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Good morning Vietnam (and South Carolina) January 27, 2008

Posted by judylobo in Links, Photo Archives, Photography, Politics, Travel, Videos.
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Travel is grand but returning home is even better. Jet lag sadly is the ying to travel’s yang. Our trip to Vietnam was eye-opening, educational, fun and easy on the dollar. What I knew about Vietnam before I left I basically got from the movies or from my youthful over-zealous days of protesting the war. I now know a heck of a lot more about this lovely land and it’s very friendly people. The Vietnamese actually like Americans and we are now their biggest trading partner. Our 20 years of conflict with them was just a hiccup in their ravaged history. For instance, I had no idea that the Chinese occupied their land for a thousand years. After many centuries of self determination the French invaded. They then ruled over their region for another 150 years. During those years, the area which we now know as Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia was called Indochine (which by the way, is a very fine movie starring Catherine Deneuve). When the French left, around World War Two, the Japanese invaded. It gets a little murky here – but pay attention. At WW11’s end, the Communist Viet Minh, declared independence. The French Indochina war then began until France surrendered in 1954. The Geneva accord divided Vietnam into the Communist North and an anti-Communist South. Enter Uncle Sam as the primary champion of the anti-Communist Government of the South and the rest, as they say, is (our) history. For those with short term memory, in 1973 a cease fire agreement allowed the US to withdraw its troops and in 1975 the Southern capital of Saigon fell into the hands of the North Vietnamese. We renewed relations with Vietnam in 1995. By the way, the Vietnamese refer to our 20 year war with them as the American War, not the Vietnam War.

If you crave even more Vietnam history check out this site. For those that do not want to read but choose instead to rent some films about the Vietnam War (and there are many), check out this site.

These are some of the things I learned on my Southeast Asia adventure:

Bill Clinton is a star in Vietnam. His photo is everywhere. He was the first sitting president to ever visit Vietnam and they are very grateful for that and for the renewed relations with the US.

Angelina Jolie is a mega-star there. She was mentioned by every tour guide we had on our journey.

– The French may have been invading thugs but they did leave the Vietnamese with some lovely architecture, pastries and bread. Saigon has a very European layout with broad boulevards and parks.

– The Vietnamese dong is trading at 16,000 to one on the dollar.

– Southeast Asia is exactly a 12 hour difference in time with the east coast so if you go there you do not have to change your watch.

– Many of the hotels do not have clocks in the rooms but they do have scales in the bathroom. How many of you out there want to weigh yourself on a vacation?

– This had nothing to do with Vietnam but if you are traveling to Asia and have to go through the new Bangkok airport please allow yourself several hours to get from one airline to another. It is huge and they are expecting 45 million passengers to pass through this year. Gasp!

– I took way too many photos on this journey and was a bit overwhelmed as to how to edit, sort and present them in a cohesive manner. The idea of themes came to me.

1. This montage includes impressions and highlights of Vietnam.

2. This montage features the faces of Vietnam.

3. This montage displays the way Vietnam moves. It seems as if all 80 million people are constantly on the go.

4. The market is the way people shop and is a wonder to see.

As soon as I edit my photos of Cambodia I will be writing about that leg of the trip.

– On to South Carolina. It was a thumpin’. Obama trampled over the Clinton machine and the media goes frothing once again. The airwaves, your mail-box (both snail and e) and your telephone will be flooded with ads and pleas for money and support before the huge February 5th 20 state vote. This Tuesday’s vote only involves the Repugnants because The Democratic National Committee stripped Florida of all its delegates to the national convention since it moved ahead of Feb. 5 without permission. This could be the fall of Rudy. Stay tuned.

Caroline Kennedy endorses Obama in a well written opinion piece in today’s NY Times.

Maureen Dowd jumps on the dump Rudy bandwagon.

Gail Collins always tells it like it is. Check out yesterday’s column about Rudy.

Frank Rich tells it like it is about the Billary road to possible disaster in November.

Jon Stewart is back, strong and tells the truth. This latest segment involves the over-reaction of the media to what is actually going on. Check it out for yourself.

Top Ten Barack Obama Campaign Promises

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Comments»

1. Travel » Good morning Vietnam (and South Carolina) - January 27, 2008

[…] Metal Travel Guide Vietnam wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt […]

2. Cambodia » Blog Archive » AFP - Cambodia gets first PGA-standard golf course - January 28, 2008

[…] Good morning Vietnam (and South Carolina) Travel is grand but returning home is even better. Jet lag sadly is the ying to travel’s yang. Our trip to Vietnam was eye-opening, educational, fun and easy on the dollar. What I knew about Vietnam before I left I basically got from the movies or from my youthful over-zealous days of protesting the war. I now know a heck of a lot more about this lovely land and it’s very friendly people. The Vietnamese actually like Americans and we are now their biggest trading partner. Our 20 years of con […]


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