Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Rewind with me about 2 months ago and see where we were. School was finished, exams were questionable (my immunology exam was worth 80% of my grade....snap), and itineraries were up for grabs. I had options inlcuding trips to Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Through a series of events, primarily airplane fares, Vietnam and Cambodia were the destination. I accompanied two girls, Vy and Rebecca, Vy being a Vietnamese American while Becca is a Chinese American, so here we are a jumbled American-Asian mess (if I even count ><). Fortunately (and what I enjoyed most about the trip) was that Vy has tons of family in Viet from Ho Chi Minh, where we landed, to central Vietnam, where we stayed in her aunt's hotel....ballin'! However, once we landed, Becca and I took off for Cambodia which was hilarious. Imagine sitting in the back of a bus for 15 hours, sitting Indian Style catching air off the bumpy roads. It was quite a trip, and we practiced genocide on the family of flies that decided to take refuge in the slightly Air-Con bus. Needless to say, Cambodia is the most tourist friendly place on earth, at least Siem Reap. Seriously we got off the bus and met "Ruin" who drove us around the whole 4 days for a minimal price. It was legit, he had a chariot rigged up to his freakin' motor bike and though we had no "plan" except see the world-renown temple ruins, Ruin showed us the city including his home and a school he worked at. Although we enjoyed sweating through every pair of our clothes seeing temples from Ankor Waat to temples with gigantic trees blasting through the temple's foundations (hands down the hottest place on earth I've ever been), we rode the bumps back to Phnom Penh and saw some genocide grounds which will bring a heavy day to anyone. Basically the genocide that occurred all over Asia (thanks to the Japanese) is very underground and masked by the Holocaust but millions of people were murdered in every way imaginable. Read it up, but it's heavy stuff. So once back in Viet, we feasted on some "Bang me nows" (inside joke but hilarious), their these French baguettes stuffed with awesome sauce and meat and veggies. Hands down fantastic for a dollar. Then spring rolls, pho (pronounced "fu" as in "fun" or another word), and we even had some dog meat (tastes pretty normal...oh well). Vietnam houses the best skies I've ever seen in my life (perhaps Colorado competes) but seriously, the country is gorgeous.

We visited Dalat (where the picture is), a very touristy place, but it was a mountain get away from the heat where we did everything from seeing the Vietnam-renown "Valley-of-Love" to repel down waterfalls to dress up like traditional Viet. Kings and Queens. Hilarious, thanks to Vy.

We finished the trip with a handful of days in Central Viet where Vy's aunt lives and we enjoyed just local life. There's an old town portiona with a river running through it where they hold a traditional night. Everybody goes out and the city shuts electricity off so we could only see fire lit lanterns floating on the river as we slid through the water on our personal wooden longboat. It was surreal and quite membrable. We wrapped the trip up with a 12-hour train down to Ho Chi Minh but laying down was quite more enjoyable than a seat, though still in my opinion, a little janky (I have had to teach that word to quite a number of people here, very enjoyable.)

Conclusion: Vietnam is quite a nature get away and get ready for some ballin' food, it's up there with Thai food and, for me, that's something. Hope you like that shout out Vy. Peace!


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