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Thailand and Vietnam

 

We are back in Seattle after our big summer holiday. The trip started in Chicago to visit friends and family, then on to the lake cabin in Minnesota to see family and to do some kayaking, sailing, wakeboarding, knee-boarding, and bicycle riding. Plus a quick visit in Berkeley to visit family and over-eat (that’s sorta an inside joke). There are quite few highlights from the Thailand and Vietnam portions of the trip, which can also be seen in the photos. After 9 airports and far too many flights, we are ready for some rest and relaxation!

Thailand highlights (click to see the photos)

  • Body surfing on the west side of Railay beach, which is mostly what I did in Thailand when not relaxing.
  • Our friend’s wedding on the deck of a house near the beach, with the party at a pool next to the beach.
  • Hiking up to the top of the island (more of a technical scramble up the cliff in the jungle) to get a great view of the island.
  • Having locals cook a great Thai meal at our Railay Beach house for about 20 of us. We could see monkeys in the daytime from the deck of our house and bats at night.

Vietnam highlights (click to see the photos)

  • Seeing a new country and watching the locals get around, visiting local markets, and seeing just how many electrical and phone lines can be suspended between poles. It didn’t take us long to learn how to cross the street in Hanoi, which is certainly an experience. Watch this video to see what it is like to cross the street in Hanoi.
  • Getting a communist view (slightly skewed and missing a few details) of various Vietnamese wars with the French and the US. We saw this at the Hao Lo Prison (aka, the Hanoi Hilton) and at Ho Chi Minh’s tomb and museum in Hanoi.
  • Kayaking, swimming and exploring caves by foot and by kayak in Halong Bay. We stayed on a junk run by Indochina Sails. Nobody joined me when jumping off the roof of the boat, but at least others swam with me and none of us got stung by the gigantic jellyfish – we only saw 2 of them while on the boat.
  • Having a “James Bond martini” at the Metropole hotel. Roger Moore used to stay there and since he played James Bond from 1973 to 1985, they named their classic (shaken, not stirred gin martini) after him.
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