Quick update, I developed a fever two nights ago and so was out for the count all yesterday. Luckily, the people at Raffles Medical were fantastic. I feel a lot better after fever meds and some rest.
Today was a great day to get back in the swing of things! We took a trip to the beach resort town of Vung Tau. There, we saw Jesus! Literally! Picture the statue from Rio, but in Vietnam. I didn’t attempt the climb to the top, so I didn’t get to see the statue in person. However, I did spend a lot of time enjoying the tropical environment (and people watching!)
Next, we went to a nearby resort for lunch and relaxation. The pool was incredible. Instead of hot tubs, they had cool tubs (which after sweating in 90 degree weather, were just lovely). I picked up a lot of seashells from the beach. I picked up a lot of sand, too, but that was unintentional.
The drive from our hotel to the resort was interesting. It was strange to see the shifts between Saigon, more rural areas, and the beach province. Throughout our drive, I was surprised at the difference between Saigon traffic and highway traffic. First, I saw a smaller number of motorbikes. In addition, I saw smaller houses with greater green space between them. Within Saigon, every building uses every inch it has, often building higher than wider. This was the opposite. Instead of townhouses and skyscrapers, I saw fields and corrugated tin. The landscape also changed. I saw more lush fields and mountains interspersed between the trees than I saw pho shops.
It was really strange to see the change. We had learned about the rapid urbanization of Vietnam and the rapid rise of population in Ho Chi Minh City. Seeing it in person was different, though. I think our trip to the Mekong will help better picture what this urbanization really means.
It was great to escape the city for a little while. I think we all needed a peaceful day.