27 Feb 2014

Chan May/Da Nang/Hoi An, Vietnam


As usual, Allyn finds an activity.



We docked at Chan May this morning. It is pretty much dead center between North and South Vietnam during the War.

Over the Internet I had hired Tommy Dao ( to guide us and three other couples for the day. It was a good move.

We saw Da Nang’s aptly named dragon bridge.



Then we visited the famous China beach, which really is Da Nang Beach, but was nicknamed by the servicemen during the war.




Next stop was Marble Mountain and beautiful jade carvings.




Most of the day was spent in Hoi An, a lovely rebuilt city with none of the hustle or filth of Saigon.

22 Feb 2014

Hong Kong 2014, Day 2




Allyn split early this morning taking  three trains and passing through two passport controls to enter Shenzhen, China in search of the legendary Hong Kong off-priced goods.


She scored well.   




Meanwhile, back here by the ship, where I stayed, they are standing in line, waiting their turn to get into Hermes, Chanel, Cartier and others.






We had a lovely dinner with my sister and brother-in-law, 102 stories up at The Ritz Carlton Hotel. Tosca, the restaurant, was gorgeous, the view sensational, and the food was even good.

21 Feb 2014

Hong Kong, 2014


Hong Kong is still my favorite port city in the world.

Catch you later. The stores are opening.

12 Feb 2014

Why They Drive on the Left in Japan.


All over the world people say others drive on the wrong side of the road. That is totally narcissistic.

I always thought drivers in the former British Empire drove on the left side and others on the right. So I was surprised to learn they drive on the left in Japan.

Some background:

Most people are right handed.

Way back it was safer traveling on the left so the sword/sphere could be on the right to deal with bad guys. Plus it is easier for righties to mount a horse from the left.

Then we had merchants transporting wagons full of goods with a team of horses. These folks sat on the back left horse that was the ideal spot for using the whip. They drove on the right for safer passing of oncoming traffic.

In the late 1700s right hand driving becomes official in Paris and expanded as Napoleon took over much of the Continent. Others, such as Britain were always set to do opposite of France, and whatever Napoleon wanted was good enough for them to do the opposite.

And Japan? They've had a mixed driving history, but more left than right going back to Samurai days. More interesting though is that in the late 1800s, America, France, and Britain competed to help with building the Japan railroad. Britain won out. Therefore the Japanese railroad runs on the left side. It made sense that auto roads followed suit.


11 Feb 2014

Tokyo, Japan


It was freezing here today. They had the worst snowstorm in over a decade.

As long as we were here we decided to visit the Statue of Liberty.


Then came the Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest tower. It is about twice as high as the Eiffel Tower.



And just walking Tokyo’s neighborhoods was a blast.