Twelve years ago, we took a trip of a lifetime with our daughter and two friends. We traveled from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang to Hanoi, Vietnam. We ate fantastic food, and visited magical beaches, museums, ancient ruins, and rural villages. We also met two very good friends, Duong and Toai.
A lot has changed since that first visit. Vietnam is evolving and developing into a thriving country. And, Duong and Toai’s life changed in an instant when their daughter was killed in a tragic bus accident on an icy Idaho road. Trang was the link between our families.She was studying in Boise and that is were we met. She introduced us to her parents and we visited and toured with them on our trip. It is bittersweet that our friendship with her parents was strengthened due to her death.
We met lots of family and friends and also made a trip to visit Trang’s tomb in Hue.
Duong meets with 10 ladies in Hue when ever she can. They have been friends for 49 years. It was an honor to spend the afternoon with them hearing stories and practicing English.
Da Nang is quickly becoming a destination for beach lovers. Resorts line the shoreline. The famous China Beach is a well-used public beach.
Da Nang is a river city. At least three new bridges have been built across the Han river in the last 10 years. Two of the bridges have been designed by Americans. The most impressive is the Dragon Bridge. It is beautiful in day and in night.
Some things have not changed much. One thing that we loved when we visited before was the basket boat. In Da Nang, there is still many basket boats in use.
There is so much more to the story of our experience in Vietnam. Future posts will chronicle. For now, we are enjoying the memory and and looking forward to returning in September.