Tag Archive: boat


Hue

Got on a bus from Hoi An for 4 (turned 3) hours to Hue stopping at a lookout point called Thua Thien Hue but didn’t get enough time to go to the top (so I didn’t see the point in stopping at all). Yes, nice views, but if there is a hike why not give us time to do it? The sells were very pushy and touched me twice L we also saw a truck full of dogs three times which smelt terrible. The last time we saw them they were getting sprayed down.

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Upon arriving in Hue, we went to lunch at Ushi where I got vegetable soup that ended up being just morning glory in water…only 15,000 though. Walked to central market (went over Truong Tien Bridge which is an ugly color and has construction) which was a lot like Goje market in Busan with souvenirs because it had vegetables and cooking things and housework items. We then walked through a park next to Perfume river and I told a guy I was Korean just for him to go away. On to the Imperial Citadel (palace) which cost 105,000 (which is much more than 55,000 as advertised in lonely planet). It’s pretty much the only thing to see in the city.

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It was mostly construction and trash which makes me question Vietnamese people–why not take care of your history? This was not the first thing we had seen like this. We’re not even sure what we saw because there were no signs. Their map and the lonely planet map didn’t add up either.

The pagoda/rest area-gondola was really nice as were the bushes made like turtles which were both inside the Purple Forbidden City. There was a nice dragon statue just beyond the main gate too, but we could not get over the trash. Closed at 5:30 and one in our group was very concerned we would not get out. Just then, matt found the temples and Hien Lam Pavilion which all looked beautiful. We then walked back to the Ngo Mon gate to find it was closed…so we went around to the next gate (Hien Hhom) to leave. I tried to go in that one at first but it is only an exit. The palace is a lot smaller than it seems. Back to the hotel for 6:30 for dinner at 7:30.

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Dinner at Le’s was good food with good drinks (but really standard drink deals) but the staff were too ‘helpful’. I don’t need someone behind me the whole time or chatting to me about my water bottle and such. They gave us jenga after dinner and asked if we were too tired because we didn’t want to play. Weird. 39,000 for fried rice with vegetables but really good. They were very on top of clearing plates too. Walked to Brown Eyes for free shots after but I went home because I was tired.

In the morning, some of us decided to go to Thin Mu. It was supposed to be 3km from a bridge that was 1 km away but it turned out to be 6.4km total so someone messed up on the map.

The walk was interesting because there was no sidewalk and lots of rundown temples and trash. Another sign of the Vietnamese not taking care of their country and history. Eventually found the pagoda at 11:40 meaning we had to go straight back so 4 of the group could check out and we all could eat. Got some good pics and saw the car a monk rode in before he burned himself because of abuses the government took on monks.

Haggled from 40,000 each to 22,000 each for a boat and then she dropped us at a different spot than she said she would (1 bridge early) because of police (?)

Back to the hotel to find a good restaurant and it turned out DMZ was supposed to be good, based on Trip Advisor. Service had no idea what was going on and food was okay. #5 on trip advisor? Not anymore…Our server could hardly take our orders but she understood when I said their ranking was about to go down. Most got pizza or pasta to bulk up for a 14 hour train ride.

No problem on the overnight train. Went to bed around 10:00pm because everyone else in my car did and ended up being good because we didn’t get in to Nha Trang late, getting in just past 4:30am. It came to one screeching halt and I was scared (as the last overnight train I took when I was 16 in China went from being 12 hours to 24 hours due to mudslides) and fell back asleep to it moving.

Got to our hotel at 5:00am and 4 of 8 rooms were ready so we shared again and slept till about 8am. On the way to the hotel we saw the beach and tons of people working out.

Went to breakfast at 9 and it took quite a long time to get our food (turns out it was because our tour guide asked for the food to come when he was done playing pool with some of the people on the tour) from the sailing club. I got a frittata which was very oily and it was $5. Here I decided to spend the rest of the day at Vinpearl Land (amusement park) and got 3 others to join me.

Taxi back for 20,000 dong again and arrived at 7 when dinner was at 7:30. We went to the party area and walked into a sports bar where the lady was quite pushy and the music was loud so we left and went to Oasis where we ended up getting 4 free shots. Salad and beer for $3.50. After we talked to Red Apple because the lady boy at Oasis said it was good and it was decent. Buy one get one on cocktails. Then back to Oasis for our free drinks after 11:00. Home by 12:30 after trying to go to the beach party but they wanted over $5.00 so no. The beach should always be free.

Woke with a bit of a hangover from all the mixes but great weather so I signed up for snorkeling which picked us up at 8:35. Breakfast was a bit better than usual but terrible compared to what other people staying at the hotel got.

Left for dinner with the group at 4:50 and went to Yen which was on Trip Advisor and some went to yesterday. Spring rolls and lemon juice for 80,000 dong. I thought they weren’t going to be fried and then they were so I was a bit sad for my health but they were so good. Drink took a while.

Snorkel tour had tons of English people and a good amount of Chinese—about 25-30 in total. It seemed great at first because of the scenery but when the other group started drinking I was a bit worried that they would get annoying–and they did!

First we went to an aquarium where we had to pay extra so I didn’t go. Second to the snorkel area for an hour. I saw some beautiful fish including a black fish with gold eyes who stared at me and a white sea urchin. They gave out crap snorkels, so I was glad to have my own. They also gave out floating rings (like tires) so you didn’t get too tired swimming (great idea). Then a long ride to a fish farm where we ate (but we ate in the boat).

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Then a show of the boat workers where they started with Californication and then songs for the countries people came from (except America which had a Beetles song). Finally we had the floating bar which consisted of a raft for our lady boy and a bucket of booze he kept filling little cups with.

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We then went to a private beach which had 30,000 dong entry so I didn’t go. Again, beaches should be free! Had a nap up on top of the boat. Boat back to the harbor, taxi back to hotel around 4pm. Then I went to the beach just to jump in and it was still quite nice.

Around Sihanoukville

Woke at 8:30 to leave at 9 for breakfast which was included in our day out boating and trekking for $20. We didn’t get to use the menu though (like we thought the day before when we booked it), just 2 eggs and a baguette (and a plate of bacon and fruit). Then a bus to where we got on the boat. The river we went down was Pre Toek Sap and we stopped at Ma Ou Ranger Station (I think) which would be a nice lookout if it was not raining. It was a fun building to go up because it was old and dangerous and the top floor had a hole from a fire which is stuck my legs though.

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Back on the boat Visna (our local guide) was cooking our BBQ barracuda/chicken which was interesting because it was a fire on our tiny boat. We saw lots of fishermen including ones looking for scallops or ones looking or clams and some diving birds. No dolphins though.

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Then we stopped at Thomor Tom beach dolphin station for lunch where the park rangers cooked (reheated) and were super nice. The barracuda was delicious. Coke in a glass bottle too. Beautiful looking beach but the smell was terrible once we go there probably because of the bathroom.

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From here we hiked to what is now Chinese beach but was Koh Sam Pouch beach (because of Chinese development even though it is a national park). We saw lots of water buffalo who made funny faces, a mother chicken and her babies, a huge pig (well, a few) and some colorful plants. It was raining and muddy the whole day, but that didn’t stop us!

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The beach was pretty nice and there were waves and pretty shells. Also a very long pier and a swing for fun pictures.  We were here about an hour.

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Next we drove to Kbal Chay Waterfall. One was massive! So many levels of the fall as well. A smaller one met up with it and this was less powerful so we got some pictures in it. Very slippery in the area because of moss on rocks underwater. We then walked a bit to a pool to swim in that lead to the small waterfall. It was cold and clear but didn’t look clear because of the rocks at the bottom. Such a strong current that when I did the breast stroke I didn’t move.

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Back into the van to go to Wat Leo Temple which is famous for monkeys. The temple itself was beautiful and had lots of decorations up. Sit, Visna and the bus driver made strange sounds and called the monkeys over for us to feed them and take photos. We then went to a lookout at the temple which, again, would be better on a clear day. Still great. Van back to the hotel.

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I sent postcards this morning for 3,000 each. Europe and Asia should have been cheaper but I’m not bother by 200 for the 3 that didn’t go to the Americas.

Dinner at the same place (Angkor Beach Bar) and I got veggie curry for $3 and fresh lime juice for $1 when it should have been $1.25. Woop. Leaving at 7 tomorrow for Vietnam.

Inle Lake

Arrived at 4:15, paid $5 for entry and bought my ticket to Yangon for 22,000 kayat. Were technically in Nyungshwe. Met 4 others, JS (French) and his Chinese girlfriend (Spring), a Dutch girl and Swiss girl. The Dutch and Swiss girls are staying elsewhere (after we tried to all find a place together) but JS and his girlfriend and I are at Gold Star for 13USD a night (single) which is government discount (was 15USD). I tried not to stay in hotels as they pay more money to the government, but there were no guest houses left under 30USD.

We went for a walk to see the town and ask about boats. The best plan was the first guy we talked to and only 1000 kayat more at 5000 kayat each (15000 kayat for a full boat of 5 but there is only 3 of us). We talked about how we just wanted to go out on the boat, not go to the cigar shop or anything like that because we wouldn’t buy anything, and the guy at 2 Thumbs Up agreed that it was best because he didn’t like the cigar shop.

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Had dinner of Shan noodles and watched K drama and Thai vs. Myanmar football. The noodles were different from everything else that I had in Myanmar and great. Only 2000 kayat for 3 people to eat with 1 coke and 1 sprite. I asked for lime soda and got sprite. Oh well.

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Had some issues with the shower here but I guess the one that’s blue and red is hot, not the two that are just red.

Two beds, towels, soap, shampoo, TV (air force one, bandits, here after) fan in room.

When I woke up it was raining and JS and Spring and I were worried about the boat ride but didn’t have anything else to do so we decided to go for it. I went and told the guy at 2 Thumbs Up (the first place we stopped at) who remembered me. Breakfast was eggs and toast but there were other options.

The guy was supposed to meet us at 8 but he didn’t come in so I went outside at 8:15, saw a guy who didn’t say anything and went back in. then we all went outside to walk to 2 Thumbs Up and he said hello. Not a great start. Walked to the canal.

The boat ride was about 20 minutes before we got to the lake (it stopped raining by then).

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Then we didn’t get to the market port until 9:55 and we told we had 1 hour there but we knew it was a 20-25 minute walk which would take longer due to mud. Seemed silly that we had just a short time. We didn’t get there until half an hour had passed. I didn’t think it was special other than the fruit and vegetables I didn’t know I couldn’t be explained to me, so it was unhelpful. Standard Asian market but with mud (many people bought flowers and they are obsessed with Psy).

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From there we went to a shop which we said  yesterday we didn’t want to go to, then another shop with girls with long necks. Odd to take pictures of them like it’s a human zoo. They were sewing and the fabric wasn’t nice because it was very rough. Next he tried to stop at another shop and we said no!

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Then was lunch of tofu curry (not curry by any standard) and lime juice which was 3500 kayat. After we walked to the Paung Daw Oo Pagoda where we made fun of a ‘gang’—the boys were wearing the same pants. 500 kayat camera fee. I thought the chipped floor outside was cooler than anything inside. Inside there wasn’t a Buddha but jars to put gold takes on (but girls couldn’t). A guy was reading into a loud speaker we could here from the restaurant.

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At this point the sun came out so much we all used the umbrellas because we didn’t have sunblock (due to the rain in the morning). Silly, because I knew I should have put it on. We kept going south which worried us (we knew thanks to Springs’ phone) and we went to another weaving shop! I don’t care about discount I don’t want to be here! We talked to our driver though translator and found out next was the cigar shop which even the guy at 2 Thumbs Up said was bad. When we said no more shops the driver was annoyed but whatever guy—we have to be back by 5 thus your day is shorter! He must get commission from the shops.

Next JS jumped in and said there was tons of algae that essentially helped him float. Then onto the jumping cat monastery which we knew did not have jumping cats anymore but I guess some thought it did. It’s still a nice old building which great views and gold. The cats are very lazy now.

Then we had to talk to another guy to tell our driver that we didn’t want to straight back because then we’d be back too soon. They kept trying to tell us all the markets were closed today but we said we want to one. Turns out they were closed by this time. Said we wanted to visit another when we booked it and wish we knew better.

We went to a town on the east side which had a school that was letting out a great view for sunset but we couldn’t stay that late.

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Docked at 5:00. I’m not too impressed with the fisherman. I’m sure using your legs is easy once you’re used to it and they’re probably stronger. Not sure what the slapping of the water was though.

Hung out at the hotel for a bit.

Truck picked us all up around 6:10 and I got straight on the bus for my solo seat 😦 but a creep next to me who kept staring. Water, Pepsi, 2 pastries, and a cold cloth is not unlimited tea and cake like De Anne said. The person in front put their seat all the way back and never moved unless I did to get out after them. Rude. Food stops but since an Austrian guy said he was 2 days bedridden because of food from Bagan to Inle I didn’t try it. Bought some spicy chips and an apple which I lost the next day trying to find a hotel. Slept a lot even though there was a strange French movie playing called District B13 about drugs and guns.

Took a car with Mr. Linn and Felix and Kris around the towns around Mandalay.

First we saw a very famous temple and almost got lost in it. It was called Mahamuni and cost 1000 for a camera fee. It was quite beautiful but easy to get lost in.  I bought an onion (?) paint paining for 2,000 which he made in less than 5 minutes which I think was quite amazing.

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Next was more towards Amarapura to where the monks live that we can visit anytime, but lunch is best because most came out and wait. Felt kind of bad, except that people take pictures of me all the time. Some of the monks looked to be five years old.

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Next was straight to Sagaing…well if you count the huge traffic jam for the nut festivals last day.

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To get to Sagaing we had to cross a bridge and then climb a hill to reach another very famous pagoda with many Burmese tourists who wanted my photo. This temple was larger and just as beautiful. They had rabbit and frog statues too. Also clothes stores at the top which I found odd. A smaller shrine was to the right but that also looked like a care takers house because there were clothes (non monk) hanging to dry. On the way up and down there are many other pagodas and very points.

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Next we drove to the boat point for Inwa and had lunch (noodle soup) for 2,000 kayat. Many girls harassed us to buy jewelry. I said I had some and one girl said hers was more beautiful so I acted offended which made her laugh. One looked 4 but was 7 (malnourished?).  The boat was 800 kayat there and back. Once there you need a horse cart for 2000 per person. I liked our guy and horse a lot.

First were ruins which I thought were amazing, but the whole ‘island’ is basically ruins so it loses its special-ness. In this one Buddha’s face had been rubbed off or fallen off.

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The monastery was made of teak wood and you can still smell it very strongly. This one is so old it has something’s in it that you don’t see elsewhere because of changed times.

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The clock tower was sad because you could no longer go up although it looked like the leaning tower of Pisa.

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Next, and last, was another old temple, but this one was white. Great views.

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Then we took the boat back but first we saw a girl getting off who wanted nothing more than a handshake and to say thank you. I bought 2 bracelets for 1000 kayat (originally 1 for 2000) and mine were more expensive because of the elephants.

Sunset at U Bein bridge was not too special (maybe because of a cloud) but the bridge was neat and I had my photo taken a ton more. It’s the longest teak bridge in the world. A sign there for locals sounded like a threat to treat tourists nice or else. The boats were beautiful.

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We learned that government jobs pay 40,000 kayat a month which is only good for poorly educated people who have no family to support.

Booked the bus for 8:30, pickup at 7:30 for 12000 kayat which is more than De Anne paid

The truck/taxi was a few minutes late to pick me and some others up but we got to the bus at 8:00 and left shortly after 8:30 making more stops to pick up some locals. Classic rock and strange movies played in the morning and hip hop after our 20 minute lunch stop.

Jagged Ridge Hike

Busan Haps posted an article about the Jagged Ridge Hike, making it sound much easier to get there than it actually is.

You can take a bus from Sasang to Goseong or Tongyeong and catch a boat from there. I’m not sure the times so you will need to have a Korean speaker call the port you want to go to. They leave more often from Goseong than Tongyeong and Goseong is quicker. From either bus station you will need to take a taxi to the port. If you have a large group, like we did, you can hire a bus to take you direct to the port. It was 350,000 won and split with 16 people it worked out cheaper than buses and taxis (we think, including convenience).

The boat from Goseong has a cute whale on the side! At least some of them do, our return one didn’t.

Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 202From the boat ride, we saw a lot of fishermen. They set up the buoys with ropes on them to grow clams and the bigger fish come by to try to eat them so fishermen set up shop around the buoys trying to catch them.

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Below is our route. We had our bus come over on the boat with us and it drove us along the pink route and we hiked the orange route.

Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 227aBelow are photos of the hike with some descriptions under them.

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Rice fields a plenty here

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Too many hikers!Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 243

Lots of rock formations. Mostly in prayer towers, but there were some cute house like things built.Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 245 Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 248

So steep to climb up! We felt like mountain goats.Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 262

Another shot of what we climbed up. If you go to the right you can go around it.Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 283

Hope I don’t fall! So steep here we can’t climb up but there are lots of places to sitFringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 284

Poor tree!Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 285

We went around this little village.Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 291

Lots of ups and downs.Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 298

This guy sold us makgeolli and did a little show with his drum and symbol.Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 311 Don’t lean on the bridge, but you can set fire to it. Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 325

Traffic jam! This and the bridge are new which has lead to a lot more people doing the hike. Many people seemed to be scared to use the steps!Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 328

The new bridge! They had to use the ropes to pull it up.Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 329

A bit bouncy.Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 336The final view of the town, from the other side that we started from.

We finished just after the boat we were supposed to catch and were able to get one two hours later. In our extra time we had our bus go to the ‘beach’ which isn’t great but there were lots of seafood restaurants there as well. It is at another boat port and people RAN to get on it.

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National Museum of Korea

The National Museum of Korea has lot’s of different areas and two entrances. If you go in though the West Gate the first thing you will see is the Snack area, then the Reflecting Pond  with a Pavilion. If you enter though the Main Gate you’ll see a Gateway Pond and then the Reflecting Pond.

Caribbean Bay + DMZ + Seoul 228From the Reflecting Pond you’ll go up flower lined stairs to the Entrance. On the right is the free entrance, and on the left is the entrance to the special exhibits, which are not free. I went in the free entrance to the main part of the Museum.

The first floor (ground floor) covers prehistory and ancient history, as well as medieval and early modern history.  There is also a Buddhist Preceptor Wallang and Ten Story Pagoda. Below are photos from prehistory and ancient history. (1) the earliest cave paintings found in Korea, in Ulsan, which shows what people ate and how they caught it; (2) a boat dating to 6,000 BC; (3) shells and rocks with faces; (4) stone daggers from the Bronze Age and was only possessed by a privileged minority and served as symbolic or ritual objects; (4) Bronze Knife-shaped Coins with the Chinese character ‘Ming’ written on the front; (5) the Buddhist Preceptor; (6) tombs in the shape of eggs; (7) and the Ten Story Pagoda.

Caribbean Bay + DMZ + Seoul 232Caribbean Bay + DMZ + Seoul 237 Caribbean Bay + DMZ + Seoul 242 Caribbean Bay + DMZ + Seoul 245 Caribbean Bay + DMZ + Seoul 250 Caribbean Bay + DMZ + Seoul 259 Caribbean Bay + DMZ + Seoul 278Next are photos from Medieval and Early Modern History. (1) a roof statue of a beasts head; (2) Bundles of Celadon Vessels Loaded on a Cargo Boat; (3) A game board to teach girls how to be proper; (4) a map of Beijing; and (5) a map of the body for Acupuncture.

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Caribbean Bay + DMZ + Seoul 309 Caribbean Bay + DMZ + Seoul 315And then donated works. There are 9 different galleries for people (or families) and one room for people who donated one item (individual donations). (1) A ‘lion’ like no other; and (2) A mold for a roof tile.

Caribbean Bay + DMZ + Seoul 324 Caribbean Bay + DMZ + Seoul 332On the final and third floor there are sculptures and crafts, starting with Buddhist Sculptures and moving into vases.

Caribbean Bay + DMZ + Seoul 341 Caribbean Bay + DMZ + Seoul 349 Caribbean Bay + DMZ + Seoul 364Lastly is Asian Art with art from: India and Southeast Asia, Central Asia, China, Sinan Shipwreck, and Japan. (1)  An Elephant God Statue from India; (2) A horse prepared for war which from afar I thought was a unicorn Pegasus…from China;(3) masks from Japan for theater.

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Taejongdae

Came here for a cool brisk hike on December 8th, the day after it snowed in Busan (which never happens, right?) which was really nice. Clear blue skies with a bit of wind so you need to wear gloves, but there are some more intense walking parts so the hat and scarf might come off. You can take a a train all the way or walk, but why take a train and miss out on some of the cool things or view points? I could see the people on the train looking longingly as I was at the first view point, sad that they were not stopping for it.

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It is a beautiful walk as well, even when its cold out with the foliage.

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At the lookout where the train stops the first time there is an interesting Western looking man trying to sell you a burger. There is some Korean food and other fast food as well, but the main point is this lookout! You can see the Japanese Island of Tsushima, but that didn’t show up to well in the photos.

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But here is the actual lookout with the weird arch thingy.

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After walking quite a bit more in the loop around (not going back) there is a monument.

This monument is dedicated in consecration of the old camp site of Young-Do-Group (Oct 1950-Dec 1952), composed of the young anti-communists from three north Eastern-Sea provinces. Equipped in tactics of guerrilla warfare, they were launched deep into the hostile territories, inflicting heavy damage on North Korean army installations and facilities.

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Because every forest needs fake tree stumps.

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