Greetings Friends and Followers,

Indeed it has been a long time since my last vacation blog entry from “Where in the World is Gary.”  Today I would like to introduce you to Hanoi on my fourth visit to Vietnam.  The adventure started on a 787 Dreamliner from DFW to Tokyo in the new Skysuite. After some fine dining and a couple of movies I arrived at the Narita,  Japan Admirals Club. As I walked toward the shower room I looked over and saw David Gibson (a Dallas business associate.)  It is a small world. He was headed back to Dallas and I was headed to Vietnam and Cambodia.


At around 1:00AM I finally arrived at The Essence Hotel in Hanoi that would become my home for the next five nights. The street outside the hotel was packed with people eating, drinking, and enjoying life.  The first two days I adjusted to the time zone change and awaited the arrival of my sister Beth.  Everyday was filled with trying new foods and immersing myself in a “controlled chaos” system that seems to work.  Thousands of cars, trucks, motorcycles, bikes and pedestrians all moving at once.


Checkout this movie of an early morning walk in the park and discovering people of all ages of doing every kind of exercise. Not just running and biking like in America but also Tai Chi, yoga, ballroom dancing, badminton, Hacky Sack, hip-hop, lifting weights, face stretching, and so much more.  As usual my adventurous sister Beth jumped right in to the dance classes.


I had been to Hạ Long Bay about nine years ago and recommended cruising for two days and one night. The trip was filled with the dramatic limestone islands and overrun with cruise ships.  It was disappointing to see such a wonder of nature commercialized to such an unsustainable degree. They need to get control of impending over-commercialization of the bay, as National Parks in other countries have successfully done.


We also saw the usual signs of Ho Chi Minh and the history of his life.  He studied in the United States during 1912 -13 in New York and Boston when he saw the inequality of races and how minorities were treated by the government.  He had a very interesting life and also lived in Paris for many years.


In the Hanoi airport Beth met a new friend. Beth was admiring her coat and I wanted to get a picture so that we could get the coat made in Hội An.  We are now off to the high cool mountains of Dalat.