Tom's Trip to South East Asia

Out of the 'Boat for a few months of tropical travel. No lease, No Dog, No work, No snow, might be the best time of my life to do something extreme. Watch from your office as I soak in sun and culture in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam this mud season.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Well Im in Hue now after spending a few days more in Nha Trang and a few in Hoi An. Nha Trang was one of the most fun stops on my trip so far but was badly marred by having my camera pickpocketed. I have my photos through my first day at Siem Reap backed up and will be getting photos from those I started traveling with the day after that so no major gaps, but no more personal photos. Boo. In Nha trang my day by day was hanging on the beach, taking a boat trip to three islands and two more days hanging out at a beach club with a pool and home brews. Pretty lazy but I have made some good friends and we had a relaxing time. We took an overnight bus trip from hell up to Hoi An. The bus overheated at about 130 in the morning and we waited for about an hour to try to cool it down, then limped on for another two hours to a service station. After waiting two hours there we drove ten minutes up the road to switch to a new bus and arrived at about 10:30. I was well rested although a little stiff, having had two seats to myself and plenty of sleep. That afternoon we rented bikes and rode out to the beach where the surf was fun and nearly everyone had some pampering from the attentive traveling sales ladies, including me getting a pleasant back massage to work out the kinks from the bus. That night we had a wonderful meal overlooking the river from a second story balcony, and realized that Hoi An does not have the night life we had enjoyed in Nha Trang. The next afternoon we took a quick private tour that was mostly riding in a mini bus with brief stops at My Son, a cham temple ruin similar to Angkor but smaller and slightly differnt building material, Marble Mountain, a weird limestone and marble mountain with confusing recent multifaith temples and shrines, and a look at China Beach. After returning to Hoi An I participated in the towns claim to fame and got myself fitted for some high quality tailored clothes. Mostly stuff for working mambos and a few casual shirts, no suits although they really tried to sell me on it. Afterwards we got together for another dinner and the group tried to satisfy my desire for a thanksgiving feast but turkey and all the fixings are not available in Viet Nam. So I settled for a three courses of vietnamese and good company. The next morning everyone collected there clothes and ran various errands before getting on the afternoon bus to Hue. At Hue we split ways with about half the group heading to the Laos border to get in some tubing before finishing the southeast asian portion of their trip and the rest of us finding accomodations for a night and day in Hue before moving to Hanoi and halong bay tonight. I spent the day today on the perfume river (honestly the cleanest and best smelling river I have seen around here) seeing tombs from the Nguyen Dynasty of the mid nineteenth century. Emperors of Viet Nam would build themselves garden retreats along the river during their reign and hae themselves buried there after. Pretty cool trip with nice but not too spectacular gardens and some intersting architecture. And now i am waiting around for an overnight train to Ha Noi with four others from my travel group. They will come on a halong bay cruise with me in a day or so and that will bring me back to Hanoi for the end of my trip with a possible trip to sapa before flying home on the 3rd. See some of you soon and hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving. Make sure there is plenty of snow for me in Steamboat when I get there.


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