I’m sitting outside my room at an eco-lodge in Mai Chau, a mountain town about four bumpy hours from Hanoi. The sun has set but I can see the outlines of the mountains from my porch. It’s still warm and humid here, but the air is clean and fresh. I feel like breathing in as much as I can before our return to Hanoi in a couple of days.
One week later . . .
I never got a chance to write again while in Mai Chau. There was too much to experience – the bike rides through the bright green rice paddies, “kayaking” Vietnamese style down a muddy stream, meeting the local Thai indigenous people, enjoying amazing multi-course meals of Vietnamese delicacies, watching traditional dance performances each evening, relaxing in the lodge’s pool with a gorgeous view of rice paddies and mountains, or just breathing in the clean, fresh air. I also got to know the seven other Fulbrighters who recently arrived in Vietnam, some of their spouses, and our wonderful host from the Embassy. Each person’s story is amazing and unique and I look forward to spending more time with them.
My words cannot capture the beauty and serenity of Mai Chau, and neither can my photos, but I’m going to share a bunch anyway. Best of all, this is just a glimpse of what Vietnam has to offer. I am looking forward to seeing so much more during my time here.