Vietnam Tours 2020 Update
You may recall that I suffered a traumatic brain injury last summer as a result of a car accident. I’m happy to report that, while I’m not fully recovered, I’ve progressed by leaps and bounds … enough to lead a previously scheduled tour in Vietnam this past February!
I arrived in Vietnam in early January and used the downtime to scope out new areas to include in future tours. I discovered a magical remote beach with thousands of live starfish, located a fabulous hot air balloon flight over giant sand dunes, a pagoda and dragonfruit orchards, discovered exquisite new temples, assisted in making rice paper at a family-owned factory, tested the longest cable car ride in the world over gorgeous turquoise waters and the boat-filled fishing harbor of An Thoi, and designed a new Mekong Delta tour which includes many of these experiences!
I had plans to spend 3 months in Bali designing a new tour there followed by 3 weeks in China celebrating my 50th birthday (which got spoiled last year by my car accident and TBI). Coronavirus was amazingly under control in Vietnam - so much so that life pretty much went about as normal … until an airplane from Europe in mid-March brought new cases to their shores more than doubling their cases from 13 to 33. I was a few days away from catching the flight to Bali when that happened. As a result, things started tightening up fast! I got word from a friend of a friend in the State Department that there were whispers that Vietnam was going to close its borders to all non-citizens and that all international flights, both coming and going, were about to be indefinitely halted! Based on that information, I caught a flight that night from the island I was on back to Saigon with an early flight home the following morning.
By the time I checked into my Saigon hotel, all flights were still operating. When I arrived at the airport at 4:30 am the next morning, the announcement board read “CANCELLED” for every single flight listed except for 4 … one of which was mine! Whew! The whole experience definitely had the feel of that famous photo of people on the rooftop catching the last choppers out of Saigon in 1975!
I'm looking forward to the time when Vietnam is able to safely open their borders to Americans. I would be delighted to take you on a tour then and show you all my favorites places and people. In the meantime, please feel free to access my Open Door Travel website right HERE!