Actually at this very moment I’m not anywhere near the site of the above photo (Halong Bay, Vietnam). I am sitting in my room in the sweetest hotel on the trip so far. Luang Prabang, Laos. It’s been a perfect day in many respects: Elephant rides, a Buddha-residing cave, whiskey village (for 10 minutes—just long enough to take one sip of Lao Rice Wine), a forest-shaped/guided/rimmed waterfall, and in some ways, the best of all, a bear sanctuary. Just telling you now so you’ll look forward to a post to come—because right this minute we are leaving Vietnam with a trip to Halong Bay and the Thien Cung cave.
Unfortunately, today was mostly beautiful on the surface because it was impossible to shake the deep sorrow and shame I feel as an American over who and what we’ve become. Sure, this love of violence and guns and gold and the virulent racism that’s all around has always been with us…but has it always been this deadly and this glorified? I felt small and dirty among the crowds of visitors from all over the world. Like I should apologize. Donald Trump is the president of my country…there are not enough ways to say ‘I’m sorry’ to make up for that…
But enough…back for one last look at that amazing brilliant luscious little country that beat our pants off a few years back and seems like it still is in all of the ways that matter.
Halong Bay is a breathtaking sight but for some reason the number of other visitors/tourists bothered me here. It’s high season in Southeast Asia and Vietnam is high on everyone’s list so it wasn’t a surprise exactly. I was spoiled by Greenlandic waters and bays last year I think…I wanted peace and quiet and just the lapping of waves (and maybe the creaking of an iceberg or two) as the only sounds!
VIETNAM. THIEN CUNG CAVE. Oh sure…I know it’s all about the lights…nevertheless. It. Is. Magic. Oh yeah, and I’m too tired to figure out if they are right side up or not. So just enjoy the colors please
Goodbye Vietnam. We love you.