Our long anticipated trip to Vietnam started on November 16, 2005 with our flight from San Francisco, via Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City (the locals call it by its old name of Saigon). We were about to embark on our first ever “tour”, but we knew it would be good, because it was a tour group of TWO!
“Vietnam is a country, not a war”! and it’s a beautiful and diverse one. Shaped like an “s” with 1,800 miles of coastline on the Eastern Sea and Pacific, it borders Laos and Cambodia. The Mekong (flows through Laos, Cambodia and Thailand) splits into nine tributaries (called “nine dragons”) and deposits silt into the heart of the rice farming region.
Buddhism, introduced in 2c, is the predominant religion with over 14,000 pagodas; Catholicism was introduced in 17thc by European missionaries, and there are a small number of Cao Dai and Muslims.