Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Cu Chi Tunnels

Built by the Viet Cong in the 1940s as protection from French air raids during the Indochina conflict, the Cu Chi Tunnels extend underground for more than 250km in the vicinity of Saigon alone. This network of passageways later provided vital access to the rural areas surrounding the city during the Vietnam War, when the tunnels housed living quarters, hospitals, booby traps, and storage facilities for the Viet Cong.

The tunnels, and complex, are definitely a tourist attraction, and its one of those things you do so that you've seen/done it. But because of where I've come from and what my family has been through, it's difficult for me to "admire" them - although, of course, I can totally appreciate the hard work that went into creating the network.

Half way through the tour we stopped and were able to purchase some ammunition to fire some some riffles at the range. Kien was so disappointed he wasn't able to fire a weapon or go down to the shooting area. He's just too little, but I've promised him that when he is big enough we can go shooting. Jef got to fire a machine gun and it was fun!

There was also a demo of how rice paper is made. I love eating rice paper so it was great seeing her do it.

Over the last school holidays...

We've been back for over a week now. Settling back to routines hasn't been easy...not sure why. I've not been able to shift my sleep back to this timezone, so surviving on a few hours a night (well, early hours of the morning) means my brain is not firing on all cylinders. This week I'm determined to get this sorted.

We flew over to Saigon on Tuesday 2 October in the first week of the school holidays.

We stayed in an apartment in District 1, in an area that is relatively new. It's quite different to where we've stayed in the past where we step out the door and in amongst the action. At this apartment its quiet and pristine.

We were in Saigon for 4 days, and it wasn't until Saturday that we had a chance to take a walk across the bridge and see what's over there.

Sat Kien down to a bowl of Pho - so great he loves to eat beef noodle soup!

Such an interesting area, and we didn't get a chance to explore it all that much.

When it rains, it rains! We were walking around and could feel the raindrops getting fatter and heavier. We took shelter at a roadside store/dairy type, and after a few beers we decided to just purchase some ponchos and get back to the apartment. Best decision ever! It was so much fun in the warm rain. Kien and I had such a good time jumping in puddles all the way home.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

At our Mangawhai ngahere in October

With all our good intentions of getting up north more often kind of went by the wayside as our lives got busier and busier the closer we got to the end of the year. The last time we were up at the property was mid October...which seems like so long ago now. It was a significant visit for us because we had our Ferguson tractor there waiting for us. It got delivered right before we went to Vietnam, so it was something we were looking forward to on our return.

I've got a bunch of snippet videos of us driving around on the thing, and Jef pulling logs down the hill. When I get a chance to edit I'll post them.

We had such amazing weather that weekend. It was sunny and hot, just the way the start of summer should be. We went to the local butcher and got some lovely things to stick on the BBQ. Kien practiced his campfire making skills.

We went to the beach and hung out there for a while. There was hardly anyone around. It was still very chilly but that didn't stop Kien from going in.

So many good times to be had up there. Really looking forward to heading up there again.


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