Shandong University

Shandong University

Life Goes On

We have come out of retirement and are off on a great adventure teaching English at Shandong University in Jinan China. The people are wonderful, our city is beautiful, and we discover something new and different each day.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Vietnam and Cambodia


On arrival in Vietnam we noticed a difference.  The whole place just 
seemed more western and had a whole different feel than China. 
After checking into our hotel we went on a tour of the Hanoi Hilton,
 not the hotel but the prison.  The tour focused mainly on the Vietnamese
that were imprisoned by the French, who orginally built the prison.  Later 
we saw an exhibit that dealt with the Americans who were imprisoned
there during the Vietnam war.  It gave the impression that the Americans
were treated very good while there, which we knew was somewhat biased.







After the tour of the prison we went to the central part of Hanoi that
has a beautiful lake, the same lake that John McCain parachuted into
during the war.  There is even a small monument near the spot he
 landed.  Then we went to see a water puppet show.  It was a lot of fun. 




The next day we headed north to see Halong Bay.  On the way we
 could see farmers preparing their rice paddies for planting.


            We went on a boat tour of Halong bay.  It was beautiful and even
             included lunch.  The weather was just right and the scenery was
            beautiful, a perfect afternoon.  Near the end we visited a cave on
                                                  one of the islands.













We spent the night in Halong Bay and then flew to Siem Reap
 Cambodia the next day.  We were greeted by a beautiful flower
 arrangement in the lobby of our hotel.  Cambodia was even
 more westernized than Vietnam so we felt right at home there.


Siem Reap has developed adjacent to the ancient capitol of Angkor
 Thom which is filled with so many ruins that it would take a week to
 see them all.  First is the south gate to the city.  We then saw the
Bayon Temple.




For lunch we went back to town and then had a 3 hour rest break at 
our hotel.  We really enjoyed the pool both days we were in Siem Reap.


 In the afternoon we explored Angkor Wat which was built in the 12th century.






In the evening we went to a dinner and cultural show and explored the downtown areas night markets.  We also rode in some of the local taxis.



The next day was spent visiting more ruins including Ta Prom,
 which has been left relatively untouched since its discovery.





 



 

Did they know about dinosaurs in the 12th century?



The sunset over Phnom Baket ended another memorable day.

 

In the morning we visited the floating village of Chong Khneas, located
 on Tonle Sap the "Great Lake" of Cambodia and the largest lake in Asia.







Floating tourist trap. Think there might be crocodiles in the lake?



Our captain was 16 yrs old and the crew members were 12.
The following day we flew to Saigon or Hochi Minh City as
 it is now called.  Had a dinner cruise in the evening and
then went on boat trip across the Mekong river, sampled 
some local fruit and went on a sampan ride.







On the way back to town we stopped for a late lunch at a very nice
 restaurant and had a very good unique meal.



A hollow sphere of bread and the fish was excellent.


Saigon was a beautiful city by day and was all decorated for the
 New Year at night with many lights.




Before returning back to China the next afternoon we visited the old
 Presidential  Palace and a propaganda museum of the Vietman War.