Kelli and I fell in love with our short visit to the homestay in Phong Nha, Vietnam. We spent our mornings and evenings overlooking gorgeous farmland and for 1 day, well, we:
- swam through a pitch dark cave
- kayaked our way to the cave
- saw some neat, rare monkeys
- ate tasty fare
- snapped images of some of the most beautiful mountain views you could ever imagine
The Vietnamese people were amazingly friendly. We heard mixed reviews before traveling; the people in Vietnam are gruff, much less friendly than your SE Asian neighbors. Nothing could be farther from the truth. People in Vietnam stopped to ask us if we were lost. We also received many hugs after explaining that we were from the USA. Imagine that? ;) Anyway, Kelli and I enjoyed our stay so much in central Vietnam that the short period flew by in what seemed hours.
We were greeted by the above view shortly after arriving at the home stay. Plenty of cattle, and ducks. After a while we grabbed a bite to eat, did a little bit of work then off to bed. Thank goodness for mosquito nets as we were really off the grid in this spot. Us, and farmland, and plenty of critters.
The next day we were off to Ke Bang National Park. We saw some of the more impressive caves I have ever come across. Monstrous caverns. Deep jungle. Very much like the Jurassic Park movies. After swimming through a pitch-black cavern; trust me, it was....we headed back to our room.
After a solid night's sleep we were off to Northern Vietnam. Ninh Binh to be exact.
Honestly, I had so many interesting images of Vietnam in mind, I never really imagined the country looking like it did. I saw all of the famous Vietnam War movies in the States. Yep, all the classics, so I really built an image based on Hollywood sets and locations which were some other jungle tropical paradise.
Really neat spot. So many more rice fields than I could have imagined and as I noted, this place was off the grid in a major league way.
If you have never been to Vietnam I suggest you pay a visit ASAP. Or as soon as your budget and time demands allow it. Travel is cheap. Lodging is cheap. The most you will pay is covering the airfare from Western Countries into Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. But overall, an affordable, enjoyable experience.
We visited: Hoi An, HCM City, Hanoi, Phong Nha and Ninh Binh. All fun spots with a little different vibe. Hanoi and HCM City are absolute zoos in some areas and calm, peaceful paradises in other spots. Ninh Binh was perhaps the most gorgeous spot we soaked up during our trip through Vietnam.
In the shot above we saw the workhouse of Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia; the water buffalo. Unfortunately, many water buffalo in these countries are meeting a sad end to a butcher's knife as machinery is taking over their job but more and more people are trying to go the traditional route, using the water buffalo to work the farms.
We would see water buffalo walking along the street in the fun beach enclave of Hoi An, Vietnam. Absolutely mammoth, gigantic beasts. I remember one bull in Hoi An, in particular, who rivaled those giants I saw on nature shows, beating up lions on the African plains. This bad boy weighed in the ton/tons category. What a specimen! I was motivated to do a few quick push ups after seeing this chap lol :)
But the buffalo in the above photo were situated in a different spot. We were told many of the farmers who worked the above fields had a terrible growing season. Some went days without eating. The chief crop was a "terrible tasting" root vegetable. Since the farmers had a poor crop they could not afford to eat the few remaining veggies which had to be sold, no matter what.
I am motivated to succeed online and share my blessings with many of the people in Vietnam and SE Asia. People who work like animals, smile, yet have so little. The folks there were so accepting of their lot in life which is both good and bad. Good, from an enlightened perspective. Bad, in that the crowds of people living in poverty never realize there is another way, a better way, through which the crowd can prosper.
I hope to spread awareness through philanthropy as I grow my online businesses. I really believe that all the people in this world can prosper. Nobody need struggle amid abundance. I hope you believe this too. Maybe we can work together to expand the collective awareness of the Universe, to help people prosper, to help people open channels of abundance.
Are you with me? I hope so :)
We enjoyed our stay so much we cannot wait to get back.
Have you ever been to Vietnam? When was the last time you visited?
What is stopping you from visiting Nam?
Please share this post across all of your social networks. I appreciate your support!