Tag Archive: transportation


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.

SE Asia 2351 SE Asia 2358 SE Asia 2362

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.

SE Asia 2382

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.

SE Asia 2395 SE Asia 2416 SE Asia 2420 SE Asia 2433 SE Asia 2443

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.

Ready at 9 for the bike ride which ended up being fantastic. Beautiful view the whole time and it was not hilly. The worst part was not really being able to see because of concentrating on the tiny path.

SE Asia 2292

Our first stop was to look at rice but myself and another ran to the baby ducks. Then we had the chance to do traditional garden watering (aka someone else’s yard work), then water buffalo riding which was a lot of fun even though it kept hitting you with its tail. At least he didn’t sit when I was on him, like he did with one of the others. Next was the beach for an hour and a half of which we were (mostly) in the water. Beautiful beach, sand, water and waves except for he bit of trash we saw (which was a lot less than we saw on the rest of the trip). Next we went back to the bikes for a bit to get to a boat which many people fell asleep on, not a lot to see at times but coming back to Hoi an that way as nice.

SE Asia 2294 SE Asia 2314 SE Asia 2324

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).

SE Asia 2137

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.

SE Asia 2155

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.

SE Asia 1660

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.

SE Asia 1670

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.

SE Asia 1678

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!

SE Asia 1685

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.

SE Asia 1696 SE Asia 1701

 

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.

SE Asia 1715

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.

SE Asia 1744

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.

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.

SE Asia 1629

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.

SE Asia 1644

Entering Cambodia

Part of a GAdventures trip….

Really nice bus to the boarder from Bangkok, then we got into the group tour line to leave Thailand and they wouldn’t see us. Sit said after that you have to bribe them sometimes. She had a bitch face anyway. One of the girls had a problem leaving because she had a long visa that she didn’t use yet (for reentry) and they were annoyed.

SE Asia 1260

Into Cambodia was no problem and funny-sad because one fingerprint machine was broken. How is this supposed to be secure? Or the same? A not-nice bus awaited to take us to our less nice than the first bus (so, middle ground). Stopped for lunch and I got vegetable soup for USD1. It was really good for that price. Went on a bit more to get to the hotel by 4:00 or so.

Bangkok–first expressions

From Dong Mueang International Airport, I took a bus for 6.5 Bhat to Mi Chit (skytrain) and then paid for the subway twice because Ken (I guy a met at the airport in Yangon) said when I changed I had to pay again but I don’t think that’s true. 42 bhat and 31 bhat for the rides.

Walk to hostel is a bit further than I thought but I made it to MileMap Hostel. Nice place. Koreans in the room and while the boy played on 2 computer the girl looked at herself for about an hour and changed many times. Standard.

I started to walk down the main road and felt overwhelmed by people. It’s just so busy even compared to Yangon. I want to ride a bike in Bagan again or stay at Inle so long they let me take a boat out on my own.

Looking for food and didn’t see anything appealing for cheap so I kept walking till it down poured and I went in Silom Central mall. Checked out all the basement restaurants which had a lot of meat and were mostly Japanese as opposed to Thai…I was pretty sad about that. I got Indian which was pretty good. The free starter was very spicy. I also got a cupcake from Cupcake Cove. 280 + 80 bhat.

When I went back up the rain was stopping so I went to the nearby park which seemed very dirty at the start and looking like a protest the more I looked in. I was getting tons of odd looks so left.

Walked to the Red Cross and snake display. 100 bhat (discount, because I missed a show?). So many snakes!: king cobra, monocellate cobra, golden spitting cobra, mangrove pit viper, white lipped piper, big eyed pit viper, kukri snake, dog toothed cat eye snake, red tailed rat snake, corn snake, monocellate cobra (albino) (angry!), brongersma python, etc. Upstairs were skeletons and skins and the insides of a python for all to see. Lots of info about sex. Too much. The diorama about how eggs grow was cool. I did well on the test about what to do if you’re (or a friend) is bit. The mythology section was dull.

SE Asia 1181

Outside are more snakes but most are hard to find. I have a photo of the elephant trunk snake and the green anaconda, but they came out pretty bad because of the cages. On the way back I saw tons of thrown out zebras. I wonder why the Red Cross hates them….Also saw rush hour traffic and I still dislike Bangkok.

SE Asia 1206

Went for just-over-an-hour walk in the other direction. Still not impressed with Bangkok but it sure does light up at night (like any Asian town) and I found Subway! That’s only exciting for those who live in Korea. Found Bangrak Bazaar which had cute dresses for 200-250 bhat. I need to lose belly pudgy before buying because I asked for ‘big size’ (like I do in Korea) and they were confused. Dress with ‘I don’t care’ on it which reminds me of one of my classes so much but when would I wear it? Kept walking to the pier which wasn’t special because the view was obstructed by the sky train and tour boat building. Cute boats and an all-day pass is 150b. Walked back and got lemonade with apple for 35 bhat from LemonHub.

The people in my hostel make me worried about the people I’ll meet here…and dislike Bangkok because it’s too on the beaten path and filled with wasters.

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.

SE Asia 914

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.

SE Asia 921

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).

SE Asia 955

 

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).

SE Asia 984

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!

SE Asia 1002

 

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.

SE Asia 1020

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.

SE Asia 1087

 

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.

Woke up quite early even for Busan time but just waited because it was too early. Woke up for real around 7:45 for breakfast just after 8:15 of toast with butter and strawberry-sugar jam, watermelon and tea and terrible coffee.

Left around 9 for a day for temples. I can’t begin to describe how beautiful they are. When you think it’s the same as the last you will find something new. Pictures hardly do it justice. Many you can climb to the top via steps or find your own way (climb).

SE Asia 615

One where I could see the tallest temple (that you could not climb) had 4 Buddha’s (like most) but the main one was original except the hair, the next original but it was black more recently turned gold via donations, the next was teak wood with original body and the last was new because of fighting in the 70s. This was seen after an AMAZING lunch at Be Kind to Animals. Mostly Indian flavors but with Myanmar tourists. Next to us were a hilarious Sigapourian-Indian couple who got all the recipes. I had a wrap which was more of Dhal with a tortilla around it which you needed a knife and fork for. Magda had a Bagan special dish that was the best of the group using a special leaf (curry). I decided the spiciness of low because it was so hot out. Also had lime soda. 5,000 kayat.

SE Asia 796

It started to rain a bit around 3:30 so we stayed in the biggest temple hoping it would stop but it did not so we went onto the main road back, stopping once to check out some deserted temples and walk to one where you climbed the outside. Koreans were there! Then it really started to rain (5:00?) so we headed back and arrived around 5:30 to be soaking wet L shower was silly but washed my underwear (from squatters with no toilet paper) and sweat handkerchief.

SE Asia 882

Had dinner at wonderful Tasty which had Nepolise food which I’ve never had was quite good. Lime-Ginger-Juice for 800 and 10 veggie dumplings with soup and spicy sauce for 2,500. Just soup was 1000 it took quite a while but you knew it was fresh because you could hear the chopping and frying.

Woke up at 6:30 to be ready at 7:00 but found out the bus will come to me after 7:30. Oh well. Our bus got stuck in mud for about 30 minutes a truck got stuck when it pulled over to try and help us. We went through beautiful mountains and forests but the road was so twisty I almost got sick. Almost got sick also because an old lady was smoking on the bus (cloves). Lunch was horrible veggies and rice with no flavor.

SE Asia 888