Vietnam never fails to amaze and inspire...Out on tours...More photos than we can possibly share...Evening view Phnon Penh...

View as the day turned to dusk on the river as we lounged on the Sundown Deck on the Viking Mekong River boat.
At 4 pm today we arrived by bus in Saigon, the largest city in Vietnam.  It was a full day on the bus, onto an amazing tour we'll share tomorrow and dining at an exquisite Vietnamese restaurant in the countryside.  More on all of this soon. 

Lighted front of the Royal Palace.
We were disappointed to be unable to post yesterday due to an entire lack of Wi-Fi signal as the boat made its way through more remote areas as we'd left Phnom Pehn to head toward Saigon where we're spending two nights in our third Sofitel Hotel during this lengthy and vast experience.

With over 1000 photos in our "photos to post" file on my desktop, we're in a quandary on how we'll possibly share the huge batch. Even making a determination which will be most appealing to our worldwide audience based on comments and email we've received in email, on our site and in Facebook, in itself is a daunting task.

Tourist boat.
In two days, we'll arrive in Phuket, Thailand for a six week stay.  In discussing our options, we've decided to continue posting stories and photos for Vietnam well into the time were staying in Phuket in the following manner:

  • The first half of each day's post will include photos and information about Phuket, Thailand.
  • The second half of each day's post will be a section with more Vietnam    photos with captions and our comments/observations as the photos were taken.
  • The "one year ago photo" will continue as always at the bottom of each post.
  • Feel free to post personal or anonymous comments at the end of any post.

Many types of boats carrying tourists tours along the Mekong River.
With this plan, we'll happily share these photos while keeping our readers up-to-date on our current location.  At this point, we aren't certain how long it will take to catch up only anticipating a few weeks.


At sundown, the views were beautiful.
This is not unlike how we included the many photos from our first safari in the Masai Mara in Kenya October, 2013.  If you’d like to see those continuing photos, please select the “archives” beginning on October 5, 2013, continuing well into the month, all of which are located on the right the right side of the page.

As for Vietnam, we continue to be enraptured by the magnificence of this majestic country, its people and its never ending charm.  How the Vietnamese people have embraced tourists throughout the world and the USA has been a joy to behold. 

Sanpans are small low-to-the-water-boats we used to go ashore on tours.

They’ve welcomed us with open arms, generosity of spirit and gracefully sharing their personal stories and family history in their ever changing, growing culture and society.  They are proud of that they’ve accomplished over these past four decades while never losing sight of their ancestors and spiritual beliefs.

Ninety percent of the Vietnamese people practice the Buddhist religion and its gentle ways, evident in everyone we’ve met to date.  Their strong attachment to family members from generations past plays a significant role in their daily lives.

Phnom Penh, the capital city is a diverse area of old and new.

We have many more photos and experiences to share.  Yesterday morning we participated in number of tours after we traveled by sanpan (boat) to the shore from our anchored position in the center of the Mekong River to the village of Sa Dec with a population of over 150,000 many of which work and live along the river, dependent upon its resources for a living.

It felt good to get off the ship on a tour after spending a few days unable to walk the long distances required for venues.  After the difficult rickshaw rid a few days ago  I had to hunker down and nurse my wounds after the over-bumpy ride set me back a few weeks in my recovery. 

More modern building have been added to the shoreline.

After the extra day's time spent taking it easy, I’m feeling a little better on a renewed path toward putting an end to this constant painful condition.  I can’t wait until this difficulty is over and I’ve returned to my usual energetic, pain free self.

Last night was the last night onboard the Viking Mekong River Cruise with a special evening and party planned for the event.  We sat with some of our favorites at dinner and had a terrific time together.


It was hard to determine what type of boat this was.

As we made the all day bus trip to Saigon, our group of 54 passengers happily maintained our high degree of entertaining interaction while sharing the last segments of the cruise/tour together. 

On Friday, July 22nd we’ll be on our way to Thailand.  Please stay with us.  We so look forward to posting many more aspects of this memorable occasion in Southeast Asia.

Happy day to all!
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Photo from one year ago today, July 20, 2015:

Tom's first photo of sunrise over the Coral Sea in Australia at 6 am this morning.  For more photos please click here.

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