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Thursday, October 31: Day 192 – Ho Chi Minh City – “We Will Return”

We were informed that our hotel was on the most expensive street in the entire country of Vietnam. I guess this is akin to Fifth Avenue in New York City.

I took this picture because I like how they are propagating a new plant in an attractive way. Also, every room should have a plant in it according to my late mother AND feng shui. That is hard to do in a bathroom!

We left our hotel to go to a beach town for a few days to relax (and work on our posts) before we join our two-week Mekong River Cruise back in Ho Chi Minh City. It is nice to not have to deal with war facts!

We traveled for two hours by hydrofoil to Vung Tau.

While on board Greenlines offered us tea and a pandan flavored layer cake. It was shaped like a Twinkie. I had never heard of the flavor, but it was good.

They also had a big screen that showed music videos, karaoke, funny gag setups, and talent shows. I did wonder if it was government controlled. Note the hearts for the dots of i’s on the Vietnamese words.

This is the first time that we used Grab (local version of Uber). It is difficult to find a ride when so many taxis and motorbikes are asking if you need a ride. Our driver was very nice and played music.

This beach town has many beautiful palm trees.

We checked into our Airbnb that is an apartment on the 14th floor that overlooks the ocean. We always take a picture of our housing in order to map it OR show a taxi.

Rob took this one:

I said that I thought we could make the photo a little more interesting.

We must remove our shoes so our hiking boots take a while to remove. It is really a pain if you leave the apartment and need to go back in for some forgotten thing. Time to change to sandals!!

We tried to find a highly recommended restaurant, but after a long search learned that it was no longer at this location.

We continue to be wet and sticky…but we are about to get wetter. We were near a convenience store and decided to do our grocery shopping.

It started to pour so we sat down and ate ice cream. This was a fish shaped cone with a little fruit filling along with the ice cream.

Two college girls had the same idea. The music was loud and they started to sing. I asked if they spoke English. One said a little. I showed her the app, Shazam. It can tell you the name of the song that is playing. She was very excited and downloaded it. When we left, I told her to think of me when she used it.

We had lunch and I ordered noodles with seafood. Much of the seafood had tentacles!

We have been watching documentaries on the Vietnam War. It is strange to see how confusing it all was.

We discovered that there are little ants in our apartment. It is an all out war…but I think that they are winning. They are half the size of our littlest ants in the USA and twice as fast. We are keeping everything including our trash in the refrigerator!!

Next I think that I see a cockroach. Rob grabs a sandal and just before he strikes, we realize that it is a lizard!! He is too fast to catch so we decide to share the apartment with him…if only he were an anteater!!!

We walk by the beach. It closed at 6:00pm. Here is a shot of after hours with a storm in the distance.

We went to the night markets. Every shop is a seafood restaurant. They say that the color of scales can tell you if it is a natural or farm fish. I don’t know about that, but clear eyes indicate a fresh fish.

We have given up looking for reviews online. Sometimes the restaurants are not listed, or not in English, but most of the time, we can’t write all of the accent marks! Our new technique is to go to the one where the most people are eating.

I ordered steamed shrimp. They were huge.

After dinner, we walked to the Lotte Mart Vung Tau where one could buy everything according to our host. He was right.

It was like a food court, grocery store, video games, Walmart and clothing mall all in one. It felt like a Triplet convention as the children outnumbered the adults!!

There must a be a lot of theft as even the M&Ms had security locks!!

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