Hoi An has a very relaxed vibe with fantastic street food, very clean, very healthy, and very yummy. This is the place of the silk lantern fame, and I may or may not have needed a duffel bag to bring back some lanterns for myself and others.
It was very hot in HCM City and we reverted to our Trivandrum ways of getting out early, staying out of the mid-day sun, and emerging when the sun abates somewhat. The colonial architecture and art scene in Saigon was hopping, and we attended a Cirque-du-Soleil type performance with a Vietnamese spin called "AO". It was innovative and mesmerizing; check out a Youtube clip of their performance here. Actually, the 2nd one that comes up after the initial one is perhaps as interesting if not more so. Also the venue was the Opera House, so it was doubly enjoyable.
We are now back for the last stretch of work, with no foreseeable vacations in the near future, unless we change our minds about taking off for spring break at the end of April. We are finding it's hard to save money and take these vacations, but we keep trying.
Follow this link for some photos of the 2 cooking schools and Vietnam during Tet, their lunar new year celebration: https://flic.kr/s/aHskuGiRHW