Thursday, July 05, 2007


We're here!!!!!!!! Between the 6 of us, I am pretty certain that I was the most excited. I've been begging to visit Vietnam for 10 years and it has finally happened. Now I can allow myself to visit other Asian countries!

Upon arrival at the airport, one of our million bags went missing. I wasn't surprised; we only brought everything on this side of the Western world back. Thank goodness our personal luggage were all there, and only the extra bags with donative gifts were missing. We had about 3 or 4 huge suitcases that belonged to Cha Phi, filled with medicine (gee, i wonder why it got lost), donation clothes and materials. One of those bags went missing so we took forever and a day to get out of the airport in Hanoi.

Once we cleared that up, we walked out to meet our driver, priests, and thàys. They brought 6 huge bouquets of flowers all for us, so much that we didn’t know what to do with them. We went to the hotel and then to lunch...completely forgetting the flowers in the car. The poor things burned black and died right on us that day.

We got to Cưu Long hotel, one of the best 2 stars in Hà Nọi, and mom realizes that her purse is still at the airport. She and the driver head back while the rest of us head to Lake Hoàn Kiếm (Thanh Long)to start sightseeing asap.

This is us sightseeing. Literally. =)
Hoàn Kiếm is gorgeous, with a red bridge running from one end to the other. The story goes that Le Loi, in the 15th century, borrowed a sword from the magic turtle that arose from the lake. The nobleman led the people to victory against the Chinese Ming dynasty. There are still a few mammoth turtles in the lake but the oldest and largest one is on display in the Tortoise Tower, commemorating the event.

That night, we drove to Châu Sơn monastery to eat and sleep the jet lag away.

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