Saturday, January 19, 2008

moving along

Vietnam was wonderful and much too fast. The highlight was definitely Halong Bay. We took a 3 day 2 night cruise which included 8 meals, one night lodging on the boat, one in a hotel, kayaking (amazing!), hiking and transportation to and from Hanoi (3 hours away) for $50. It was a wonderful trip because we became great friends with all the other travelers on board.

Two funny occurrences from the trip...

#1 Bethany got attacked by a money. We were halfway through our journey and made a stop at money island. The monkeys were brought to the island a few decades ago and have cheerfully inhabited it since then. We paddled our kayaks up to the shore and got out to take a look around. The monkeys were sitting on the rocks indifferent to the handful of people snapping pictures of them. Some people were getting within a few feet away of them and they didn't seem to care. Then, with an unlucky turn of fate, one decided to go vicious toward Bethany. She wasn't taking pictures or anything, just standing there. It stared her in the eyes for a few second before it came over and attached itself to her leg. She began kicking her leg around to try to get it off. After a few seconds, she finally succeeded and it came off along with her shoe. She wasn't hurt at all but she was definitely scarred by the whole event. We laughed about the incident the entire journey back.

#2 I made an addition to the items on my disgusting food list. Right after we finished kayaking we were hanging out in this little hut on the water waiting for our bus. And then we spotted it. On the wall here about 7 big jars filled with Vietnamese rice wine. This wasn't any rice wine, however. A closer look revealed all sorts of flavor additions to the wine. Rice wine with geckos, rice with with starfish. There was one with sea horses and one with clams. But the one that topped it all off was the rice wine with goat. No kidding... there was a whole baby goat in the bottom of the jar and it had been fermenting there for a year (we were told). As all of us were standing there in awe at the grossness of the fact, the owner of the shack came up and invited me for a shot with him. So, he dipped two glasses in and down they went. The actual wine didn't taste bad. It was kind of sweet and didn't burn at all. But the after taste was wretched...a bit too goaty for my liking.

I'm in Phuket now. This island is a tropical paradise. I've rented a scooter and am going to explore the island today including the orchid farm, monkey rehabilitation center and lots of beaches! AND, tomorrow is the start of my scuba adventure. I can't wait!


hanna said...

Too bad & it's only 3-4 hours from Thailand to Jakarta...Your brother needs to discover Indonesia sometimes...It has much more to offer, I mean in a photography way. He & his wife will probably love to see 'the last dragon' alive on earth.Hahaha...
Still, It'll be fun to see you again though. But don't push it. We can meet again when the time is good. Btw, when will you leave Thai?

Lindsey Franger said...

I know it is so close! I am leaving here on the 25th.

Anonymous said...

Dude, I keep wanting to call your mom and say "I miss being able to call lindsey, so I'm calling you instead, will you talk to me?" Yeah. So you're over there, I'm doing pretty much nothing with my life. i'm a bit sad. wishing I was in the tropical paradise, I do plan on getting there one day. Also, I wish I could get attacked by a money on money island. I'd be blooming rich! No, I didn't make the typo, you did. Sigh. I love you, but I don't like myself too much. You'd tell me not to think and feel like that though so I'll try not to. Love, Anonymous. hah.

machcha said...

ah! you alive !! Super kool, keep them comin.


Greg said...

Monkey Island? You went to Monkey Island? I always believed that if I ever became an evil mastermind bent on taking over the world, I would station my headquarters on Monkey Island and train the monkeys to be my minions.

This calls for a celebration. Dead baby goat wine for all my friends!

Remember, just because you are missed doesn't mean you need to rush home. Keep on having a great time.