Anyways, the endless pampering in Bac Lieu has sadly ended. We made are way back to Saigon and spent a full day there. Uncle Thomas treated us all to 2 hr massages. This was the most interesting massages I have had. For the most part it was a pretty relaxing. The masseuses got a little high up on the thighs though. I learn that I cannot receive foot massages without cracking up laughing. Every time the masseuse ( lets call her Minh) got close to my feet I it felt like she was trying to tickle me. At one point I almost reflexively kicked her i the face. I got some strange looks from her. I guess most people to don’t laugh profusely during foot massages. To be fair, it didn’t tickle when she was digging her knuckle into the arch of my foot, that just plain hurt, but it was better than being tickled.
Minh was an interesting girl. She stood at 5 feet(at the most) and she was a petite little Vietnamese woman BUT HER ARMS were the size of tree trunks( probably from all those years as a masseuse). She could easily have a career in mma, or lifting ( her arms were bigger than most of the guys in the Vietnam. There were other things about the massage that confused me. They forcibly pushed my knee and my elbows to a locked position, and it made me feel like I was being arm/knee barred. My brain went to jiujitsu mode during part of this massage, I starting thinking about how to escape an arm bar that I was not actually being put in. At the very end they arched my back acroyoga style by laying under me and lifting me up on their feet. SO I was essentially balancing by my back on them. I felt like my back was being taken and they were going to attack my neck for a choke( folks that do Judo or Jiujitsu would understand). My arms immediately went up to cover my neck. Minh looked very confused, by the end of the massage i was not sure if I was actually more relaxed
Vietnam is a great place to get suits tailored. They will do it for very cheap, but custom tailor it to you. In the US this would probably cost at least 1000 USD. In Saigon it cost about 350 USD for a tailored three piece suit with Italian fabrics ( as good as the price was, I feel that we still got ripped off, we could have gotten it done for cheaper if we had bargained better). Next time we should extort them.
The next day we went on a flight to do a tour of central Vietnam. We went to Da Nang and town in Central Vietnam. They have this bridge with a huge dragon looking structure going along the bridge. It even breathes fire at night! They have a show at 9pm every night where put people up for trial to pay for their crimes, so they dangle them in front of the dragon to be first burned with dragon fire and then extinguished with a high pressure water cannon from the same dragon head ( I am kidding about the trial part, serious about the fire breathing and water cannons, it is a nice show).
In the area there is a buddhist/vietnamese version of Christ the Redeemer. It is also a large white statue, but its a buddha
And we also ran across a Vietnamese Virgin Mary!
Probably the most historically significant place we have been to this whole tour is the DMZ /the border between North and South Vietnam. It also made me realize that translating these 2 different names into Chinese feels really redundant 北越南 and 南越南。I would talk more about the history but my cousin Ada knows much more about it and is going to guest blog about it later( I assume she will at least).
Normally I am not a big fan of tours ( actually I am still not). But the upside of being in a tour where the guide doesn’t speak your language. You can tune him out and get a lot of reading done. in this whole week I have finished three full books:
I have had a lot of free time on the bus. At least it isn’t idle time!