RipTide open for business

Friends

The RipTide Nha Trang Homestay is now open for business! I have to offer a big thank you to all of you that have somehow already found us and stayed in our new venture. It is you who has made me confident that people are looking exactly for the experience we are trying to offer. Today, Trip Advisor approved my new listing and reviews should appear shortly. There has been so much interest from enquiring emails, that I am afraid my poor wife will be spending many of her days doing exactly what she loves………. Cooking and showing off her amazing abilities. So far all guests that have stayed here have been gifted with free cooking lessons. It has led me to a new idea about being able to offer a piece of my world to travelers. I am thinking that we include a very good breakfast already however, if guests are interested in a Vietnamese breakfast, why not offer free classes to learn on how to make Pho, Bun Bo Hue, and Banh Canh included with their stay? Our customers would be preparing their own breakfast…… Sounds way cool to me.  Anyway…………..

It has been a long time since I have blogged. Part of the reason is that I returned to Canada for a visit for the first time in almost 4 years. I wasMy Ride actually quite worried. I was afraid of the cold, the expense, and believe it or not, our own rules and regulations. The trip became quite the adventure.

It all started with a rainfall in Nha Trang. Not unusual at this time of year but as we were getting ready to depart for the airport, a torrent came. Within minutes, the roads were flooded and the water was so high that water was coming in the doors of our taxi. Lucky for us we just made it to the airport and the flight took off before the water was too high to taxi the runway. We arrived in Saigon and had a very enjoyable evening with Nghia, Linh, and their two beautiful daughters dining in Chinatown before we caught our late night flight to Tokyo. Our arrival in Edmonton was met with tornados touching down and severe weather. Egad!! We brought it with us!!  My sister Cathy was there to drive us through the weather to her beautiful home in Sherwood Park. To my amazement and delight, she had made

leaving Calgare
leaving Calgare

arrangements for me to have her car once I had my driver’s license renewed (another process that went well and impressed me). Also to me Delight, my best and lifelong friends were waiting for me and had a 1300 cc Yamaha Crotch rocket/cruiser waiting for me to blast around town…….. Yee Haaa!!!! I have to admit that is was a bit too radical for me. I am used to cruisers and luxury. This machine had me hanging on for dear life…….. But in style. It was a hoot!! Thanks Danny. After a few days of visiting family and friends and catching up with needed business, Mai and I were free to simply enjoy the first days off in 4 years………. But alas, my personality got in the way so I started to think of something to keep me busy on the nothing to do days……..  I had planned to visit some travel agents to give some information on V’Explore Travel and I did so, but then I got to thinking….. Why not drop by some other travel companies and share my information on the country I now call home? There are so few foreigners that understand this place and as far as I am concerned, only 1 tour company that is trying to understand what the foreigner truly needs or wants in a Vietnam holiday. Sooooo……. I decided to make a few

More floods
More floods

sales calls. Understand…… I am not a salesman and I may have done more damage than good….. But I have been working with V’Explore designing new and improved tours, and the feedback from our efforts has been phenomenal…. Soo… everywhere Mai and I went, I used the GPS to find local travel agents.

With my driver’s license renewed, and my wife having a doctors visit completed, we were on our way to Calgary. We saw on the news about heavy rain and flooding but had no idea of the extent of the situation. Mai and I had planned to spend the night and arrived at about 1 pm. I drove to a location downtown to do a sales call directed by GPS but only found an old house with a rusted car in the yard……. Hmmmmm Maybe some of these flashy tour companies are internet only…. Makes sense.  When we drove into deeper downtown we were presented by one of the eeriest things of my lifetime.. Downtown Calgary had been evacuated. There was no power, no Traffic, and no people…. It was weird!! How I was able to drive into the middle of this I have no idea. There were police everywhere blocking access to downtown, but there I was. It was like I was Charlton

Even more water
Even more water

Heston in the Omega Man…. Or the Will Smith remake less the monsters… Wow!! Mai and I decided that Calgary was not the place to overnight so we eventually found a non flooded road and headed out. We were barely able to escape Calgary with the rising flood waters. Emergency vehicles barred the roads just after we past… Whew!! Close call but we got out only to be followed by floods and emergency situations. I was determined to get beyond this chaos and devastation before my borrowed car was underwater…We drove on highways just starting to overflow and were tied up by emergency sand bagging efforts but after passing Fernie in southern BC. The waters receded……. Ah Hah!!!!! We made it. The remainder of the day was driving to my Friend Ken’s house a day early. Bad luck!! Not Home. Mai and I spent the night in a budget hotel that cost 10 times what it would in Vietnam.

Sorry Canada… I did not intentionally bring the weather with me

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Owee

Tour designer and Guide specializing in off the beaten track tours of Vietnam

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