I was struck by a few things:
1. This is a communist country (err.. socialist republic?), and someone doesn't want you forget it. Red flags flying everywhere and Viet Cong memorabilia on sale on every street corner (it seems much more so than in Ho Chi Minh City). But the most amazing thing to me is despite the not-so-distant-history of war between our two countries, we have been made to feel without exception completely welcomed. I find this both amazing and humbling.
2. The architecture (I assume heavily influenced by the French) is gorgeous. I was really struck when driving in to town how beautiful the buildings were. Pictures to come soon. I am also in love with the foliage - it is thick, even in the most populated and bustling areas, it is almost like there is a canopy of trees and vines covering everything.
3. There are Seaweed flavored Pringles. I ate half the can.
water puppet show tonight. Its a Vietnamese tradition that dates back centuries, and it was really quite entertaining. The puppeteers are waist-deep in water the whole time, but you never see them, so it looks like the puppets are dancing on the water.
5. I am so excited to see what tomorrow brings.