|Traveling Outside Nevada
by DeAnne T. Appleby
A recent trip to Vietnam turned out to be a fantastic travel experience. The friendly people, the spectacular scenery and the comfortable accommodations made for a great vacation. Spending a few weeks in a seaside resort getting a tan and enjoying mixed drinks on the beach is an option in Vietnam. However, there is also plenty of history, culture, scenery and outdoor adventure to experience.
83 million people inhabit this temperate, green country encompassing 128,000 square miles. With over 1,000 miles of unspoiled coastline, it’s not hard to find a pleasant, quiet, out-of-the-way spot for relaxing and taking pictures. The beaches in Vietnam are free of the bustle of tourists, for now. But the up-and-coming resort towns boasting 4- and 5-star hotels, excellent restaurants and exciting day trips will soon change that.
Historically, China ruled in Vietnam for nearly a thousand years, and the strong Chinese influence is evident in the architecture, food, and the determination of the busy, hard-working people. Nearly a century of French rule added a European flair to many of the sights in Vietnam.
A majority of the Vietnamese people are farmers and fishermen, and most of the arable land is used for growing a variety of fruits, vegetables and grains. Rice, as well as a wide range of seafood, is exported on a regular basis to other countries. The cuisine in Vietnam consists mainly of rice and a variety of seafood. However, as the locals say, “We eat everything on four legs but the table.”
Small villages populated with friendly, hard-working people dot the landscape between the big cities and the resort towns. These villages offer the best examples of Vietnamese culture and history. A train ride is a great opportunity to see the countryside. The accommodations aboard the train are comfortable, but bring your own food!
The big cities in Vietnam thrive as they rapidly catch up to the modernization of the outside world. Storefronts full of shoppers line the roads and these crowded commerce-ways make walking on or (mostly) off the sidewalks an experience to remember. As do the mobile, open-air, street-corner restaurants where (mostly) women haul out their pre-made food in baskets and offer it for sale to passers-by. Motorbike riders clog the roads and announce themselves with constant horn-honking as they transport their families and other cargo to and fro. New hi-rise hotels add to the skylines amidst electric poles over-burdened with too many wires. Pervading the establishments, street corners and sidewalks are the noises and smells of these bustling cities.
Vietnam is geared up for tourism. Gorgeous scenery, a wide variety of good food, excellent modern accommodations, adequate transportation, and the warm welcome of the open, friendly people make it a great destination. Check out over 100 photos taken during our trip at www.applebyarts.com. Experience this unspoiled vacation paradise for yourself. The Boulder City Chamber of Commerce is offering a comprehensive tour from November 1 19, 2005 for around $2,100.00 per person. Contact Jill at 293-2034, Kathleen at 294-1414, or Bill Smith at 293-2240 for more information.