July 14, 2010 (5:00pm local time, 6:00am EST)

[WILL ADD PICTURES SOON]

OMG, I’m so tired! I just want to crawl into bed and go to sleep, but it’s such a waste of time!

First, I must say that I THINK our plans to visit Nha Trang and Da Lat have been finalized. We should be heading off to Saigon tomorrow (Thursday) morning, spending the night there where we will be picked up Friday morning to begin our tour. The tour is 5 days long and includes all meals, hotels (3&4*), admissions, transportation, etc. Total price is about 5million VND per person, which translates to about $275 CAD. It’s not the cheapest, but it’s not too bad either because it is a private family tour for only 6 people on a 12 or 16 seat car. Knowing us, plans will change from now until tomorrow morning, but that’s what it will be like for now!

So, picking up where I left off earlier in the day. We now move on to a recount of what we did on July 12, 2010.

Early that morning, Ba 6, Ba 9, Di Tham, and Kien came down to Nga Bay to pick us up. We were headed by motor boat into “Vuon” (similar to the countryside in Canada, but the landscape is jungle-like. The ride was super long on an ancient boat (the same one we used the last 2 times we went), but it was a great opportunity to capture footage of life on the river.

We first stopped to visit my great grandparents’ (on my mom’s dad’s side) graves, which we do everytime we’re back, to pay our respects. We then travelled a little further to visit Ong Ba 7 (Ong 7 is my mom’s dad’s younger brother) unannounced. Unfortunately, they weren’t even home! They had already left on vacation in Nha Trang. We made ourselves at home, ate the dishes we had brought along with us to have with Ong Ba 7 and took a tour into his jungle-garden. Captured some neat footage of my grandpa’s family’s land, including all the different fruit trees they’re growing these days.

This was also the day I got bitten by fire ants for the first time. And damn, it hurts! They bite and just don’t let go!

We stayed for quite a while, where Cau 6 (Ong Ba 7’s son) played host and gifted us with TONS of fruits when we headed out. Pomelos, whole branches of coconuts and little bananas, oranges, more!

They are currently expanding the river to Ong Ba 7’s house, using a claw that digs up the mud from the riverside and placing all the mud on the river bank (not sure if my terms were right). It was a joy going to and from the house and the boat. Barefeet and sinking in leg deep mud! Yay!

On the way back, due to convenience, we docked by Di 3 and Di 4’s ( ) house to pay them a visit as well. They are super sweet and my mom promised to come back and spend time with them when she has a chance. We didn’t stay too long because it was getting late and Ba 6, Ba 9, Di Tham and her son still had to catch a ride back to their city.

We got back to our house around 3:30pm and just chilled until dinner. After dinner, the kids, Thanh (Chet Quang’s daughter), Phuong (Chet Hien’s daughter), and Kan (Chet Em’s son), and us went around the city to… pretty much eat.

We stopped to get “Korean shaved ice dessert” … Korean my butt, it was probably the most silly dessert I’ve ever had. A large cup full of shaved ice, topped with a capful of fruit syrop (lychee in my case), a few strings of carmelized papaya, ONE carmelized strawberry, a pinch of crushed peanuts, about 4 tiny pieces of agar and 2 pieces of cut up jelly candy. What on earth is that supposed to be!? However, for 5000VND, I can’t really complain. The shaved ice was indeed refreshing in the hot weather. We walked further down the street and stopped by another place to have fried icecream. It was definitely different compared to ours in Canada, but still quite delicious. Using a piece of sliced bread, they folded it into a triangle, using brick ice cream (available in 2 flavours, strawberry and chocolate) as filling and lightly deep fried it. The ice cream was actually quite good (I don’t expect good ice cream in Nga Bay) and the bread was not too greasy either. For 6000 VND, I will definitely be back! Our last stop of the night was at a milk shop, where they sold sesame milk, soya milk and corn milk. I was pretty stuffed by this time so didn’t order anything for myself. Thanh, Phuong, and Kan all had corn milk, which I tasted, and it was quite good. Although a bit too rich for my tastes. We ended up buying a sesame and a corn one for my mom to try. Seems like all we do is eat. But yes, I love eating and it’s so cheap here… how would I resist? Mmmmm I want some fried ice cream now.

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