladies. When I showed interest she rolled me a cigar which I refused but after seeing this photo now I wish I kept the cigar to have as a conversation piece. As I walked around I noticed that most of the elderly women were all smoking Cigars. Not common in Vietnam, but now you know why they sell tobacco in the local market.

 

As I moved on my journey following my Google Maps Directions I get to a very muddy semi-washed out road but others are going that direction so I followed about a half mile through the mud until I get to a river which apparently was the end of the road.   I had to cross the river so I turned back to the village where I asked a couple of locals for help.    Remember this is a small village so English is not common but we managed to communicate by showing them a map and the mud on my shoes as they were pointing me back to where I just came from.   Then one lady went down the street to get the one person who spoke English, she had limited English but again we managed.    She leaves as others are drawing me a map to follow, about 2 min later the lady who spoke English shows up on her motorbike offering to show me the way.    I was thinking WOW these people are so nice, helping a complete stranger.

So off we go back down the washed out street I am thinking “Do I say something, I don’t want this poor lady to get all muddy and possible stuck in the mud as we are heading down a dead end road”.   But then I remembered my training, Be Patient, Don’t jump to conclusions, Don’t try to be the hero, Let people learn from their mistakes etc.   As we neared the end of the road at the river she turned down a narrow path off the road, the path lead us to the river where they had a make shift ferry system for motorbikes to cross the river.    She communicated with the locals and helped me get my bike loaded on the ferry.    I tried to give her some money for her help but she refused to accept.

Lessons learned:

  • Make a difference and help out a stranger in need
  • Be open to suggestions when you hit what you think is the end of the road
  • When you hit end of the road look for the small paths to take
  • Trust the guidance of others when you feel you have hit the end of the road
  • Vietnamese People are:
    • Amazing
    • Generous
    • Humble
    • Kind
    • Etc
  • Google Maps has some glitches. The directions where correct, but it did not tell you need a Ferry to get there.
  • Be Patient, Don’t jump to conclusion etc.

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Picture of the Motorbike Ferry to cross the river.   New modern bridge under construction.  Bottom line is I made it across the river and made it to my destination My Son #9 which was beautiful.

I am going to let the pictures below tell the story for my visit to Hoi An.   Hoi An is a beautiful little fishing village in Central Vietnam famous for the lanterns.  At night the streets are amazing with thousands of lanterns.    In addition to the lights one of my high lights was riding a Water Buffalo in the rice fields…….That’s it for now, next trip planned for Mekong Delta which is #4 on the list of must places to see in Vietnam.

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