Monday, March 30, 2015

Asia Vacation: Day 4

Chuc Mung Nam Moi! Happy New Year!

February the 19th marked my 4th day in Vietnam! And better yet it was the holiday. The new year is like the biggest holiday in the culture. It's equivalent to the American Thanksgiving. All about family, food, celebration, and hope for the year to come. I was beyond excited since it was my first time ever celebrating in the homeland with the extended family.

My sisters and I all woke up and got dressed in traditional Vietnamese dresses and met the rest of the family at my grandpa's house. My mother had rented a van for the day to take us to the temple, the village where she grew up, and then onto Hue.

The main temple in Da Nang sits alongside the water facing the city. With the temple and neck bending monuments, it's a very beautiful and serene place to be--but not on the holiday. It was buzzing with people. We quickly went around saying prayers before going crazy with photos.

After that it was off to my mom's home village Vinh Hien. We had gone there too during my first trip, but going again, with fresh eyes it really struck a chord within me. This little town is based off one little dirt road with little houses pressed against each other. There are no streetlamps, no gutters. Just yellow sand and dirt, with the exception of green rice paddies in the distance.

We passed by my mother's old house, the school she had gone too, and houses where she remembered her friends. It was a very different upbringing than the opportunity she had given us in the states. As a sign of respect, my mother paid visits to relatives and friends, and those that had passed by going to their gravesites.

It was hard not to imagine my mom as a young girl just like the little kids I had seen the day before. Odds stacked against her. Living in conditions we hadn't. No power, no electricity, no creature comforts. It makes me respect her even more.

Our final and last stop was Hue to see the imperial palace. It was huge. Bigger than I remembered my first time around. Here there were a lot of tourists from many different places as well as locals. The city was bustling with people.



Michael and I walked side by side holding hands and it was the first time that we got more than the occasional glances. People were staring and it made me uncomfortable. It wasn't like it was rude stares or anything, more like curiosity. I could only imagine what they thought: mail order bride. Ha! I brushed it off and made the most of it. When we got back to the Van, I knocked out, and before I knew it we were back in Da Nang at my grandpa's house for dinner.

[[photo credit: all amazing and clear photos were taken by Michael. All the fuzzy ones were from yours truly on my iphone :P]]


  1. Such pretty dresses! Yeah, in Japan, the big holiday is New Year's Day (we celebrate it on January 1st, though) and we eat a lot and spend time with the family. And the temple looks amazing, so grand.

  2. The traditionally dresses are beautiful! And I didn't see any fuzzy pictures, by the way. :)

    I know what you mean about the staring though. I went to Switzerland in high school and had a lot of people looking at me like they've never seen a black person before. Lol!

  3. Those are some amazing photos. My favorite is the one through the leaves... and all of your dresses were so pretty! I'm not surprised people were staring. ;)

    Alex Hurst, A Fantasy Author in Kyoto
    Out of Print, Fiction authors and their shorts

    A-Z Blogging in April Participant

  4. Thanks everyone :) And yes, definitely loved those dresses! Made dressing up so fun!