By Paul Fielding | Posted: Tuesday November 19, 2013
Twenty one students and five teachers ventured out to Vietnam for our second full tour of this wonderful country for seventeen days in the April holidays. It was a fantastic and successful tour which will live long in everyones memories.
On the way we travelled via Singapore which enabled us to see a more sophisticated Asia as well as partake of some leisure time, swimming in the airport pool.
After safely arriving in Hanoi and successfully negotiating customs we were met by our wonderful tour guides Jack and Det. Hanoi was bustling with eight million people and four million motorbikes. We had landed straight into a cultural bomb! We loved walking the streets of the old quarter, bartering with the locals and eating strange but beautifully fresh food.
Other highlights included the majestic Halong Bay with the boys' swimming antics, and Richard’s reactionary piano playing. Also, the overnight train trip to Hue when the teachers kept everyone else up with their card games. Hoian with its safe shopping and hundreds of clothing stores satisfied all our sartorial desires. Later the Chu Chi tunnels with its re-enactment of guerrilla warfare and the Mekong River host family stay where we all had a special final relaxing time in peaceful, quiet surroundings were also highlights.
The trip focused on the history of Vietnam especially the American War part and the My Lai massacre site. We also got to go to cooking school which was heaps of fun. We visited a local high school in Hoian where Connor and Mathew became instant stars with a string of facebook sites about them created within hours.
Overall we took thousands of photos and now have lifelong memories of a wonderful people and our own friendships. We also have a first-hand appreciation of the historical forces which have shaped the culture of this exciting part of the world.
Mr Fielding and Mr Enright are now planning a fresh trip for 2015 to Gallipoli, while Vietnam may be revisited in 2017.