January 30

Typhoid shots 3 weeks ago and Visas arrived today. Our trip is rapidly approaching. Anyone else going?...Sherry


  • No not going Sherry, but would love to have a review when you get back. I would like to do the Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos trip. I am always concerned with humidity because my body does not cope with it very well. If I go on a trip in this direction it would be likely January/ February. Would love your feedback on this aspect particularly. Thank you!
  • It has been a l-o-n-g time since I was in Vietnam and I have NO, ZERO, AND NADA interest in returning. As I remember the weather in the two years I was there, February, March, and April are probably the best months to go. Especially, if you are traveling all over the country--north, central, and south. Early February can have some rain and humidity still hanging around, and late April is the time where they are going into the rainy season. As always, weather anywhere is a crap-shoot. Now, you have to know that I was stomping around central Vietnam 24/7, with everything I owned on my back and had people trying to kill me. I basically remember heat, humidity, and bugs. Did I mention the humidity?

    Vietnam has a storied and interesting history. It will probably be a good trip, but not for me--no matter what the weather is. I hope you enjoy your trip.

  • Vietnam has a storied and interesting history. It will probably be a good trip, but not for me--no matter what the weather is. I hope you enjoy your trip.[/quote]

    Hi ndvb,

    Having never been to Vietnam or Cambodia before, we are looking forward to an experience very different from the one you described. Unfortunately the weather may be the same, although we have been led to believe that the rains will motly be over, and the weather will be at its coolest. Que sera.

    We are looking forward to beautiful countryside, interesting culture and great food. (all in all the experiences we have been fortunate to experience on our past Tauck tours)

    To British: will let you know when we return.

  • When Americans were fighting the war in Vietnam the British followed it each BBC report, they were very frequent, the news coverage remains far superior than anything in the US, and I still remember the horrible pictures we saw. My father spent 6 years in Europe and Africa from age 18 in the Second world war. It did not stop him wanting to go back and visit these places, except Egypt where he was so disappointed with the pyramids. But I can certainly understand how you feel Ndvb. I am sure it is a very different country now. Conversely, when we described the scenes of our trip to India this year, my father in law said it sounded just the same as he saw it just after the war. It is only through travel, and if at all possible, being invited into the homes of people in other countries that the human race has any hope of understanding and respecting how we each conduct our lives. I am looking forward to a report from you in Antarctica, I don't think I could cope with visiting there even in it's summer. Best wishes!
  • We did this trip end of January/beginning of February. I don't know if it was an anomaly, but we were freezing in Hanoi! As we moved south, it warmed up, and by the time we got to Bangkok, we were dying of the heat AND humidity! On the return trip we stayed in Hong Kong for a week and reverted to the cold weather! I do not think the humidity can be avoided in Cambodia and Thailand ( don't know about Laos but can't imagine it would be too much different).
    My husband is also a Vietnam vet, but for him this trip was not the catharsis I had anticipated. Frankly, everything was so different, he did not recognize anything, even in DaNang where he spent a considerable amount of time. For me, a retired teacher who used to teach a unit on Vietnam, it was fascinating!
  • edited December 2014
    I think I did a lousy job of explaining why I don't want to go to Vietnam. Let me try again. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Vietnam War. I did two tours of duty there and once the wheels went up on the plane coming home it was forgotten. I do not suffer from PTSD and am often perplexed by people who do. I find it truly difficult to understand PTSD for people who "fly desks" in a wartime situation in particular. People in combat certainly have their values and courage tested and it is difficult for some to get past it.

    I was a combat Navy Corpsman with a Marine Company at Khe Sanh. I was wounded and got malaria and dysentery all in the same week. Once healed, I flew medivacs and during that duty I was shot down in three helicopters. Not many people alive can say that. I respect the sacrifices people make in wartime and know it is challenging and difficult.

    With all of that, I still do not relive or have any negative thoughts about the war. I do sometimes think about friends that I lost there and wonder what they would be doing now. I don't lose any sleep over people I killed there (killing wasn't my job since I was there to save the lives of my brothers' who had been wounded, but every now and again it happened) since I know they were trying to kill me as well. I felt it was my duty to serve, period, as it was their duty to serve their country. I certainly wish it hadn't happened, but I had/have no control over that. Neither did they. I was never told I was a "baby killer" of any other negative remark and I respected the right of people to take a political stance against the war in Vietnam. After my first tour I was in San Francisco and walked through the Haight/Ashbury district, in uniform, and was never confronted negatively.

    I have no interest in going to several places in the world, for a variety of reasons. I am not interested in going to India or into most places in Africa. I have been in several cities in Africa, mostly northern, and have no desire to repeat the experience. I loved going on the Safari. I was truly amazed at the wonder of the plains and the animals that roamed them. I would go there again...maybe often. To me, as an outdoorsman, I would go and camp in the region without batting an eye.

    To go spend time in Nairobi, or some other city, not interested. I know that some of the cities in South Africa are much like European cities, but I have no interest in going to Cape Town or elsewhere.

    I don't really have an interest in traveling to South America, but that may change once I take the Antarctica trip and spend a few days in Buenos Aires. I am willing to give that region of the world a try. If I could get to Antarctica without going to Buenos Aires, I would be fine with that.

    Vietnam, like India, has an historic and intriguing culture. But, not one I am interested in. I know much of Vietnam's history and getting an update on what has happened there since I was there in 1969 might be something worthwhile for many people, just not me. For one thing, I refuse to give my money to the government of Vietnam by being a tourist there.

    By the way, I feel the same about the French. My wife wanted to go to France and Paris in particular. I went because she wanted to and I wanted to give her that experience before she died. Will I go back, probably not. I found the French, except those in Normandy, to be unappreciative of Americans who kept them from goose-stepping around and speaking German. Normandy was the exception to the rule, in my experience. I loved that part of France and the people who inhabit the area. They were extremely respectful--even people who were too young to experience the horrible physical and personal damage of the war. I am not old enough to have been alive in WWII, but my father and father-in-law fought in it...one in the Pacific theater and the other actually landed at Normandy on Omaha Beach.

    This has gotten way too long and way too political so I will call it quits. For those who are going to Vietnam, please enjoy it. I am sure it is a wonderful experience.

    I don't know if I did any better of a job explaining this thing, but it seemed people saw my lack of interest in Vietnam being based on some psychological trauma from my service there. Not so. It just doesn't interest me. I went to Hong Kong, Taipei, and Singapore on R&R and still am interested in going back to those places. Same with Japan. I don't care to repeat my visits to the Philippines.

    I think all of us have places we'd like, or not like, to visit. It is a personal thing and happens for a variety of reasons. Many people question why we feel that way, but they should just understand that we do.

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