Daily Archives: January 23, 2009

Asia – Day 13 – Viet Nam

We’re now in Viet Nam — well, we have been for the past couple days but I’ve been too busy to blog, so let’s get everyone caught up:
Bangkok – Days 8-11
Tour Guides: Phong, Anna, Thong
  • Grand Palace – this was the old "forbidden kingdom" of the King of Thailand.  Some of the structures here are painted in real gold!  The place is huge and the gold rooftops are beautiful when the catch the light.  All the sculptures and buildings are beautifully crafted.  It’s not as large as the Forbidden Kingom but it’s more landscaped and better kept up.  Forbidden Kingdom doesn’t have a lot of plant life there but the Grand Palace has lots of plush greenery that’s been well-kept
  • Snake Farm – I don’t know the name of the place, but we went to a snake farm where they harvest the snake’s natural properties to create oils, pills, etc. that they then coax you into buying to cure whatever ailment  you’re feeling.  It’s such a hoax (I think) but the power of suggestion is powerful, so if you believe it’ll work, it just might.  My brother and I talked my parents out of spending any money here.  The cool part though was before they made their sales pitch.  They had a dude playing and wrestling with different snakes.  He’d smack the snakes head down and dodge when the snake attacked him.  There was even a snake that they had trained to play dead!  No joke, the snake seriously turned onto its back exposing its belly.  And it just laid there until the snake trainer told it to flip back over.  He brought the snakes over for everyone to pet.  At one point, he was biting one of he snakes while holding it out for everyone to see.  After he let go of the snake, it pooped all over teh stage… heheheh… I think he might have even got some of it in his mouth because he rinsed out his mouth right away.
  • Pattaya — Sin City of Thailand apparently.  We were getting coached by our Tour Guide to enjoy ourselves, see all that Pattaya has to offer and don’t think about anyone judging us.  He promised to take everyone to temple to confess whatever we did in Thailand.  =)  And at the end of our time in Pattaya, he said we should leave everything we did here in Thailand and not carry it back with us else it might give us nightmares.  Hehehh… he’s a funny guy.  Stuff we saw in Pattaya:
    • Nong Nooch Garden — We saw trained elephants do everything from dancing, riding a tricycle, and playing soccer.  They were pretty comical and amazingly well trained.  Afterwards, you could pay a couple bucks to pose with the elephants.  I chose the elephant that coils its trunk around you at the waist and picks you up.  Pretty freakin’ cool!  At the same place, my brother was able to pose with a Tiger and actually sit there and hug it.  Crazy!
    • 2-hour Thai Massage — they give pretty strong massages in Thailand.  I seriously think the small Thai woman massaging me could kill me with her bare hands if she wanted. 
    • Tiffany Show — This was a pretty awesome show.  It’s the most popular caberet show in Thailand.  All (most) of the performers are men who’ve had a sex change and they’re all GORGEOUS!  I was amazed.  Some of them may have changed over a bit too late and still look pretty masculine but most of them were beautiful.  If I didn’t know they were trannies beforehand, I wouldn’t have guessed it.  That’s how beautiful they were. The only thing is they don’t take good care of their teeth.  If they had nice pearly whites, they’d really be hot but the yellow crooked teeth ruin it all for me. 
  • Temple – As promised, we were taken to a Buddhist temple as our last tourist stop… I guess as a way to cleanse or do any whatever repenting you need from whatever naughty things you did in Pattaya.  =)  I think the worse people did was drink and watch nuddie shows.  The majority of the tour group were old married couples.
  • Another Thai massage – only an hour this time, but this place, they climb all over you… sit on you, step on you, etc.  My brother got walked on.  My masseuse weighed more than me I think, so I was grateful she didn’t try to walk on me.

Our final half day in Bangkok was spent at the mall before we headed to Viet Nam.

We’ve been in Sai Gon now for the past 5 days.  I’ve been eating all sorts of good stuff — fresh fruit, sugar cane juice, coconut juice, etc.  YUMMY!  It wasn’t until last night that I got sick from something and started throwing up.  The last time I threw up was in Ha Noi six years ago.  Something about VN doesn’t agree with my stomach. Thankfully this time it’s only coming out of one end and has seemed to subsided.  It sucks being sick when you’re traveling… not a good feeling. 

Tomorrow we head down to Ca Mau which is where my family is from.