You can also read Kyle's observations of Vietnam here.

Our first stop in Vietname was Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon.  Here are the ever present scooters, in a slight drizzle, going past the Hotel Continental in the heart of the city. 


The remnants of the French influence in the area is still very visible.  This is the Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica.


We took a boat down the Mekong Delta from Saigon to a small town called Vung Tau.  One surprising feature of this beach resort is the large statue of Jesus standing on the hilltop, ala Rio de Janeiro. 


I just can't stop taking pictures of waves of scooters.


We spent more time in Hanoi, in northern Vietnam.  Many of the buildings in the old part of town have a nice mix of European and Asian architecture.


Here are more of those fused-style buildings.


Here Kyle has been handed the baskets and hat from a nice lady-vendor.  Right after we took this picture, she was mad that we didn't want to buy anything, though we tried to tip her for the privledge of using her props.


A barbershop in Hanoi.


Here is a small pagoda on a small island.  It sits on a lake just outside the old town of Hanoi.


The art of water puppetry originated in the rice paddies of Vietnam during the rainy season.  The puppets are controlled by sticks under the water, grasped by puppeteers backstage.  In the one hour performance, there must have been over 100 puppets used, so colorful and dynamic it's amazing.  Most of my pictures didn't turn out well, because the puppets moved so fast.


On a rainy day in Hanoi, we visited the Temple of Literature.  This place is considered the first university in Vietnam, a school for the study of Confucianism.


These topiary figures were in a courtyard of the Temple of Literature.


We took two day trips out of Hanoi.  The first was to Tam Coc, a valley filled with limestone rocks and mountains.  The best way to see it is from the front of a small, canoe-like boat being rowed by two strong Vietnamese.  Here are Kyle and Angela on their boat.


The river is busy all day long with tourists in their hired boats.


There is a lot of flora and fauna to be observed.  These water lillies...


...and these mountain goats clinging to the surrounding rocks.


When the rowers' arms get tired, they row with their feet.



The river goes through a number of natural caves that the boats and their passengers also barely squeeze through.


This picture was taken on our way back, just as a little rain started to fall. Ten minutes after this picture was taken, it was raining like crazy.  The folks you see going down river in this picture were destined to get absolutely soaked before they got back to the small village where the boats dock.


Our second day trip was to Ha Long Bay.  This is our boat, which we boarded after a 3 hour bus journey from Hanoi.


The landscape here is similar to Tam Coc, but instead of the limestone formations being connected by a winding river, they are "floating" in this beautiful bay.


A boat similar to the one we were on, in front of a pretty rock.


Angela paddling a kayak (no, that's not Kyle in the back.  Kyle stayed on the main boat and took pictures like this one).






We were amazed at how low this boat (presumably a tanker) sits in the water.  It looks more like a submarine than a boat.


These larger ships, with the sails, are used by people on multi-day tours of the bay.


Our tour involved a stop at some limestone caves.  This picture shows a rock formation that looks sort of like a dragon (see the red lights added as eyes to help you visualize the dragon).


We think this looks like an oyster shell, though I don't think our guide called it that.