Tag Archive: drinking

Hoi An

Took the “8:30” train from Nah Trang but it was quite late. We had a person who was there to help yell if people were still in our room but we didn’t need to use her, sadly as we all wanted to see it happen.

Jill saw a mouse but I didn’t, again sadly because I wanted to see how big they were. Sit always calls them Mickey Mouse and one of the girls sings ‘Hey Mickey’. Woke pretty early because others were talking saying it must be soon but it wasn’t for another hour and a half. Got good pics of sunrise though.

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Arrived in DaNang and took a bus for 40 minutes to Hoi An.

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We couldn’t check in so we went to breakfast at Banana Leaf where I got a great omelet and crunchy baguette for 35,000. Next others went to the tailors but I didn’t want to buy anything so I just came back and did laundry and showered. Then I saw some of the boys who said they were going to the pool so I went there. It was fun especially because they didn’t pull me under, as they joked they would.

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Around 1:30 I went with Jill to explore the town. I didn’t realize that inside the ‘town’ there were no bikes or cars, making it seem even touristier. People are quite pushy to sell which I dislike. Walked to what I thought was the Japanese Bridge looking at the G Adventures wrong map again. Then to Central Market which was smelly and dirty and filled with sleeping people who were very very pushy to sell their food when they woke up—why would I buy food to cook? Next we wandered and I found a painting for mom for 100,000 dong. She asked 7USD, I said 5USD, which she then said was 120,000 dong. Nope. (She’s correct really but no one gets that rate.) Then back to the hotel for a little break before the cooking class.

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When we were fishing the cooking class everyone else showed up for Pete’s birthday dinner. Then we went upstairs and had some drinks and Sit brought in a huge cake with a dragon. We couldn’t eat it all and left the dragon head with the restaurant. Really good for an Asian cake. Lots of frosting 🙂 Then Sit took us to the Japanese bridge (not the one I saw earlier) which was beautiful at night and showed us a good ice cream shop.

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We then went to Hong Phuc 2 for drinks which were buy one get one for cocktail sand buy two get one for beer. The cocktails were quite strong. We got to control the music which was nice again and some people put lanterns in the water. Earlier we were told people do have jobs to pick up the lanterns. They closed at around 12:30 so we went home and as a massive rat.

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Ready at 9 for the bike ride which ended up being fantastic.

Myself and 2 others got ice cream from Enjoy, the place Sit showed us, which was 600,000 for 1 kg of ice cream. I ended up paying 70,000 which was still expensive but it was very nice. The milk is imported from France. Then we went back to Hong Phuc 2 because we needed more food. I got a sandwich for 32,000 which was warm and very nice because of the crunchy bread. Sit then took us to look for funny shirts but I didn’t have any money so I came back to the pool to be joined shortly by most of the group.

Left to go to the post office and paid 15,000 dong for the Americas and 13,000 dong for Asia and Europe. Found some people from the group right away and did a bit of shopping. 2 shirts for $10—one Vietnamese telecom and 1 ‘same same but different’. A friend paid $7.50 for one so I got a deal. Wandered a bit trying to find others and went to a buy one get one bar for 2 drinks. Found some but they had to go home and when we saw them again they didn’t want to eat anymore. Went to Hong Phuc 2 for dinner (same as lunch) and got 3 beers (1 free) and vegetables and rice for $10.50. I then got really tired and went home.


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.


Took a bus between Phonm Penh to Sihanoukville. Supposed to be public but changed to private probably because of problems in the city. Bus took 4 hours and we stopped halfway though.

I was supposed to have my cooking class this afternoon but when we called they said no because it’s the afternoon and I’m only one…Strange because the G Adventures tour guide said it was all set.

Went to Angkor Beach Bar at 2:30 and I got vegetable noodles and a drink for $5. Some of us then went shopping and I got a red dress for $5. She started at $10 but I said I got one in Phnom Penh for $5 so it worked out. This one is nicer though.

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Then went to the beach and couldn’t find everyone else. Only two of us had the courage to go into the trash filled ocean and it was super warm. Then to the pool. Dinner at 7:00 at the same place. This time I had a vegetable kebab and 3 drinks for $11. There were some fireworks going off which was pretty and reminded me of Korea. Next we walked with Sit to explore and came back but further down the beach to a horribly cheap foreigner bar. I left around 1:15.

This bar was sleazy to the max. they kept coming around with bottles and telling people to drink from the free drink bottle and making announcements that you got drinks for dancing or just going to the bar. One guy did “40” shots of laughing gas and could hardly function (but it was fine and didn’t have long term effects, so he said) and another passed out and had to be carried somewhere. At least there was a fire show.

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Siem Reap

Left at 5:00 to go to New Hope which is where we (the tour company, G Adventures) donated. The old building is a halfway house and many kids thought we were jungle gyms.

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The new building is beautiful and we sat in on classes and I taught some words. Very colorful classrooms, better than Korea because the kids want to be there and work at group tables. Maybe when my loans are done I’ll come to volunteer here.  Next we saw their bike repair shop to help kids get to school and learn a trade and jungle gym and clinic as well as outreach center. I guess a pedophiles in the area, after he ran from Europe. Next was dinner with sad videos playing. Appetizer of cricket, sugar, peanuts, potato chips. Then sweet curry and rice, papaya and fish salad, spring rolls, morning glory stir fried and rice cake. I can’t say that I liked much more than the spring rolls. Lime shake was good too and beer was shit. All drinks were 2USD.

Next we went to the bar area where beer was also a dollar. Upon leaving one guy grabbed me for ‘walking into him’ when I was standing and another guy said he was my tour guide. The night market was closed after which made us quite sad.

The next day, we went to the Wats.

On the way back we heard a story of Cambodian politics. Their PM has been has in power for 25+ years and opposition parties can’t get anything done in the parliament so they’re refusing to sit and want the UN to help. He also told us of his life where he started as a farmers boy, had the opportunity to go to language school, university, didn’t bribe people at university so he didn’t do well, wanted to quit, his parents told him to just switch to school in Siem Reap (was in Pheon Phem) and he did well and studied to be a tour guide and now wants to be a CEO (head of G Adventures tours).

We also learned that the term ‘Siamese’ came from the area of Siem Reap, so I started thinking of the song from Lady and The Tramp.

Dancers at Club Temple were interesting. Hands bend really far which I thought would be cool but was more disturbing and gross. Dinner of cashew and shrimp curry and 2 beers for 5.50USD then another beer for .50 later.

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Went to Angkor What Club and got buckets of booze for 7 or 8 each sharing. It was so much fun I didn’t want to leave though.

Left the next day around noon.

Jaipurs Holi Festival

That night I went to the Holi Festival which was supposed to have Elephants doing things like playing polo!

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But there were no elephants because of protestors. I guess the tug of war was too much for them, which is understandable. But at least let them show up and walk around! They were already painted and everything (I saw them at Amber Fort).

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I thought I was at the wrong festival for a bit because there were no elephants but this had signs saying it was the official Jaipur festival. Tourists kept pouring in too, so I must have been in the right spot.They did not have nearly enough seats! So many people were standing everywhere that the people who did have seats had to stand on them to be able to see anything. In the end, I kept moving and got better and better spots until I was in the front row (people were either leaving because there were no elephants–I don’t know why, the music and performance were great–or going into the field after the parade). The parade was about 10 or 15 different groups from different regions of Rajasthan playing their areas music. The parade went left to right; I’m not sure why this is important, but the announcer kept saying it.

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Because there were no elephants, the groups each did their own performance but people seemed confused by this as the announcer never said that everyone was going to perform. In the middle of the performances they had people do a turban tying competition, carry water on their heads, and a tug of war.

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I ended up leaving early because the tour guide next to me had his group leave because he said after the people competed there would be nothing more but after I called my driver more people went on! I wasn’t going to call again, and everything was starting to sound a bit of the same. Plus I was tired of being in such large groups. Well, large drunk groups who were covered in paint–Holi was the next day, why were they covered today!

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Also at the festival, there was a dog that got partially painted by an Australian guy which was really cute. I was sitting next to some Swedish people then and we could not stop laying with the dog. After I moved, there was a cute Indian boy who would not stop waving at me and the Russian lady next to me, but when his dad brought him over he didn’t look at us at all! Kid’s are weird. When he left, he kept waving. There was another Russian lady who slapped a kid for trying to sell her a henna tattoo. She then grabbed the girls arm and made her pose for a photo. Not a nice lady…Also some not nice English children who, when their parents told them to get off their phones and stop playing games and appreciate the festival (and then walked away), said to one another that they should go closer but sit in some way that their parents couldn’t see them so they could still be on their phones. The point of this is to show the diversity of the people there (and how you can’t really judge someone by their nationality).

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The story:
Last night, I got into a cab and said for him to take me home. He took me to the police station.
They took my wallet and gave it back without my ARC (alien residency card). Then, they yelled at me for not having my ARC. After 30-45 minutes, they said sorry and gave it back, because it fell on their floor behind the desk.
Then they paid for the rest of my cab home.

I’m starting to think that the cab driver just really didn’t know where I wanted to go (it’s possible, I live in the middle of nowhere) and I didn’t have my phone so they took me to the police to figure it out? Who then lost my ARC which would have told them where I lived and yelled at me for not having it. Then felt bad for causing the problem and paid for the second part of the cab ride? Maybe…

The cab driver could have just been taking advantage of me because I had been drinking–but then why take me to the police?

Or…the driver thought I would not pay him (not sure why, other than the ATMS would have been not  working) so he took me to the police? That one kind of makes sense too, because he kept talking about money. I did have enough though, he could have told me the amount and I would have paid him…but we were not at my place so why do that?

I just have to hope that my phone is at the bar, then the first story would more likely be correct.

On subways I get stared at and laughed at. In taxis they yell at me whenever I say I want to go to dongdaesin like they don’t understand that I live here. Maybe I’ll walk everywhere. And never drink again (other than plans that already involve drinking).


This weekend I went to Gwangju with two friends and continued onto Naejangsan National Park for a Sunday hike. The bus from Sasang in Busan is about 3 1/2hours (but on our way back it was only 2 1/2  so that was pretty amazing). You can also leave from Nopo but that adds more than 1/2 an hour to the time and costs more than 5,000 KRW more.

One friend had already been to Gwangju and there were certain things he had not seen before and wanted to see this time so we headed off from the bus station towards the river and to the Gwangu Student Independence Movement Memorial Tower. Let’s just say that the map on how to get anywhere in Gwangju is very deceptive in the scale. We walked, and walked and walked and walked while checking the map I had taken a photo of on my real camera and Googlemaps on our phones (had to cross check as the memorial tower is not in Googlemaps). Let me simplifiy it’s location for you, as their tourist map is also a bit wrong: go to the Yangdong Market stop and check out the market for a bit (if it’s open, we were there midday on a Saturday and things looked a bit closed). Either cross the river at that train stop bridge or the next bridge south. Keep walking down the street of that second bridge and you will see a few rocks with carvings and a nice building that looks a bit like a police station. Go in there and keep walking ahead. The shrine is surrounded by trees so we almost missed it from within the park! Fair warning: it’s not very big.

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After that we headed down toward Art Street which was 1 km away. There were some interesting statues along the way, and a park that had a great performance area (more on that on our way back). We headed down towards Wongaksa Temple to see that before art street and it was quite a beautiful temple in the middle of the city. Art Street is more of ‘Art Academy Street’ as there were many academy and not so much people selling art on the street, which is what we thought it would have been. After that, we headed back to the park, going towards the 5-Story STONE Pagoda. I’m only seeing the word stone now that I’m looking at the map, as we thought it was going to be a real pagoda. In the park there were some rapping 20-something Koreans that I wish I had taken a video of since they were free-styling but I was a bit nervous to just pull out my camera then. It took us awhile to find the pagoda since, again, it is not on googlemaps and the tourist map is a bit deceptive as to where things are.

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After this we had coffee and warmed up in Hans and Bean which is a great coffee shop! Haven’t seen them in Busan, but they were all over Gwangju.  We then found out that we were in the perfect area for what we were looking for that night–pubs and great food–around the culture complex subway stop.

Our first stop was the Speakeasy, used to be called Mike and Dave’s Speakeasy, which was an expat Irish-Ameircan pub with Guinness and Smithwicks. The bathroom had a ton of interesting and hilarious (and sometimes hateful) writing. Next was Tequilaz Mexican Grill and Bar where we had TG Tequila which was the best tequila I have ever had. The manager was trying to sell it to us hard and said “I won’t even give you a lemon, it’s that smooth” and he was right. We also had fantastic tacos, chimichangas and nachos there. He suggested that we go to German Bar Two, but after we got there it was more of a club which was not what we were looking for so we headed back to Soul Train (not related to the one in Busan) which was a bit expensive but had pool.

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Spent the night in Starbucks Spa (Starbucks was the name of the building, but there was no Starbucks Coffee to be seen) which was pretty standard other than the washrooms which had personal jacuzzis.

The next day we went to the park for the hike and that post is here. We returned in time to explore Gwangju a bit more, but using the same map we did not find much. We tried to find the Hwadamsa Shrine but I’m pretty sure that was taken down as we walked a circle around where it should have been and only saw 2 Christian churches there. Also tried to find the May 18 Memorial Park but there was no park to be seen, unless it was inside an apartment complex.

Overall, Gwangju was interesting and I do plan on going back to do another hike in that park and for delicious Mexican food, but this time I’ll keep my expectations low about the tourist map and if things will actually be where they say they are.