Thursday, October 29, 2015

Custom made clothes , October 29,2015

These are our custom made clothes. Planning to wear them to next years class reunion.  Won't that be fun!

While we waited for our clothes to be made we had a one hour massage from these lovely ladies who had just opened up that day so of course we got a 30% discount.  Our one hour massage lasted over an hour and a half.  We didn't get back to pick up our new clothes til almost 10 pm

We had lunch at a buddahist nunnery. This is a 16 year old nun who has been at the nunnery for four years. She was very shy. 

On the road from Hanoi to Halong bay we passed this farm.   This morning we flew from Hue to Hannoi, then drove 90 miles to Halong bay.  Along the way we had lunch at a workshop where many handicapped people work. 

This girl is doing embroidery by hand. All the work was typical local scenes

There were a lot of people doing the same work. I wouldn't last long doing this sewing.  They were all sitting on plastic lawn chairs. 

How do you bury an emperor - Hue, Vietnam. Wednesday, October 28, 2015

We went on a boat to visit the tomb of the 4th emperor of Vietnam. Along the way,we saw a variety of sights. This gentleman paddled up to our boat for a sale.

At the tomb of the second to last emperor (early 20th century) the climb to the top was 138 steps in 90 degree heat.  Our group rose to the occasion and very few chose not to make the climb. Each emperor builds his own tomb. This King was in some disfavor because he designed a high priced structure to house his remains.  He actually died before it was finished, but the tomb was still finished because the people are very superstitious and even though they were taxed heavily for it they werent willing to take the chance. The emperor had quite a few guards at the tomb. 

The tomb part was at the top.  Spare no expense.  Lots of decoration done with mosaic.  Much broken China in the designs. This box houses the emperor. 

Also stopped at a buddahist temple along the way.

This monk lakes around and didn't talk, but every so often he hit this metal bowl with a hammer.  Cool song. Long lasting gong

This is a baby monk.  Till they pass a certain level of proficiency (maybe about 16) they keep this shock of hair.  When a full fledged monk, it all gets shaved.

This is frame of a hat worn by many field workers we saw. There are 9 circle hoops that ironed grasses are sewn to.

Grasses are sewn on

Early in the evening betsy and I went to a market. In the section of the market with numerous tailors we decided to have outfits made.  Many measurements were taken.  This is a photo of my numbers

This whole family took part in the making.  Silk shirts and black pants for next years class reunion

Driving highway 1 along the South China Sea, Tuesday, October 28, 2015

Today we drove along Highway 1 which pretty much follows the South China Sea and through some knarley mountains.  We talked at lunch with a Viet vet in our group and asked him about his feeling.  He said it was weird to travel this highway because it was  a major sight of fighting during the war. 

A stop was made at a marble statuary "factory". This lady is doing some final sanding on this piece of pink marble.  An english speaking employee told betsy the pieces are mostly made at a factory somewhere else.  I picked out the table and stools below. Without asking me where I lived a sales person told me I could buy it and have it shipped for $2200. Sounded pretty cheap. But no sale.

Didn't even think of buying this guy

Really hot so had Huda beer with lunch. Love it.

Did a walking tour of the imperial palace. I love the way it has weathered over time.

Flag of Vietnam 

Below are a mother and child on a motorbike.  Many of the women cover all their skin when outdoors. To be beautiful, you must be white.  It was about 90 degrees this day and most young women wore face covering, long sleeves and many had hoods on their shirts.  It was also common for their hands to be covered.  Some still wore the face covering at night just to filter the air.

This girlies a university student visiting the palace.  She had a decorative face covering with a teddy bear on it

In our hotels, betsy always got the long robe!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hoi An life and crafts, Monday, October 28

We started our day on a boat like this to ride to see how the fishermen work and to end up in a village where many craftsmen live and work

This is a small fishing boat that will not go out to the ocean. Many of the fisherman throw large nets and catch anchovies 

This is a larger boat that may go out to sea for several days to a week. Scary!

Saw lots of these nets.  They are dropped down and after a bit lifted up.  Didn't see it happen

This is a motorbike ferry. Costs 500 dong (25 cents). Motorbikes everywhere

Organic greens farm

60,000 dong was the price for two small cups of delicious cinnamon ice cream.  20,000 dong = $1
The money here takes concentration.  We sometimes get our decimal in the wrong place.  Betsy was bargaining for something and offered 5000. She was turned down before realizing she had offered $0.25 for a shirt

Below is the $1.50 pedicure. This woman found us in the street. Promised $1.  Took us to this room. And then the price went up if we wanted more than color.  

Lots of tailors here.  You can get fine clothes made at a good price if you know which one to go to. All machines I saw were treadle. 

We were trying to walk down this street to find a cup of coffee.  Movement is challenging   We are still unscathed.  

Because we were so tired we took a taxi back to our hotel and ate across the street.  Here we are with the owner of the restaurant. She asked to have her picture taken with us   The cute waiter/bartender made us a tamarind margarita with salt, sugar and hot pepper on the rim.  Delicious. We did have to share a bottle of Larue beer to put out the fire.

Our bartender with the margaritas. 

Our new best friends!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Catching up -flying to HoiAn, Sunday, October 26, 2015

While at the ChuChi Tunnels this butterfly landed on one of our group.  It was a good thing to see where so much that was not good happened

That night we were picked up at our hotel by Loc and Vy. Betsy has had a Vietnamese couple clean her house for many years.  Loc is the mans sister.  She recently visited in SF and she came to lunch at Betsys house.  She speaks no english, but her 20 year old daughter Vy is quite fluent.  Vy is studying english at university.  They had hired a driver to bring them into the city in their car.  They own the car but do not drive.  Vy does drive a motor scooter.  They ordered many dishes for us.

This is the pot on boiling broth.  We had a pork and noodle soup.  First the pork, noodles and some vegetables are put into your bowl. Then the broth is added.  The broth is delicious. We don't know what it is. Below is the finishes soup

Below is where our dessert  came from. Mine was from the yellow bowl.  It is a corn mixture.  First the corn goes into your bowl, then a coconut sauce is poured over the top.  Quite good.  Betsys started with a bean mixture and then got the coconut sauce.

Bit of a traffic jam on the way back to the hotel.  Not many rules of the road.

Below is Saigon post office where we changed money.  I was rejected at the first atm I tried and found out after a bit of a panic that it didn't take master card.  I needed to move two machines down.  $1 = 20,000 dong. I became an instant millionaire. 

The short building in the front is the old American embassy where evacuation took place at the close of the war.

We visited a workshop where wooden pieces are decorated with paint or egg shells (duck)   We preferred the egg shells. 

Below done with egg shells. After decoration, 14 layers of lacquer are applied

On to the airport. Flying to daNang. Plane delayed. Heard again that flight was delayed further so betsy got us approval for meal voucher.  We took our two new friends from SF with us to the restaurant. Before ordering Tim said he was going to back and check the the departure board to make sure what we heard was correct.  While the three of us left were try to decide between the leg off chicken and the stir fry, tim came running back to say that our flight was boarding.  Lunch then became mini bananas and cookies from the stash.  

Above is famous bridge in DaNang. The yellow on the side is actually a giant dragon.  This area was one of the worst affected by agent orange.

Staying in HueAn. 
Dinner with our SF friends

Below is custard apple provided by Tran. He also shared jack fruit, durian and another ball like fruit we don't remember the name of.