Masterpiece Trip 2017, Mekong Delta, Saigon, Vietnam

Hello Pt. 2 (Saigon -> Mekong Delta Transfer Day)

We got up early and had a quick, tasty, breakfast at the hotel. The fruit there was amazing, especially the dragon fruit, which I think is my new favorite. Deliciousness. We went back to the room and figured out what we needed to take for the next two nights on our boat with Mango Cruises, and everything else would be stored at the hotel since we were ending the trip there. My cold/cough was getting worse, which was bad timing, but at least I didn’t have a sore throat anymore.

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Ho Chi Mihn, Masterpiece Trip 2017, Saigon, Vietnam

Good Grief We’re Back In It (Da Lat -> Saigon Transfer Day)

We woke up and one of the first things Sal said was, “I think I’m going to have to go to the dentist in Saigon.” YIKES. Do you remember when I pointed out two Da Lat dental offices to him, but it wasn’t bothering him that much? Well, it had apparently gotten worse, poor guy. So I emailed the Saigon hotel and asked for help finding a dentist and Sal researched our travel insurance coverage. We then to our last communal breakfast at Dreams Hotel. I really liked the setup of a communal breakfast for the most part; it’s only slightly awkward if it’s two of you at a table with everyone else who knows each other. Mrs. Dung from the hotel had set up the taxi transfer for us and the driver was early, which I liked. Sal was running a tiny bit slowly, so of course I was getting slightly nervous. I really like to get to the airport early rather than stress about getting there on time. As usual, though, my stress was for naught because we got there in plenty of time and even had time for a coffee/diet coke. We again had to be bussed to the plane and we were jam packed in there. It was worse than the subway, I swear. And these normally kind and generous Vietnamese people really shove themselves in front of you in these situations. They don’t seem to follow the normal queue rules, which must drive the British crazy when they visit.

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Da Lat, Masterpiece Trip 2017, Vietnam

The Amazing Paul (Da Lat Day Three)

Sometimes when things end up going wrong, or sideways, it all works out for the best. I really saw that in Vietnam. If our first tour operator hadn’t been a bit flaky, and instead we ended up with going with him, it would have been uncomfortable and probably not very enjoyable as I wasn’t feeling good that day. Instead, the wonderful lady at the hotel set up a private tour for us that was cheaper, and probably done by my favorite guide in Vietnam up to that point: Paul.

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Da Lat, Masterpiece Trip 2017, Vietnam

Got Milk? (Da Lat Day One)

First an apology for these posts being late. We have had sketchy WiFi some places, and also have been a bit sick. Now back to our regularly scheduled program!

We woke up and gradually got moving. I don’t know about Sal, but the longer this trip is going the harder I’m finding getting up early. I’m a bit pooped. It must mean it’s almost time to go home.

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Masterpiece Trip 2017, Vietnam

What The?! Part II (Hanoi -> Da Lat Transfer Day)

No sleeping in today as we had to our transfer to Da Lat. We had our breakfast, finished packing, then checked out. It was bittersweet saying goodbye for good to the La Selva staff.  Hopefully some day we will be back. I gave them some small gifts from NYC as a thank you. They gave us a gift of some Vietnamese coffee and the strainer they use to drip the coffee. Our transfer was right on time and we were at the airport sooner than we expected. Pretty soon we were checked in and through security. The only noteworthy thing seen was this in the bathroom:

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I put the text through translate and it came back, “give peace and love”. With tissue? Do they think Westerners gift each other with tissue and toilet paper often?

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Hanoi, Masterpiece Trip 2017, Ninh Binh, Pu Luong, Vietnam

A Pagoda & Train Travel (Pu Luong -> Ninh Binh -> Hanoi Transfer Day) A Pagoda & Train Travel (Pu Luong -> Ninh Binh -> Hanoi Transfer Day)

Sal made a prophetic comment the day before, “We need to go to bed early, because we passed a lot of roosters.” Boy was he right. Those jerks wake you up at 5:30 a.m. Crikey! It’s impossible to fall back asleep then because everything else starts waking up then: dogs, people, etc.. Like I said: noise really carried in that valley. You know who else woke up? The guys playing the drums. They started drumming before 8 AM. Talk about perseverance…

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Masterpiece Trip 2017, Mia Chau, Pu Luong, Vietnam

Chopsticks & Rice Terraces (Mai Chau -> Pu Luong Transfer Day)

We got to sleep in a bit, as the next place we were visiting, Pu Luong, was only about 90 minutes away from Mai Chau. My stomach was bothering me. When traveling like this it’s very hard to pinpoint if you’re fighting something off or ate something bad. I may have been dehydrated. Anyway, it wasn’t good so I took some medicine and hoped for no squatty potties if we didn’t make it to the hotel in time!

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Masterpiece Trip 2017, Mia Chau, Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Bad Juju (Ninh Binh -> Mai Chau Transfer Day)

We woke up early and stiff from the bed. Sal felt a little better, though, so that was good. We had banana pancakes for breakfast, which is fried dough with bananas and honey. It was yummy.  

img_20171117_0753401243699209653645528.jpgOf course there was fresh fruit because there’s always fresh fruit. You can’t beat the fresh fruit on this side of the planet.

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Halong Bay, Masterpiece Trip 2017, Ninh Binh, Vietnam

You Had Me At Hello (Halong Bay -> Ninh Binh)

Breakfast was at 6:45 a.m., as we had our last ½ day on the boat and had things to do! Apparently there was only one new 2-night guest, so he would be enjoying a private day tour with Henry. We laughed when we thought about how potentially awkward the ‘talk’ with Henry might be when he explained how the tips worked.

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