Kim and Kevin in Viet Nam, Part Two

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Part Two

These photos represent the experiences of the second week of our trip. You can reach Part One at, Part Three at, and Part Four at

In the hill town of Sapa in the northwest of Viet Nam, Ho Chi Minh and Lenin travel with the groceries on a motorbike

As we prepare to leave Sapa, we have a last encounter with Hmong girls near the hotel

Kevin helps Black Hmong girls send emails. They don't know how to read and write, but they can surf the Web

Train station in Lao Cai, a city on the border with China. It was the end of our time with the Hmong people, and we were returning to Hanoi

Train from Lao Cai to Hanoi

There is no question: I like to make friends. It was not a lonely trip. Please note: I really do not speak Vietnamese. In fact, between the two of us, even after three weeks, Kevin and I probably know twenty words, and a lot of them are Hmong expressions.

The train, once it descended from the mountains, was excrutiatingly hot

A train stop between Lao Cai and Hanoi: hard seats, no air conditioning

On the train

The train

View from the train



Beautiful visions

Incredible heat

Quite a face

A train stop

Interesting characters


Because I was so chatty, Kevin had friends galore. They were reading, respectively, The Quiet American and a Vietnamese-English dictionary

What can I say -- we didn't eat it

Long Day's Journey

The guy who sold smokes on the big pipe spent a lot of time in our seats

Under these hot conditions, things are very informal

Closing in on Hanoi

Our Last Day with Friends in Hanoi

We spent several hours on our last day in Hanoi with Do and his wife. Kevin and I interviewed and recorded this incredible witness to war -- and peace. Do's grandfather had been killed by the French, his father by the V.C., and his brother by the Americans. Do didn't know whom he was against. He only knew that he loved peace and reconciliation. His work as the liasion for the loan project in Quang Ngai province (next set of photos) is a testimony to his generosity of spirit. Thank you for the honor of knowing and talking to you, Mr. Do

Do and his wife

Huong and I had a "girl talk" lunch the last day. She had made many of our travel arrangements for us prior to our arrival

Thank you for everything you did for us, Huong

Kevin and our host for our last evening in Hanoi

Kevin and Mr. Hien

Dear Thuy

First course of the farewell meal with the Dang Family

This shrimp had been alive only an hour before

The second course of the Last Supper

Our friend Vinh, without whom we would not have been able to communicate. He is a very close friend of the Dang Family

Thuy, the master chef of two eventful dinners

Bong and her cousin, Huong's daughter Mieu


Final farewell to Thuy

Our final farewell to Hien

Loving farewells

Hue, Imperial City

We were very reluctant to leave the North and the dear friends we had made there. Hue, on the central coast of Viet Nam, is a tourist destination even for the Vietnamese. Our guide in Ninh Binh, Truong, planned to take his financee there for his honeymoon, where they would take a boat trip on the Perfume River. We thought Hue was pretty unromantic ourselves.

We arose at 4am for the flight from Hanoi to Hue, in central Viet Nam

After lunch and coffee, cycling along the Perfume River in Hue (with attractive new hat)

Boat dock at the Quang An Pagoda

On the way by bicycle to a pagoda, fishing house boats on the Perfume River in Hue

Stupa at Quang An Pagoda, a stopping point along the river for the imperial family