A real highlight was
being entertained by local musicians. After a snack of tropical fruits
and tea, five musicians brought in with their traditional instruments on
which they played Vietnamese folk tunes.
Bill was especially fascinated
with the amplified one-string dan bau. It consisted of a long piece
of wood on which a guitar string was stretched and fastened at one end
by a peg. It was tied at the other end to a flexible bamboo plate with
an attached stick that the player used to change the pitch by stretching
the string. Dan bau had no frets, but different notes were also achieved
by picking the string at different positions along the neck.
Bill had a great time trying
out the different sounds. He then moved to the guitar. The guitar's neck
had hollowed out places behind the frets so that fingers could more easily
bend the notes. . . great for playing a different style of "Delta
A gent and four girls then filed
in to sing solo and group songs for our entertainment. The musicians backed
them on all their songs. The songs were mostly traditional folk songs,
although we were surprised by their rendition of "Jingle Bells" -- a song
we are more accustomed to hearing when there is snow on the ground and
the temperature is about 60 degrees cooler.
We were somewhat surprised and
delighted by this song choice because we had also heard it in Singapore
on our last visit to China. There a group of Chinese musicians played it
instrumentally in a lush garden setting and Bill joined them to sing along
in English. The song appears to be a hit all over Asia as a search on YouTube
The other traditional instruments
were cool too, but we weren't quite as fascinated with them since we have
similar versions of them in our music studio on our guitar wall.