Across the Orient

Vietnam, China, Mongolia and Russia (Click here to read the blog)
2009 1 March to 20 April

Chuck and my brother, Don, had talked often about going back to visit Vietnam.  They were both stationed there during the war and thought the country was beautiful and loved the people.  My brother was diagnosed with cancer before we ever got the trip planned and executed.  A few years after his death and over a beer, another friend, Jerry and Chuck discussed the trip.  It was decided we would move forward with the plans.  Because I like to do research on the computer, I started researching possibilities for this trip.  We also started talking to others who we thought would enjoy this adventure.  In the end, Jerry and Linda, Jerry’s brother, Steve (who served in Vietnam) and Jennifer, my sister-in-law, Fran, Don’s wife, a friend of mine, Charlotte, Chuck and I made up the eight that embarked on a trip of a lifetime.  We started out planning to see Vietnam, but the trip quickly grew to include China, Mongolia and Russia.  The group had heard about Chuck and I visiting China and taking the Trans-Siberian Railway to Moscow from Beijing and thought they would like to experience it too.  This ended up being an around the world trip.  I believe I can say with certainty that we all loved Vietnam, liked China and enjoyed Mongolia and Russia.  All the tour companies I found online and we had a great experience with the tour companies and the guides.  I spent a great deal of time worrying about things that could go wrong, but we were fortunate.  It took me about a year to put together the whole trip and it was worth every minute.  I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the tour companies in Vietnam, in China and in Mongolia.