Here are the remainder of our Vietnam pictures that we wanted to share with everyone. Like the previous blog post, these are the randoms–pictures that didn’t fit into one of our themes, but are too good not to put out there for eyes to see.
As for a little update: Ashley will be heading back stateside in March to get ready for the wedding season, but she’ll return to Shanghai before the end of the year. I’ll be in Shanghai working, but the blogging will push on.
The first group of pictures is from Hanoi, the city of many motorbikes.
On our journey north, we made a pit-stop in Nha Trang, one of the beach towns along the coast of Vietnam. We didn’t get in much beach time, but the waterfall and surfing made up for it.
Our next leg of the trip took us to Hoi An. Actually, a 16 hour sleeper bus with an inappropriate passenger during the last 20 minutes took us to Hoi An.
Another long jaunt by train took us to Hanoi in 14 hours.
From Hanoi you can travel by train or bus to Lao Cai, where you trek another hour by bus to Sa Pa, a quiet mountain town in the eastern extremity of the Himalayas. Many ethnic minority groups, such as Hmong and Dao, comprise of much of the population. While visiting the village of Lao Chai, we met Ping, who was very gracious and offered to cook us some lunch and at the same time gave us the chance to observe how the typical village family lives.
Here are a few pictures of our six hour layover in Kuala Lumpur. One of my friends from graduate school is a local in the area. She was nice enough to pick Ash and me up from the metro station, drive us by the Petronas Towers, then take us out to eat some delicious street food. If I look a little put-off in the first picture it’s because, well, I am. I was trying the infamous durian for the first time. Durian is a fruit that is banned in a lot of public areas and establishments in S.E. Asia because of its cringing smell. In Cambodia and Vietnam we didn’t see or hear much of durian, but while we were in Bangkok a few years back, we were seeing “no-durian” signs up everywhere–our hotel, in bars, even on the occasional street corner. You can get away with a lot of stuff in Bangkok–stuff that’s unmentionable on a PG blog–but eating durian is not one of ‘em. But anyway, the durian wasn’t bad. It just left an undesirable taste in my mouth for a few days.