Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The rest of the Tour, SE Asia, 2010

Our new 37th Anniversary
Elephant Rings from Laos..

the elephants rotate cute!

Soupmaker on the street in Hue

We must mention the food in Vietnam because it is so good everywhere we go and the healthiest in the world with little use of fat and starches and so many herbs to flavor the soups and banana wrapped goodies. We have just loved it and will learn to make much of it....especially after the boring, spicey food in Malaysia. We have also taken up having massages at the reasonable prices and are enjoying the spas as we travel around. Chuck has decides he really wants one of these talented massage girls to crew on the boat but I say only if she can cook the food too!!! They sure don't take up much room!!! Chuck has gained weight and I have lost...I just love that...the beer is too cheap and I gave up drinking and coffee and it has done me good!!!


Next thing was just a short bus ride to Hue where we had the nicest hotel and we just relaxed for several days before going on to Hanoi. Besides Lynn came down with strep throat and needed a break. This is a town with 5 Universities and is also the place where Hoi Chi Minh whent to high school. We went to the museum that was all about him and it was actually quite interesting. There is a huge walled area in the old city called the "Cidadel" that was a fortress and if a commoner entered he was earlier times, of course. We visited the tombs of earlier emperors which are actually beautifully landscaped parks that take quite a while to walk around. By now we are half way up the coast of Vietnam and we are ready to fly to Hanoi because there are really no real tourist attractions to see until there.

Here are shots of an old temple in a lake in mid Hanoi

This was a surprise because so many had told us that they didn't like Hanoi and it was just a big city. We found many things to like after learning our way around. Our hotel was on the edge of the very ancient "old town" and it was always exciting and not threatening to walk around. It was just too tempting to shop for small fun items that were great buys. They have great copies of everything from Rolexes to Iphones and Ipods. We were advised to try and take in a symphony but there was the ballet of Carmen opening instead and with some new friends we went and got 3rd row tickets. We found it to be really a great performance in dance and costume with only the set needing some flair but that's just us...we are glad we went. We also met for lunch with some folks we'd met earlier in Singapore for a nice visit.

Opera house where we saw the ballet was based on the one in Paris

The Hanoi Stock Exchange, Chuck just had to take a photo


We took the night train to Sapa but without planning ahead only got what's called a hard sleeper but it was OK and we slept away the night. We'd planned over 4 days in Sapa with plenty to see but only got in 2 days because we both got dreadful stomach flus like we hadn't had for 20 years or so with Lynn getting knocked down first. so it was good that our tickets and hotel were so cheap. The other days were like in slow motion in a haze of nausea drugs. We took another night train down to Hanoi and a flight to Luang Prabang, Laos, on Wed March 24, the day after our 37th anniversary. We are in a nice remote resort outside of town, still doing some recovering. We bought cute matching elephant silver wedding rings for our anniversary. Chick hasn't worn a wedding band since heleft his in the safety deposit box when we left. That was sentimental.

Scenes around Sapa

Some of the Ethnic Hmong peoples around Sapa


We really enjoyed relaxing for 6 days at this reasonable resort in LP, Laos and Chuck needed time to recover from what ever hit both of us in Sapa. We had leisurely strolls into the village, ate yummy french food, saw a vast number of varied temples, pretended we got up at dawn to see the traditional walk of monks down main street being fed sticky rice by the residents, a centuries old tradition. We can imagine it. Besides it seems sorta peronal to me and photos are not allowed but most took them and that's offensive! LP was a nice visit and we should have stayed there and not wasted our time with the capitol of Vientiane for 3 days. We are sorry we took the time because it was quite boring but not un attractive, just no redeeming value to speak of. We did find an example from the mysterious "Plain of Jars" where stone age jars were carved from stone quite interesting []. We were also fascinated by the Ethnic Market that everyone calls the witchcraft market where you can actually buy elephant tusks if you want to risk it and have the conscience.

Monks in Luan Prabang

Lynn with a jar from the Plain of Jars, repaired, and Chuck with a temple dog!
Below are items, herbs and effigies from the witchcraft market.

Then on April 3 we headed to KL, where Chuck bought his Ipod Touch and we bought luggage for China in September. We also got to go to church on Easter Sunday with folks from so many countries in their native dress, India, Malaysia, Africa. It was so impressive at St Mary's Anglican Cathedral. On April 6 we were off to Penang for some dental work and medical tests and minor surgeries before going back to the boat.

Best of all was how good the nachos at Chili's tasted along with the Wendy's burger and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Just had to have some home food after all this time!!!

PS.Lynn is doing great not drinking alcohol or coffee or citrus or soft drinks any more...and proud, she is!!!

1 comment:

Devin said...

Lynn and Chuck,
You both look so good despite your catching a few local "bugs". SO glad to hear you both are having such a blast. Keep good notes to share please.

Devin & Liz s/v Moosetracks IP45.