The Countdown Begins -- For Home!

Trip Start Feb 17, 2013
Trip End Mar 21, 2013

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Today is our last day in Vietnam.  We are ready to go home but I think we will miss so much of what is here.  We'll miss the people, the food, the hubbub of the streets.  But, we are looking forward to our food, people we know, and the quiet streets of Salt Lake City.  No question that we live in a bubble back home.

The day is young, the streets beckon, the heat is rising, and we have a mission to accomplish before we are ready to go to the airport this afternoon.  We still have an unfinished gift list and Dayna wants a Happy Buddha!  So, off we go to the Old Quarter  and the Central Market.  Our hotel, The Skylark, is at the edge of the Old Quarter, next to the Citadel.  Who knew ahead of time that we would ultimately walk completely through the district, and back again, and not find all that we wanted, but we got close.  First stop was the market where Dayna found her Happy Buddha woodcarving. Then, off to find some tourist T-shirts.  We never did find Cheap Tourist Shit Street, but we did find Bamboo Street and that was cool.  We found the St. Joseph's Catholic Cathedral which we had missed on our various walks, and we walked completely around the lake.  

We were back to the hotel by 11:00, sweaty but satisfied that we had accomplished most of our mission.  Time to rest, bathe, and pack for our trip home.  The director of the travel agency we used for our Northwest Adventure Tour took us to the airport in his very expensive (for Vietnam) car.  We're glad we could help him pay for it.  Nice guy who spoke no English and he got us to the airport about two hours before our flight.

The Hanoi airport is super busy and far outdated but is in the process of being replaced by a huge new airport which is under construction.  This is one project that has a good possibility of being finished.  We only got a little lost but finally found the Vietnam Air international departure counter.  The lines were mammoth but we had won the lottery and been upgraded to First Class so our line was short.  Note to Trip Advisor travelers:  If you fly Vietnam Airlines, sign up for "Option Town" when it is offered to you.  You will not regret it.

A little last minute shopping in the terminal to use up the last of our Vietnamese Dong and we are ready to board.  We have less than $10 in Dong left, enough for Anthony & Aiden to take to show-and-tell at school.  We are ready to leave the land of no toilet paper or napkins and questionable toilets!

Next stop, Taipei, Taiwan!  2 1/2 hours in First Class!
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