Good Morning, Vietnam!
Oct 29th, 2015|
By Paul Cowley, Owner, President, & Creative Director
What can I say; it truly was “The trip of a life time!”
Here we were, father and son in a strange land, with nothing to do but to take it all in.
Weaving our way through the endless stream of motorbikes, searching for things we didn’t know we were looking for. Everything coming at you all at once, packaged in a damp heat unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Right away, I noticed the bright red flags boasting the menacing hammer & sickle; which automatically sent a message of fear right to my core, “We’re in a communist country!” I guess I was showing my age.
The whole trip lasted two and a half weeks. We stayed the first two days in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. There we saw, among other things, The War Remnants Museum. It was not a very up-lifting exhibit and as an American it was very hard to take.
From there, we embarked on our six-day motorcycle trip up-country. I call this “motorcycle heaven”, what an adventure! An elaborate obstacle course of primitive roads, winding though small villages, all the while dodging potholes, chickens, wayward pigs, and goats. Oh, and let’s not forget the wandering cows, “you don’t want to be hitting one of them, this is Buddhist country you know.” Actually, I say that, but in reality the people were so nice! Our days on the bikes, cutting though the mountain roads overlooking vast valleys and cultivated hillsides was more than a feast for the eyes, it was indescribable.
After six days on the road, it was time for some R&R. We retreated to a couple of small resort towns where we were waited on hand and foot. These people wrote the book on customer service, hands down!
From there, we flew to the ancient city of Hanoi, a city that never, ever, sleeps. Over seven million people live there, in seemingly perfect harmony. We walked though many beautiful parks during the days, I love city parks, no matter where I travel, I always get that same feeling, parks are the nicest things people create for themselves.
Our last night, Jon treated me to a fancy dinner at the legendary Hotel Metropole, Hanoi’s French colonial-style hotel lying in the heart of the city, near Hoan Kiem Lake and the magnificent Opera House. After eating like we were in Paris, we moved outside for coffee. The air still very warm, but pleasant, we could hear soft music coming from across the way and couples were gracefully dancing under the stars.
It was in that moment that I realized how truly blessed I was to have this opportunity to spend time with Jonathan and see a world so different than ours. It really puts things into perspective to how fortunate I am and how much I realize life is a gift. Jonathan and I will always have a special place in our hearts for the wonderful country and people of Vietnam!
For some more photos, check out the album on Facebook!