Greetings from the Seven Seas Mariner!!
Sorry to be so long without writing.
Our flights to Hong Kong were interrupted by weather. Instead of traveling via JFK and Seoul, we flew straight from Atlanta to Tokyo on Delta and then Dragonair from Tokyo to Hong Kong. Only problem, our luggage didn’t make the same connections. In fact, we didn’t get our luggage until Saigon, yesterday. TEN days with only our carry on bags. Luckily, the ship loaned us tuxedos for the men and waitress skirts for the women for the formal nights. The Guest Relations manager and Social Hostess also loaned clothes and shoes to my wife and mother. In addition, they provided free laundry; picking up each night and delivering by the time we arose. It has not been too bad. However, we were overjoyed that our luggage arrived yesterday so we can start having some variety.
Hong Kong was wonderful. My folks had met a Hong Kong native while traveling in mainland China 22 years ago. He was thrilled to see them again after so long. He took us to restaurants wherein we were the only Caucasians. He also showed us all around Hong Kong Island and the New Territories.
Hanoi was great. Took an old MI-24 helicopter over Ha Long Bay and then onto Hanoi. Then took bus tour of the sights. Fascinating! Then, a long three and a half hour bus trip back to Ha Long Bay. Interesting with all the motor scooters and old trucks. One of the strangest sights was a man driving a motor scooter with a live pig tied up behind him.
Next we went to Da Nang. We had a private tour. My stepfather served two tours as a Marine in Da Nang. We were matched up with a guide who had befriended Marines as a kid. He knew every hill and every spot my stepfather wanted to see. He even took us to the exact spot on Red Beach where the Marines landed in 1965. He had a picture taken the day of the landing so we could line up the exact spot.
Saigon was quite a sight. To see the Reunification Palace wherein the basement looked just like when South Vietnamese President was there to fight the war. Today was Cu Chi tunnels where VC hid and Cao Dai temple out by the Cambodia border. Do not miss the Cao Dai temple if you are ever in Vietnam.
Tonight, we are sailing back down Saigon River. Tomorrow is a sea day then onto Bangkok. I will try to write again later in the cruise.