Mar 222012
 

Alright ladies and gents, here’s what I’m going to do.

As you all know (because I’ve mentioned it about 80,000 times), I’m still way behind on writing. And I would very much prefer not to be.

As you also all know, my next chunk of travel corresponds to a trip with Peder through Vietnam. This just so happens to be by far the most high-intensity period about which I’ve not yet written: three weeks of round-the-clock tourism and/or partying. And as it more or less fits nicely into a self-contained “block,” skipping it – or rather super-summarizing it – will give me a much better chance of catching up without otherwise affecting the continuity of the narrative.

Note that I do hope to come back and properly document this trip, and I will of course hang on to all my photos and notes until then. But for now, in a desperate attempt to get back to realtime, I’m going gloss over it, saving myself from what would’ve easily taken 30+ posts to complete.

So here we go: three weeks in Vietnam, in a nutshell…


First stop: Hanoi, to pick up where I left off this May with my dad.

Most memorable activity: the weirdest meal of my life, a full multi-course meal based entirely on snake…washed down with a shot of snake blood and another of snake bile. Both drained right in front of me, and still warm.

Second stop: an overnight cruise through the majestic Halong Bay,

including an afternoon kayaking through a floating village

and a quick early-morning swim.

Then it was off to DaNang by plane,

before catching a ride on the Reunification Express

to Hue.

Here, we spent hours biking

to a handful of pretty spectacular tombs

and pagodas and citadels and more.

A few hours farther South, we picked up in Hoi An,

including a sunrise excursion to the incredible Angkor-like ruins of My Son.

Next up was a nightmarish, suicide-like bus ride

to Nha Trang, the sunny beach-party town.

Here we got caught up for a full week, due in part to late nights and later mornings,

but also to take care of some shopping,

sightseeing,

a boat cruise,

and even spend an afternoon acting like kids at a nearby amusement/water park.

Then we hopped on my first ever sleeper bus (what a great idea!)

to Saigon.

Several more days of tourism

and nights of partying later,

we were ready for a day-trip to the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels

with a stop at the Holy See of CaoDaism.

And finally, by wrapping things up with a quick flight to Bangkok, I’ve somehow managed to sum up 3 weeks, 1,500 photos, and 33 pages of blog notes – in just one post! πŸ™‚

Note: These posts are behind realtime; the above took place in October, 2011.

  22 Responses to “Vietnam In A Nutshell”

  1. Not approved! When I made my joking note about how you could post in the future, it was not intended for you to take it *seriously* πŸ˜›

    You forgot the cat meal btw…

    • Haha well, the only way I’d be able to write about it all would be if I actually had time to do so throughout the trip (i.e. a day or two on my own to work/blog/email for each day of intensive travel). But I didn’t even have enough to keep up with *comments* let alone writing…so yeah, I don’t really have a choice πŸ˜›

    • Huh?! You need TWO days of writing for every one day of traveling?? I thought you were “mr efficient” πŸ˜› Besides, you could have covered the entire trip thoroughly in just a few posts, i.e. Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Saigon, most of which I bet you could have gotten more or less all of the content for the posts from your blog notes…

    • >>Huh?! You need TWO days of writing for every one day of traveling??

      See my comment again. What I said was: a day or two to work/blog/email (not two days of just writing.)

      >>I thought you were β€œmr efficient”

      Sure I’m efficient with my time, but that doesn’t mean I’m capable of holding down a job and supporting my own product and keeping up with correspondence and staying organized and writing about traveling in just a couple spare hours here and there. I don’t know anyone who would be πŸ˜›

    • Fair enough, you *are* one of the most efficient people I know. But put work on ice while traveling. You can easily make $75.000 in 3-4 months of efficient working, leaving 9 months of the year just to do your own stuff. No stress, more freedom, more time for emails and social activities etc…

    • >>But put work on ice while traveling.

      That’s how you choose to travel, not how I do (as you know, and as we’ve talked about in the past). Besides, I can’t just “pause” supporting my plugins, and USR would never keep me onboard if I disappeared for months at a time. It’s not possible even if I *did* want to do it that way – which I don’t.

    • Anything is possible if you want it that way, but you’d have to find a different main source of income, sure…

    • >>you’d have to find a different main source of income

      Why? It works great as-is, provided I don’t travel intensely and continuously for weeks on end πŸ˜‰

      Besides, this way I never have to worry about having income available when I need it – if I need cash I just work and invoice wherever I happen to be. If I were to just pause everything and disappear on holiday, I’d always eventually have to come home, at which point I’d have to worry about finding a job and having 50,000 photos to sort and 1,000 Facebook messages and 100 pages of blog notes, etc. Much easier to be able to just travel continuously, go wherever you want whenever you want, and stop somewhere and work as needed πŸ˜›

  2. snake bile……eghhhh….any good?

    Some cool photos

    • They’re both mixed with alcohol, so it’s hard to pull out a very distinctive taste. I think it’s more of the idea that’s so gross…

  3. The Holy See looks amazing! Definitely on my list (well, Vietnam in genera) of places to see before I die!

    • Yep! A *very* carefully timed and angled photo to omit the hundreds of other tourists all around me πŸ˜‰

    • Ha! I was gonna say, no temple is ever that solitary. Would be amazing if it were, though πŸ™‚

    • Some are. You just have to get there reeeeally early in the morning πŸ˜‰

  4. ah! that is soooo disgusting, snake bile and blood. and warm. you are definitely a carnivore.

    Halong bay is majestic

    awesome pic of you diving in the water!!!

    ooh I wanna hear about the suicide bus…..

    boat trip? were you being pulling by your feet??

    so…..how many different girls were there?? πŸ˜‰

    • There you go…truth form the mountain! As you can see, you need to write a proper blog post about all the stuff we did in Vietnam. You didn’t even mention how we had an entire amusement park to ourselves πŸ˜› Nor about when we fed the poor little fish to the big nasty brainfish πŸ˜€

    • haha- like and yes

    • @Rachel:

      >>you are definitely a carnivore.

      I also fancy the occasional juiced pizza.

      >>ooh I wanna hear about the suicide bus

      It was just a really, really insane driver, i.e. weaving in and out of traffic at maximum speed with every seat holding 2 people crammed like sardines, the money-taker dangling outside the door, on curvy dark roads at night with no headlights, blaring the horn the entire way. You know, SouthEast Asia πŸ˜›

      >>boat trip? were you being pulling by your feet??

      Haha no, it was a ‘party boat’ (/arguable). That photo was when they tossed in the little floating bar, so we were lounging and drinking around it.

      >>how many different girls were there??

      Be good. Public post πŸ˜›

    • @P:

      >>As you can see, you need to write a proper blog post about all the stuff we did in Vietnam

      …But as you can see, I’m not able to travel and hang out 24/7 and still keep up πŸ˜› I’m definitely happy to try and do proper posts, but the *only* way that will realistically happen is, as mentioned, if I have way more than an hour a day of good uninterrupted computer time (i.e. no “we’re on holiday now, do it later…” πŸ˜› )

    • hah, not saying anything more than those pictures do πŸ™‚

    • Haha just a couple party pics! πŸ˜‰

    • He he, you were given the opportunity to hang out at the hotel alone and do your work while I went exploring. I almost even encouraged you to do so. But since our program was tight and there was so much to see, you always opted to join me for a day of exploration. So your own choice in the end πŸ˜›

      As for the suicide bus, I think the worst part was all those women sitting next to us vomiting in concert, one after the other, and then throwing their bags of vomit out the window. I wouldn’t be surprised if they vomited 50 times in total. Plus all the times we went airbourne from the driver going full speed over speedbumps, on purpose… πŸ˜€

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