Saturday, November 26, 2011

Good Morning Vietnam!!

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope that everyone had an amazing and wonderful Turkey Day!!

Sorry if anyone has been looking at my un-updated blog, I have two good excuses: 1. Vietnam censors websites terribly 2. My sisters have been here in Vietnam with me for the past week, and the trip has been incredible and packed full of adventure! 

We went to Sapa, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Hanoi and so much in between! The adventures and laughter has been most enjoyable.  I love love my sisters! I know that I am totally spoiled traveling with my sisters! AND having so much fun!!! we just laugh and laugh and make fun of each other! 

The rural mountains of Sapa were full of surprises for us--from staring at poverty, to the burn of rice whiskey, eating black chicken feet at the local market, buying way too many incredible handicrafts that our bags are stuffed, to hiking in bamboo hut villages, and motorbiking up mountains!!!!  ***FYI Carolyn did not have rice whiskey or black chicken feet

We ate Indian food for Thanksgiving and continued with the Reynolds tradition of talking about what we were thankful for!  so fun!  I know that I am sooooooooo incredibly thankful for my sisters, my parents, and the lessons that they have taught me over the years, and for how blessed we are in our lives to be educated, loved, and born into such wealth. In addition, to take a trip like this with my sisters AND it has been an amazing trip watching them grow and learn more about traveling. YAYA!

Yesterday we explored parts of the DMZ/Vietnam war-- old war caves, called Marble Mountain.  So hard to imagine that we were bombing the shit out of this wonderful country not too long ago, when my father/mother (and most of the USA) was protesting the war and hundreds of people and children were dying everyday.... I wonder if we will say the same about Afganistan in 20 years..... I am so thankful for my life :)

Yaya.  life is good, I am still loving the traveling but after 50days I am starting to slightly miss the comforts of having internet, my car, and no humidity----BUT I am not sure I want to or I am ready for the winter chaos :)
OR that I might have to start looking for a real job (yup-never thought that would happen).

The adventure is packed full--with so much to do everyday until I leave!!!! I will travel in Da Nang with my HWS Vietnamese college friend Huong and Carolyn for a day or two--then make our way back to Hanoi where I will stay with Houng until the long adventure back to the USA. 

* Sorry for the lack of pictures, but I am not sure what it is--the computer's here burnt my USB device for reading pictures.... crazy right? If I get a chance I will upload-I will--if not--wait till I get back to the USA and I will upload them.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Paddleboard surfing

Finally I learned how to stand up and paddle on the board! Way more difficult than it try to ride a wave!
The fisherman are doing the Burmese version also... :)

I love the beach and this new crazy sport called "paddle board surfing! It is so fun!  A great combo of kyaking and surfing! The board is more stable since it is wider, but much harder to turn as it is bigger than the average surf board.

I managed to actually catch and ride a couple of waves on my second day. However, I also managed to fall on a seaweed farmer's stake and the reef break-- so both my back and butt are bruised and tore up! Not much difference from my average mountain biking season.  I am not sure if I would enjoy the adventure of the sport as much if my knees were not full of cuts and scars :)

Relaxing in the Monkey temple

Monkeys!!!! Yes, monkeys.... What is it about the creatures that we find so intriguing? Is it the fact that they are our close cousins with similar characteristics or the fact that we are just so happy that we are not living our life like them? Whatever it may be, I watched these monkey's socialize, play and fight at the famous "monkey temple of Ubud" for at least an hour! This temple, as in many of the Hindu temples in Bali follow significant geographic locations, whether it is animals (bats, rats, monkeys) or the way the sun shines.

You have to wear these goofy skirts to enter into the hindu temple's here

Sunday, November 6, 2011

More Flight of the Gibbons

leeches... ugh instead of scopio?

what is worse?

blood sucking worms called leeches? or the scorpions of the Costa Rica Jungle?

The best squat toilet in all of Asia, since it has the best view!

Flight of the Gibbons

So the adventure continues..... but this time on a zip line. I choose to take a jungle adventure with the gibbon experience:

This organization takes tourists deep into the jungle for a Swiss Family Robinson tree house fantasy trip! BUT the nice thing is while this thing was expensive, the majority of the proceeds go to preserving the rainforest.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Next Generation

The wonderful children of Myanmar!!! It was so much fun, laughing and playing with the many children. I probably have over 400 pictures of the children of Myanmar, as playing with the camera and showing them their face was the best way to break the ice with these kids! so fun.

Teak Graveyard

This "pile" of logs went on for over two miles! and the logs were owned by the government!!!
Shipping the logs down the river

Only the "bad" teak that is unwanted stays in Myanmar, the rest the government sells to China and Singapore. The average rate for an 100 year old log is $5,000 USD and since they are running out of trees they now cut down the 50 year old log and sell them for $3,000 USD.

Pagoda Pagoda Pagoda

Often the Golden Stupa's were the town's centerpiece! For me, it was the easiest way to navigate the city....
BIG gold Buddha on top of a mountain in Mandalay Myanmar!
Me resting in the shade of a Golden Buddha

Why did the elephant cross the road?

Just a normal day in Laos? I am not sure... ha, but it def caused me to stop pedaling my pink bike today and snap a few pictures! One of the main attractions is for tourists to take a "trekking tour" on-board a large elephant. My question is if it is really trekking if you are not actually walking?  :)