Lagi to Long Hai

The best day so far (yesterday); weather, road conditions, and very safe cycling since departing Hanoi, making it the dream ride. Lots of cloud cover with light sprinkling rain (mid morning to afternoon) making the humid conditions comfortable.

I usually wake up at 4.00 am to ride by 5.00 am but yesterday I was awoken to the sound of chapel bells. I could swear I was somewhere else, maybe in a very small Italian village as it wasn't quite the norm for me in Vietnam since leaving Hanoi. I'm told by my entrusted guide that Christianity, just North of Saigon, is a big part of Vietnamese history.

In 1954 when the French left Indochina after the battle of Dien Bien Phu and signing of the Geneva agreement the people were given the freedom to move North or South and at that period about one million people (approximate) in the South moved to the North vise versa one million inhabitants (approximate) from
the North moved South.

And when the Northern folks moved South came the majority who were Catholic and others turned Catholic later on to mainly support Ngo Dinh Diem (Ziem) President of South Vietnam at the time.

The President settled them on the Northern side of Saigon to protect them and their religious culture and so that they could also have an independent Catholic community of their own. This stood out during cycling through the Northern section of Saigon in seeing the many beautiful churches along the TLRH route and a few Catholic weddings to add to the story.