Saturday, January 2, 2010

Good Morning Vietnam

Date: Friday & Saturday January 1, 2010
Travel: Flight LAX to SGN; SGN to DAD; Van
Party: Vu & Family
Lodging: Green Hotel
Photos: 20100102 HoiAn ; 2010010306 Nice Family Pictures In Da Nang & Hue Weddings

Happy new years from the airplane. I don't think we actually hit 12:00 AM Jan 1st at any point on our flight. We left on December 30 at about 10 PM, and we probably crossed the international dateline after midnight, making it officially January 1st. It's not like we were counting anyway, as we all fell asleep after the barrage of crying from Christine. She just does not like seat belts anymore.

After an 8 hour layover in Taipei, we arrive to SGN. Aside from a quick visit to my Ba Ngoai's (grandmother), we rest for the night to prep our travel the following day. The next morning, we had a nice Vietnamese breakfast buffet and then hopped on a Vietnam Airliner taking us to Da Nang. The aircrafts are just like any other commercial jets we fly at home, which is a big surprise compared to 15 years earlier, where we had duct taped up propellers gliding us to our destinations.

The agenda was tight, as we were supposed to rush to my cousin's wedding reception immediately after we landed. The Da Nang airport was small, and I don't think it even had doors. It had more of a feel of my high schools craft and shop class, only dirty with mosquitos. Yet with the tight schedule, I changed into my suit in the bathroom. I was expecting an airport bathroom to be a nicer place to change clothes (at least better than inside the van), but I forgot, this is Vietnam. Turns out the rest of the family ended up going to the hotel to change anyway... Oh well, at least I was already ready and probably even got a souvenir of molaria.

We came in fashionably late, and it looks like everybody was waiting for us. Oops. It was feeling like a typical Vietnamese wedding reception, until I hear it's not really the reception, but only a party for the mothers side, or something like that. The wedding and reception was continuing on the next day, and then 2 more days of weddings immediately following for my other cousin in Hue. I knew I should have brought more underwear. At least I can buy another tie for a different look.

At the end of the reception, the family along with a handful of extended family members went out to Hoi An to visit my great grandparents burial site, as well as visited the house where my dad grew up with his grandmother in. We've been to Hoi An before, and visited the family historic sites, but we never really got to understand why the town was a tourist destination. This time around we would actually go down by the river, and visit some of the historical sites and markets. The town was decorated in many of its lanterns, and made the night very inviting. Of course, with the little ones, we had to buy a lantern. The prettier lanterns unfortunately were a tad big, and were not collapsible so it would be difficult to pack home. We stopped by an interesting eatery, and it looked it would be tasty from the streets, but there were a lot of foriegners around, and it was catered to them. In other words, it sucked. Still trying to recover from the long journey, we break early in the night, but we make a driving tour around Da Nang. Da Nang seems to be a growing city, and is starting to become a little more modern. Its also seemed cleaner and more groomed in the busier parts of town.

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