Most Americans know Vietnam through Hollywood's war movies "Platoon," "Full Metal Jacket," "Apocalypse Now," and "Good Morning, Vietnam" or from a friend or family member that spent time there during an unfortunate period in history.Basically, when most Americans think of Vietnam, they think about the Vietnam War or the American War as the Vietnamese call it. And, yes, the scars of war pock all of Vietnam but they are now 40 years old and I am here to tell you that Vietnam heals rather well. The people are amongst the friendliest I have met anywhere in the world and meet travelers with open arms. Come on an adventure to discover the other side of Vietnam. During the winter of 2012-13, the Colorado Mesa University Outdoor Program traveled overland for six weeks from northern Vietnam on the China border clear down to the Mekong Delta and into the Gulf of Thailand. We explored the vibrant and dizzying cities of Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi and Danang and the tranquil haunts of Hue, Hoi An and Nha Trang. We traveled deep in to the earth in some of the biggest cave systems on the planet. We climbed Fansipan, Vietnam's highest peak and scaled the walls of Halong Bay, a rock climber's paradise. From the jungles and ocean to back street alleys and Hmong Hill tribes, we discovered that travel in Vietnam is among the best in the world. You, too, can learn how to hit the road in Vietnam on a scooter, sample a bowl of pho and simply mingle with the locals. If you ever wanted to travel to Southeast Asia, then Vietnam is the perfect place to start. Of particular importance, you will learn the backpacker style of travel, the most open, challenging, adventuresome and authentic form of travel out there. So get ready for a night of tales and photography 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, as we retrace the Outdoor Program's 21st international expedition.
ADVENTURE: Come see the other side of Vietnam
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