Chuck Hillig's Travel Blog

Well, I'm going to be doing a lot of traveling over the next 6-7 months so I thought that I'd better re-activate my travel blog. The last time I posted anything here was way back in 2006 when I was traveling through SE Asia. Feel free to read my entries back then about my earlier adventures through India,Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines and Hong Kong. This time (at least for the next six weeks), I'll be traveling through Greece and Turkey.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Last day in Vietnam...

Today, I met my friend, Tuan, by the central lake (its name is actually Hoan Kiern), and we went on his motorbike over to a small pond several miles away where there are visible remnants of a downed B-52 bomber still sticking up out of the water...tires and all. There is a stone memorial marking the event and, surprisingly, the pond that the wreckage sits in is only about 150 feet square. Tuan explained that the entire area had changed considerably and had been rebuilt several times since the plane had gone down some 40 years ago. We also went over to Truc Bach Lake which sits in the middle of Hanoi and was the actual site where they captured Senator John McCain back in 1967. I finally heard from the newlyweds, Grant and Cathy, (the Brits that I had first met going down the Mekong from Phnom Penh almost two weeks ago). We had a great lunch together and shared our adventures over the past 10 days. Grant called me later at the hotel to give me a few tips on where to stay in Vientiene, Laos. I had dinner tonight (and last night, actually,) at the City View Restaurant that overlooks the Hoan Kiern Lake at the south end of the Old Quarter. The lake itself is rectangular and appears to be about a half a mile long and a quarter of a mile wide. There are two small islands in the lake...both of which have temples. Around the lake are trees whose branches hang out over the water. At night, about a dozen of these trees around the lake are ablaze with thousands of tiny white Christmas tree bulbs which dangle quite close to the water. There is also an arched pedestrian bridge over to the larger of the two islands, and it's lit up with red lights which reflect brilliantly off the water. The entire effect is very stunning. I took a bicycle rickshaw back to the hotel and began to pack up for my trip to Laos. More later...

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