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Journeys : Dec Jan 2010
Pickles Auctions For real peace of mind, purchase an RACT roadworthy inspected vehicle. See your local paper every Saturday for over 80 vehicles. Or for a detailed listing and photographs of vehicles visit our website. www.pickles.com.au GOVERNMENT & FLEET VEHICLE AUCTION Fixed Price Sales Saturday 9am to 2pm and Monday 8am to 4.30pm 56 Sunderland Street, Derwent ParK 7009 Ph: (03) 6108 8444 Ihave died and gone to heaven. I'm floating across Halong Bay near Hanoi in a traditional junk, being ser ved delectable seafood, a cool, sweet afternoon breeze wafting in from the water. French wine is on the table and arrays of pearls are displayed in front of me. And that's just in side the boat! Beyond, the natural beauty of this World Heritage area is astounding, with thousands of islands jutting out of the sea and floating houses with fish-farms in their backyards. Vietnam is a country of contrasts, where traditional lifestyles merge and blend with the busy pace and flurry of the expanding cities. Coming through customs at the international airport in Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City as it is now called, a blast of cold attitude had earlier slammed us in the face -- a reminder that we are indeed in a communist country. But all that changes as we leave the airport building and merge with the bubbling burst of humanity that is Vietnam. The country has many reminders of past conflicts and invasion s. There's a sadness in the eyes of older people who remember years of strife and war; while the French influence shows in impressive buildings like Saigon's post office, an amazing contrast with other buildings of the city. That influence is also seen and tasted in the wonderful food -- combine French and Vietnamese styles on the menu and you've won me! We enjoy all this at the Grande Hotel in Saigon, where our day begins with a magnificent breakfast buffet that includes Australian favourites such as eggs and bacon as well as traditional Vietnamese cuisine. There's also a chef standing by to whip up whatever our taste buds desire. ------ As we have seen on Halong Bay, a day trip from Hanoi in the north of the country, Vietnamese people have ingenious ways of using water. Village people farm small fish pens on tiny pieces of water -- it seems they can make a fish farm out of a puddle! In the south, cr uising the mighty Mekong Delta in a sampan highlights the importance of the life-giving qualities of the rivers to contemporary culture as it has done for centuries. It's a unique experience to see the floating markets and the way of life on the river banks -- Christine Churchill Good afternoon Vietnam Halong Bay Destinations December 09 / January 10 18
October November 2009
Feb March 2010