A different side of Vietnam

Today we lived like tourists and took an all day trip to Vung Tao Beach and stopped to see the statue of Jesus on our way. We woke up at 5:30 and caught our bus at 6 to ride nearly two hours to the statue. On our way there, we passed through a different part of Vietnam that we haven’t seen yet. Leaving Ho Chi Minh city and driving through the crowded countryside, I saw a community of people who appeared to live a very poor lifestyle. Many low buildings and shops crowded the streets where stray dogs roamed in search of food. This is what I imagined when I originally thought of Vietnam. The people who I noticed living in this area, although I’m sure are super friendly, had a rougher look to them and most men were seen wearing worn down pants and no shirt. Ho Chi Minh city is a lot more developed than this area was and it is obvious to see the effects of globalization in the city compared to the countryside. We arrived and walked around 1,000 steps to get to the statue and climb up inside to get an amazing view of the city and land around.

The view from inside the Jesus statue

It was extremely hot today and there was no air flow inside the statue so it’s safe to say that we were all very hot! However, it was an experience of a lifetime and I will never forget this part of the trip.

We then went to eat at a hotel resort where the food was served in rounds starting with the appetizer, four main courses, and a dessert. This was my favorite meal so far and was much needed after waking up so early this morning. I was daring today and ate a fish eye that was served with the rest of the fish body and it was surprisingly tasty! We followed up lunch by going to the resort pool and beach that was attached.

I had a great day today and loved this eye opening experience to see another part of Vietnam, and also relax and hangout with the other students at the hotel resort. Looking back I probably should’ve used a little more sunscreen but hey, that’s why I packed aloe!

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