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Ho Chi Minh city to ship/ first day on Amadara

January 23, 2017

We got checked in with AmaWaterway and got our luggage secured and we had a couple of hours to explore Ho Chi Minh city. With the Tet (Lunar New Year) underway, the city was packed. This is the largest national holiday in Vietnam. Most workers get a week off and school is out for 2 weeks. There are flowers and decorations everywhere to celebtate. The main flower color is yellow and the yellow apricot flower is the main symbol. Women were dressed in their finest and posing for pictures in front of the flowers.

We may not have been in our finest, but we wanted to get in on the act. 

While many of the flowers were real, these were meticulously wired on! 

We saw families taking pictures too, but it was mainly the women. We saw more gardens, the US Embassy and wandered back to the hotel in time to cool down before boarding the bus to head to the ship. 

We saw more scooters than you can imagine carrying not only people but everything imaginable.

On the 1 1/2 hour bus ride we saw fields of rice (they grow 3 rice crops a year), bananas, melons and palms, along with floating nurseries full of flowering plants. Once we got on the highway, scooters are prohibited. We made it to the ship, went straight to lunch, and finally made it to our room to unpack and get organized. We had a mandatory life jacket drill and then some free time before the captains reception where we met our crew. 

We had a great dinner, followed by a presentation of traditional folk music. I was in bed by 9:45 and slept great until the phone rang at 2:30 am. Been up since then so I may fade later on. 

We are in Ca Bai, and will leave on tours in 2 hours. More later. 

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