News and Views

From my kids accomplishments, to my heretical perspective of the world

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Central Vietnam

February 24th, 2014 · 3 Comments

We flew early this morning from Saigon to the city of Da Nang in central Vietnam. This is near where Richard was stationed during the war, and I’m sure he came through Da Nang on his way in and out. There’s a beautiful beach here that was the supposed setting of the TV show “China Beach”.

Richard, to answer your question on my previous post about how we are getting around here, we have our own mid-sized tourist bus that seats all 14 of us.Today we saw only Da Nang and the nearby town of Hoi An. Hoi An is a beautiful town or small city full of Europeans, in places more Europeans than Vietnamese. It’s understandable why they come here – the weather is perfect and the town is lovely.

The others are making a real effort to include me, and we spent an enjoyable dinner speaking much of the time in Mandarin so I could join in. I don’t want them to feel that they have to speak Mandarin all the time, since I’m afraid it will slightly reduce their own spontenaity, but part time is nice.

In Saigon I got SIM cards for both Gisele and me. I got unlimited phone calls, text and 4G data for $5 for the whole month. The data speed is only 6 MBPS or so, slower than I usually see at home, but it seems very reliable and ubiquitious. The cost was an amazing $5 per phone.

There has been a lot of inflation with the Vietnamese Dong. One US dollar is worth about 20,000 dong, and $100 is worth 2 million dong. When quoting prices people just leave off the thousands and ask for “$300” when they mean $300 thousand. The thousands is understood.

Jet lag — falling asleep. I better post this before my forhead starts typing.

Tags: Family Updates

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Richard // Feb 24, 2014 at 9:04 am

    I spent a lot of time on China Beach.

  • 2 Donna // Feb 24, 2014 at 10:08 am

    When I was in Poland, they were just preparing to re-denominate their currency. Like Vietnam, due to immense inflation, they had a lot of zeros — everything cost thousands and millions of zloty. In 1995, 10,000 old złoty became one new złoty. They even printed new money. I brought home a lot of the old Polish coins and bills as souvenirs.

    Are you able to get wifi most places?

  • 3 Daryl // Feb 24, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Richard, I can see why you would spend a lot of time on China Beach. It is beautiful. You probably didn’t have the European women in bikinis at that time, but the sand is probably the same.

    Donna, so far we have had WiFi in both hotels. I also have never lost my phone 4G signal.

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