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Belinda’s Travel Diary

Friday, 04 Feb 2005

Location: Hoi An, Vietnam

MapWell, after 5 days with no internet it is very difficult for me to sit inside again! My butt is also still recovering from so many kilometres on the back of Tuan's bike. It's all good though, and we got to see some parts of Vietnam that barely see westerners. In many places we were minor celebrities :-)
The Vietnamese ethnic minority villages were startling: such poverty! These people speak different languages/dialects to Vietnamese mainstream culture, and live a very traditional farming existence. If a girl wants to marry a boy in the village her family must provide 5 buffalos for the boy's family. There are also some other jewellery/trinkets thrown into the wedding pot. We met a family of 7 sisters- imagine being the parents & contemplating the hoards of buffalos you will need?!
We saw a lot of poverty, but at the same time we also saw so much happiness. Children in Vietnam don't expect (or need) toys, playstations and other associated paraphernalia to keep them entertained. The simple things are certainly the most valued in this country. Not by choice but by necessity...
So we are here in Hoi An & Peg is going mildly nuts with getting clothes made. There will be some shirts for you too Dad! We have just one week left together so I am getting out of this internet cafe & back into Vietnam :-)