This past weekend was spent traveling to the Mekong Delta. Words cannot even describe what I saw and experienced. The weather was perfect (high 80s) and we were able to take a boat ride up and down the river. We saw the floating markets, where all of this fresh produce is sold. We also stopped into places like a popcorn candy factory, brick factory and noodle factory. It was also completely random walking up and down those country roads because we would see cows and roosters and shacks and mansions–everything is so scattered and contrasting. But despite the poverty and garbage it really was beautiful (I know, that sounds like such a cliche). We had incredible meals with fresh seafood and vegetables, and some of us even held a huge snake!
We returned to Saigon and the next morning went to the War Remnants Museum. This museum has six rooms/sections all pertaining to the Vietnam-American War. If the war didn’t seem real from the novels we have read and other outside information we have heard, this did the trick. Just looking at all of those pictures was a really powerful moment. I just stood there looking and reading and could not believe the atrocities from the war. If anyone ever has a chance to come to Vietnam, the War Remnants Museum should definitely be on your itinerary. It is hard to take in, but definitely worth it.
Today we had a free day which was nice and relaxing. I slept in a little bit, walked around town, and ended up at the market. They sell everything there! I didn’t buy anything because I want to wait and see what I find as we head North. We walked around some more, ate dinner at a delicious restaurant, and then went and got massages. All in all a nice and relaxing day/night. Tomorrow morning we have an early morning flight to Hue and I am really excited to travel somewhere new!
I can’t believe we have already been here for over a week. Despite all of the amazing experiences we have had already, sometimes it still shocks me to realize that I really am in Vietnam. On this trip all you really need is an adventurous spirit, positive attitude, curious mind and flexibility. I am usually a very structured person, but it has been really fun to just live in the moment and go with the flow. Vietnam is beautiful and horrible and developing and poverty-stricken . These people have adapted and survived, and I imagine even if I do make it back here some day things will have evolved tremendously. Basically I am just trying to take in as much as I can and just enjoy the ride!