when Dawna and Heidi and I planned to head out
of our homes in Beijing and in Seoul, and fly south
to a place warm for all, warm for even...a mouse.
Vietnam! To Hanoi! On 12-22
we landed without plans of what we could do,
housed in the best of the city's hostels,
humming "O Holy Night" and then - duh! - "Jingle Bells."
In Hanoi, a big church and Hoan Kiem Lake,
though the Temple of Literature sure took the cake.
Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum then let us down
'cause there the dude's body straight up couldn't be found!
I met a nice cat; I liked him, he liked me.
But he didn't come with us to sing karaoke.
Hanoi was quite nice, but we fled the next day,
fled from all that to the famed Ha Long Bay.
Chunks of rock poke their noses right out of the sea.
Our boat cruised between them; we looked joyfully.
We stopped at a cave; it was full of weird lights.
Did our Christmas hats blend in okay with the sights?
Two kayaks: young Heidi and Dawna in one,
and me with some lady from China; what fun!
The carols we sang on the bay rang out far,
a precursor for Navidad en el mar.
Heidi'd packed presents, Santa hats, and a tree
to celebrate the holiday quite normally.
That bright Christmas morning, we watched the sun rise,
Then unveiled the presents to be real surprised.
Cool stuff happened aboard, but most of the time,
we sat there and watched all those rocks look sublime.
Had good chats, and good views, and a Christmas party;
next stop was the famous Ho Chi Minh City.
In HCMC, or Saigon, if you please,
we saw what I'd say was straight up the bees knees:
puppets on water; like, fifteen whole acts!
Large wet dragons! Loud music! Wild fish attacks!
A temple of Cao Dai we also explored.
The architecture, I must say, had me floored.
The faith, though, remains a big mystery:
Buddha meets Islam meets Christianity?
Some Vietnam War sights that we couldn't miss:
the tunnels of Củ Chi, where south VC risked
their lives to fight 'mericans, and hid down below.
Did we sneak through the tunnels? Of course we did go!
The dark photos at the War Remnants Museum -
if you go to Saigon, you do need to see 'em.
Depressing for sure; they're the aftermath of
Agent Orange, U.S. landmines, and bombs from above.
We were also allowed to shoot AK-47's. Boom.
From Saigon we went south on a boat; 'twas the most
rapid way to reach Vietnam's beach-cluttered coast.
In Vũng Tàu, grabbed some scooters, and we gleefully
cruised 'round (and didn't crash!) to see what we'd see.
Sea animal snacks, rice paddies, and beaches!
Those bikes took us out to the furthest of reaches.
And choosing to go where we wanted was grand,
so free from restrictions that cities demand.
Additionally, on a hill in that town,
a gigantic Jesus gazed lovingly down.
We climbed up the hill and up the Christ's arms
and looked 'round the coastline at all of its charms.
December 29th - our group split apart.
Heidi left; I didn't cry but felt sad in my heart.
She went back to Seoul; me and Dawner flew east
into Thailand to conquer both jungle and beast.
Well done, Vietnam! You are quite a cool place.
I quite enjoyed stuffing your phở in my face.
With spring rolls, and seafood, and hard French baguettes.
Our trip is sure something I won't soon forget.
Your tours were so easy to book, and quite cheap,
and so were your lodgings; nice places to sleep!
Your karaoke...mmm...it could be improved
if you took all those hookers and had them removed.
Hey! Three cheers for Heidi! She's like Santa Claus!
Her sarcastic comments were often the cause
of oodles of laughter. The pictures she took
are ready for viewing right now on Facebook.
And three cheers for Dawna! She's got fun in tow.
She's deep in discussion and flexible, yo.
Her pink shades are famous throughout all Hanoi,
and she's quick to laugh and she's hard to annoy.
Good trip and good company...'nam was quite neat.
'Twas one of those trips that just can't be beat.
As our plane for Thailand, we yelled from our flight:
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"