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i eat babies

Journey through Asia. A Travel Log - Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos.

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So, inspired by Keepitrail's incredible thread(s), I decided I would contribute to CH0 with my own photothread of my travels. I took this trip in the summer of 2010, spending 3 months doing Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

Starting in Vietnam:

The flight on the way there. I've never been on a long distance flight before(I'd never been outside of Europe before). It was mad to fly along with the dawn.

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I landed in Hanoi completely jetlagged. Somehow managed to navigate myself to where I was staying and crashed for a few hours. When I awoke, this church greeted me.

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Churches are unusual in Vietnam as their main religion is Bhuddism. In fact I think this was the only one I saw during the entire trip.

 

I proceeded to have a little explore around the area. Hanoi is one of the crazyest places I've been. There seems to be life and activity in every nook and cranny. You are constantly bombarded with delicious smells from the various street vendors cooking miscellanious dishes right there on the pavement. There is also the constant noise of the horns and motors of the thousands upon thousands of mopeds that everyone drives around.

I learnt early from watching the locals that the only way to cross the road without dying was to just walk straight out into them at a slow but constant pace, and let the bikes weave around you.

 

Crazy Wiring all over the place

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This was a lake in the center of town.

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A relatively chilled vietnamese street.

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I saw so many crazy things carried on the back of the many mopeds during the trip. The attitude of S.E. Asians seems to be, "I've got all this stuff to carry and only one moped. Rather than make two trips, lets work out how to get it all on at once."

The list of the crazyest shit I saw goes something like:

Families of over 5 people.

A stack of six single matresses, folded in half.

A guy driving with one hand whilst holding a large pipe that was at least 5m long on his other shoulder.

A man driving with a tied up and hooded live bull on the back.

 

Bird cages in an alleyway.

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More crazy infrastructure.

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Ho Chi Minh's house. Vietnam's leader during the revolution and vietnamese war. The amount of propaganda and the cult of personality surrounding this guy was immense.

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Cool tower.

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Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum. Didn't go in, the queue was ridiculously long. It was actually made up more of vietnamese than tourists.

French Slut at a bar.

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Smash the vacant looking frog*

 

Nice thread, it's great to have multiple travel threads at once. Props been dished out.

 

_______

*gasfacevictm, "Insult the French," Prejudiced Linguistics Monthly, 2011.

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Onwards! To Ha Long Bay. This was the one of the most stunning pieces of nature I've ever seen.

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Stopped on one of the islands to have a look at a cave.

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Then carried on sailing.

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People lived on floating houses floating literally out in the ocean(okay it was in a bay, so the water was calm, but still)

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Next, we landed on Cat Ba Island, one of the largest islands in the bay. This is where we spent the night.

The next day we went to climb one of the mountains on the island.

Taking pictures of korean tourists on the way.

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Saw this Fella on my way up.

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I had left my shoes back at my hostel in Hanoi, and my flip-flops had fallen apart the previous night, so I ended up climbing the mountain barefoot.

The view from the top.

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Back onto the boat, We were taken to one of those small floating villages.

One of the fisherman's catches.

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An Aussie guy who was also on the boat's tattoo.

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I then moved on to a small town called Ninh Binh. This place has a very similar natural architecture to the bay, except it was rice paddies rather than sea water that surrounded the huge rocks jutting out of the surface.

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The boat rower. Girl could row a boat at decent speed with her feet! She made laugh as well. Natural born hustler, demanding tips and protesting that they weren't big enough when she got them.

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Entrance to a cave.

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The boat rowers mum, she got on board and caught a lift home from work.

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"See that Pagoda? We're gonna climb up to it.."

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The stairs.

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View from the top.

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Temple.

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Weird fruits.

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I then took a bus to Hue. The bus drivers in Vietnam are fucking insane. They drive on the wrong side of the road by default, and only switch back onto the right side when something bigger comes the oppiste way..

 

The royal palace.

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A dead Emperor's tomb, on the outside of town.

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I left Hue and did a small guided tour of the DMZ(the demilitarised zone between North and South Vietnam during the war.

Various bombs that were dropped on the Vietnamese.

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Exploring some of the tunnels used by the Viet Cong.

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A well in the Tunnel.

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Part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

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A fellow traveller catches some zzzzs

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What illegal substances did you come across??

And I was checking out some pics of vietnam before. Place looks beautiful. Would prop/cant for some reason..

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Following this I moved down to Ha Noi. Ha Noi is a town filled with tailors, you go there to get cheap but beutiful tailor made clothes. I myself managed to pick up a fantastic, silk lined suit with the highest thread count available, plus a pair of leather shoes with leather soles, all tailored for $140. Boom!

I then moved on to Nha Trang. There, I had a break from travelling and culture and spent a few days chilling on the beach, getting a tan and drinking beer.

This was a cable car that took you over onto an Island that had a water park.

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I also went on a 'booze cruise'. I think it cost $20 and was all you can eat and drink for something like 5 hours. A messy evening for sure..

A quick stop in Dalat, a town in the mountains.

Waterfall.

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On to Saigon, just as crazy as Hanoi, but in a different sort of way. Hanoi had a 'old east' feel to it, whereas Saigon was crazy in the same way any other metroplois was. In my view the city had a lot less charm to it.

The next photos are all from Reunification palace. Famous from those photos of the last Americans being evacuated by helicopter from the roof.

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The building is actually really boring, just loads of poorly decorated conference rooms. It is more the history of the building that is interesting.

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This was the spot where a Vietnamese soldier, posing as a fighter for the Americans, flew a plane over the building and dropped some bombs.

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War room in a bunker under the building.

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I also went to the Vietnam War Museum. Outside is a huge collection of American Military vehicles that were captured.

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The museum had an outrageous amount of anti-American propoganda. Everything was 'American Imperialists' and Agressors etc. (having said taht, I think we can all agree the Vietnamese have every right to be pissed off with the US). There was one particularly upsetting room filled with photographs of the victims of agent orange. I hope that stuff never gets used on planet earth again.

 

Taking a Mid day snooze..

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That's the last of Vietnam, I proceeded to move on to Cambodia. Vietnam was a beutiful country, but in my experience the people were pretty cold and generally anti-western. Of course this can be attributed to the recent war and the propaganda that the government now spouts out. And I also pretty much stuck to the tourist trail so that would partly explain why everyone was so hard on their hustle. But even still, the people I met in both Cambodia and Laos would prove to be much more friendly, without the focus being on your wallet.

More Tomorrow.

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^If your prop button seems broken try right clicking the prop button and selecting "open". It should open the prop window in its own page allowing you to prop. 12oz is glitch central these days.

 

Also, wasn't that bay voted in as one of the "7 New Wonders of the World"?

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*gasfacevictm, "Insult the French," Prejudiced Linguistics Monthly, 2011.

 

"There is nothing lower than the human race...except for the French." - Mark Twain 1878-79

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