First stop in Vietnam was Da Nang, a port located on the central eastern coast of the South China Sea. The port which you see in the first photo above in the photo album, Da Nang – Vietnam, is located about a 20 minute bus ride from the city center. It has a population of about 800,000 and is the gateway to central Vietnam. Next I took a picture of two Sampan type fishing boats as they passed when we were docking. No tours today so on the shuttle bus ride into the city I show the photo of a typical narrow type home/shop. I found out later that the reason most of these homes/shops are so narrow is that real estate is priced by the front footage, hence most people can’t afford property that is more than 15 to 20 feet wide, but can be several stories high and very deep. The next photo shows the scooters that are the Vietnamese’s major mode of transportation. Here and in Saigon, our next stop, you can not believe the number of scooters we saw. Surprise, but few bicycles, cars, and buses. One custom you noted right away was that the bus driver constantly blew his horn, as did all the other vehicles, to get the scooter drivers out of the way. The funny thing was the scooters completely ignore the blowing horns and don’t move over an inch. The next photo shows a shot across Da Nang Bay to the city skyline, which as you can see is not very impressive. As soon as we got down from the bus Susy headed for the closest market (what’s new), a huge indoor place, as I shot a photo across the inside of the market’s main building. There were many wings to this market, with stall after stall of fish, fruits, etc. while the main building was mostly clothing. In the next photo you see Susy right in the middle of "purses". She didn’t find anything, but seems to have gotten the lay of the land (Vietnam) and it looks like we’re not buying anything here or in Saigon (but we’ll see). On the way back I caught a lady in full protective clothing mode. Many Vietnamese, both male and female, but mostly female, wear these protective masks. Now, we thought this was to protect them against smog or germs, but surprise, surprise, the masks are worn to protect them from the sun. It seems they want to keep their white color, as opposed to the dark skins of the rice paddy workers. Finally I wanted to show Susy getting in to the spirit of the country by trying on a typical Vietnamese hat. Can’t you just picture her stooped over, working in the rice fields in the hot sun (Ya, sure!!).
Love to All – Next stop Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City),
Gary (alias Gagu)