08.09.2008 - 10.09.2008 33 °C
We have adjusted to the sounds and sights of the city. Motor bikes outnumber cars 20 to one and there are no Rules of the Road. There are very few traffic signals. No yield signs at intersections. The bikes, motorbikes and cars all merge and most of the time manage to avoid accidents. It is similar to an amusement park bumper car experience. People do U-turns, ride on the wrong side of the street, merge incorrectly and somehow it seems to work most of the time with bicycles, motorbikes, and cars all traveling together. My interpreter oftens takes me to work on the back of her motorbike. I have a video link on the photo site that shows a major intersection in Saigon and you can hear the sounds of the city. The major cause of death in Vietnam is motorbike accidents, so it is dangerous.
We eat our meals family style at the hotel. Soup for breakfast or western eggs along with a French baguette. At lunch and dinner, there is usually a small bowl of soup served and then another larger bowl of soup along with rice, fish, chicken, pork, green beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes. It is nice not having to order and eating family style at the hotel, but we are beginning to tire of the lack of variety and have requested a per diem that would allow us to eat some meals outside the hotel. We have had some wonderful grilled grouper at one of the beach restaurants and wonderful salmon at the hotel.
Da Nang is a wonderful city. The beach is 15 minutes from downtown. I have photos of a resort on the beach, Furama. My photos might not do it justice, but you have to put it is perspective with the typical street scene in Da Nang and then appreciate that you might think you were in Hawaii or the Caribbean at this resort. I understand that Koreans are the major foreign businessmen here, though Americans are coming. Hyatt is building condos on the beach and there are two other resorts under construction on the beach road. There is a World Trade Center under construction and the city is developing very quickly. People are open and friendly and very eager to work with us or assist us. There are not as many tourist as Hanoi and HCMC and that is also very pleasant.
They have their first English movie this week at the cinema..Mama Mia. Many of the people learn English from BBC and CNN.