Fellow Missourian, Mark Twain: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness... Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"
  • Day285

    Hanoi, Vietnam

    March 17, 2016 in Vietnam ⋅ 🌫 21 °C

    After my unfortunate motorbike accident, I return to Hanoi to rest my foot and determine my next move. Although my less than mediocre doctors found no breaks in the X-ray (which only ran me 4 dollars), the severity of the sprain, the pain around my foot, and all around swelling prevented me from exploring Hanoi by foot. Hobbling to and fro in the proximity of my $2.50 hostel, I became quite close with an elderly coffee shop owner in the area. Every day I would show up and she would treat me to free tea and coffee, set me up at a nice street side table, and play with Google translate. The raw egg coffee and civet coffee (weasel-digested beans) certainly made the traces of mundane a bit more appealing..

    I remained in Hanoi, grabbing casual drinks, enjoying the chaotic yet comfortable ambience, while slowly recovering until I could walk without crutches. I did make another major life choice amidst these bustling streets: that my next major travel decision would take me not back to the United States but instead to another entirely different continent. Despite my injuries, my enthusiasm for travel somehow increased further.
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    Kevin Seetharaman

    Time to post again clark





  • Day275

    Lang Son, Vietnam

    March 7, 2016 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    On a long day from Cat Ba island to the north to explore the mountains on the Chinese frontier, I ran into a bit of automotive trouble of the donut variety. A young lady, ostensibly making a very urgent bakery delivery, walked out into my lane in a small rural town and forced me to make a maneuver to avoid her. In doing so, I hit a slick patch and both the bike and I went down. In my mind, I sacrificed life and limb to save those baked goods (and the baked good angel carrying them). Yet, when I came to my senses in the middle of that rural road, I noticed a spattering of mini doughnuts and jelly covering the pavement. It was nothing short of a tragedy

    Several locals helped me and my motorcycle off of the road, gave me painkillers and ice, and directed me to the nearest hospital. I drove there, got an x-ray, and was addressed by the doctor in the least comforting way possible: an nonchalant shrug and the word "Ok". Being unable to walk or put any weight on my right foot, I slowly made my way back my motorcycle and rode another 3 hours to the city of Lang Son, where I plotted my recovery. A full day's ride from Hanoi, I decided to rest for the evening and morning, then book it back to Hanoi to heal in the cheap accommodation of the big city.
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  • Day273

    Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

    March 5, 2016 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C

    For a fraction of the $100+ cost of leaving from Ha Long City, I booked a $14 day all-day cruise out of Cat Ba Island. It took me and my small group around Ha Long and Lan Ha bays. Despite a gloomy, overcast day, the haze added a mysterious air to an already surreal seascape. We passed through several floating fishing villages, stopped off and trekked an island, and kayaked through a lagoon riddled with wave-carved caves.Read more

    Edward Grattan

    this one is cool

  • Day270

    Mai Chau, Vietnam

    March 2, 2016 in Vietnam ⋅ 🌙 10 °C

    Got back into the homestay scene in Pom Cong village of Mai Chau district. "White Thai" and H'mong minorities live in stilted bamboo homes amidst rice paddies, water buffalo, and grazing cattle. Both groups are known for their textile work, and beneath most homes are scarves, shirts, and other goods for dirt cheap prices.Read more

  • Day269

    Ninh Binh, Vietnam

    March 1, 2016 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Many refer to the limestone landscape of Ninh Binh as "Ha Long Bay on Land". The karst formations rise around the local rivers, forming countless caves accessible only by boat. The landscape was unflinching and in many ways unique to northeast Vietnam. Apparently I wasn't the only one to notice; Titan Productions, the company in charge of the Kong, was filming here as well as in Phong Nha. Seems Samuel L. Jackson and the rest of the crew are following me northward.Read more

  • Day266

    Phong Nha, Vietnam

    February 27, 2016 in Vietnam ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

    Home to the some of the world's biggest caves, including the record holder, Son Doong, Phong Nha is a headquarters of caving and adventuring around Ke Ba National Park. Today a few friends and I hit Paradise Cave and Dark Cave, both cavernous underground worlds with miles and miles of tunnels and openings large enough to fit a battleship. In Dark Cave, a swim-in entrance and a mud-pool on which one could effortlessly float. The whole park also boasts incredible and strange mountains, as the alkaline landscape has been quickly and sharply eroded by rainfall.

    Because of the mess inside Dark Cave, I didn't bring my camera. The last two pictures are from Google and are accurate portrayals of my day there.
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  • Day265

    Vinh Moc Tunnels, Vietnam

    February 26, 2016 in Vietnam ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

    A whole village of civilians moved underground to avoid bombings during the Vietnam War. Their expansive network of underground tunnels and trenches, with sleeping and meeting quarters, was a great way for me to get out of the wind and rain on the northbound highway.Read more

  • Day264

    Abandoned Amusement Park, Vietnam

    February 25, 2016 in Vietnam ⋅ 🌫 16 °C

    On the outskirts of Hue sits an abandoned aquarium and amusement park, as derelict and spooky as I expected. Empty cages and a crocodile pit still packed with crocodiles until 2015. Having a former family destination, huge and overgrown, to one's self is more creepy than serene. Pretty suhweeet.Read more

  • Day262

    Hue, Vietnam

    February 23, 2016 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Hue is the former imperial capital of Vietnam and is thus very centered on the culture and lives of the Nguyen dynastic rulers. The "Imperial City" and "Forbidden City", sprawling albeit poorly preserved complexes, had several special exhibits in English about all aspects of life during the Nguyen's rule in the 19th-20th centuries.Read more

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