One of the most vocal and lively members of our Ha Long Bay tour group was a lady named Mrs. Hoa. She’s a Vietnamese lady who married an American and then lived in Idaho, USA. She came with her son, two daughters, and their husbands. She was originally from Hoi An area in Vietnam, but in this trip she also wanted to visit many other areas in Vietnam.
It was interesting to observe her and her entourage during the trip. She was very outgoing and pretty much spoke her mind whenever she saw or experienced something. In many cases it provided somewhat a funny interaction, especially when she had conversations and joked around with our guide Smiley who also had quite an outgoing personality. The other interesting interaction was with her son-in-law David, who had his Canon DSLR camera and took photos of everything he found interesting, kind of like the stereotype of Japanese tourists with cameras.
I thought it must be nice for her to be able to come back to her home country, accompanied by her grown up children and in-laws and to be able to share with them the experience that they might not have before back home in the United States. It’s also not something that most Vietnamese immigrants elsewhere could do; I know of many Vietnamese in the United States who had never been able to come back home since they left their home country decades ago.
I took the photo below from our boat as we passed Mrs. Hoa and David’s boat. Here was Mrs. Hoa trying to row the boat, and her son-in-law taking the photos of this interesting moment.