02.28.2009 85 °F
So we arrived back in Saigon today after our send off from Vinh. We were brought to the airport via ambulance with 3 of the doctors we worked the most with as well as Nga and her two daughters. After spending much of the week eager to get our vacation started, it was certainly with a heavy heart that we said goodbye to the people we worked with and the few people in the community we came to know (even if not linguistically) during our time in Vinh. It truly was a memorable experience, culturally and medically.
We made it to Ho Chi Minh city safely, booked our flights to Siem Reap on Tuesday, got a METERED cab (this ride cost us less than 6bucks compared to the $16 or so we spent the first day) and made it to our hotel.
Coming from the quieter much less crowded city of Vinh back to the craziness of Saigon was a small shock. But I already have a much better feel for the life of Saigon. I think our first stop a month ago was so quick and I was in shock at how much different Vietnam was from the US. While I still think Hanoi is much better, Saigon is a vibrant place that really never sleeps.
Also, THEY HAVE PEOPLE WHO LOOK LIKE ME!!! Now I don't stick out like a sore thumb, but it is kind of weird to not have people staring at you and to come across so many natives who speak English.
We then set out and booked a two day Mekong Delta Tour. We will be leaving by boat tomorrow morning and will be exploring the area around Vinh Long by bike and boat with a couple of cooking classes and a stay overnight with a local family, then an early morning visit to a floating market, which I am most excited about. It seems that it will be similar to our one day trip in Hoi An, but not quite as rustic and certainly with not as much fun company as we had with the Canadian trio. But we are excited since Vinh Long sees much fewer tourists than other towns in the delta.
Excited about our two weeks of vacation and will keep updating although we won't lilely be back online until we return from the delta on March 2.