Saigon, ho!

Saigon, ho! – a cyclist’s cry announcing sight of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon.

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Made it!  Representing Jackson, Missouri, USA in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam!

First we had to get to a bike shop to disassemble and pack our bikes for the journey home.  We rode on four wheels for safety – you wouldn’t believe the traffic!

HCMC 2.2

Special thanks to our city guide Chad and translator Sang for helping us navigate the craziness that is Ho Chi Minh City.

Next order of business was visiting Uncle Ho’s statue at Ho Chi Minh City Hall and thanking all of the awesome people who made this trip possible!

Thank you for following our journey!  Plenty more from the road still to come!

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Project: Vietnam

My cool Pedaling Pioneer:  Vietnam stateside classes sculpted physical maps out of salt dough, then they painted and labeled the different regions to help them learn about the geography of Vietnam as I traveled.  They also chose Vietnamese names to go by in class.  Check them out!

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Zack attack

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Just outside of Dong Hoi, I met Zack, an American English teacher in Vietnam.  It was great getting to hear about life in Vietnam from someone who lives it!

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Taking care of “business”

In the United States, we say “rest” stop, but we all know what we’re there to do.  In Vietnam, there are rest stops where you can actually REST for a while in a hammock!

But for the other thing, the facilities are completely different from what Americans are used to.

Remember the rocket ship toilet in Japan?  Compare that to an actual hole in the wall!


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The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Sometimes you have to get off the beaten path (Highway 1, which we’ve been following our entire journey).

And you get to see cool stuff like this.

Sometimes you then have trouble getting back ON the beaten path.

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The cutest 6th grader ever

This smart little cookie is Trung.

She’s 10 and plans to be an English teacher.  She has clearly had a good one herself!  Vietnamese and English couldn’t be more different, which makes her English skills all the more impressive!

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Feast your eyes on this!  I’ve eaten mainly rice, vegetables, and meat in Vietnam.

One of my on-the-go foods is bánh mì, or hot buns, sometimes stuffed with meat or rice & veggies.  Bánh mì comes from colonial times when the French brought baguettes with them to Vietnam.

Drinks and snacks and strange fruits – oh my!

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Imperial City of Hue

Visiting the Imperial City inside the walled Citadel in the city of Hue.  Vietnam was a monarchy from 1805-1945, and the Imperial City of Hue was the capital and home of the 13 emperors of the Nguyen dynasty.

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Ho Chi Minh City or bust!

Screenshots and pics of my stops along the journey…

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Ho Chi Minh City or bust!

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Rice rice baby

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Vietnam is one of the largest growers of rice in the world.  I got to see the rice-growing process from the flooding of the paddies…

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…to the harvest!  After the rice is harvested, it is spread out to dry on flat surfaces – in front of homes, even on the shoulders of the national highway!

Scenes from the rice paddies – leveling with water buffalo, weeding, and homemade tractor wheels.

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