Vietnam Home Stay and Ed Sheeran

Where did i stay? Homestay Bay Thoi

Just returned to Ho Chi Minh city from two great days in the Mekong Delta. We cruised on a small boat until reaching Vinh Long where we board a tiny canoe streered by an elderly but strong Vietnamese woman. She guided us through narrow streams and lush jungle to our quaint homstay called Bay Thoi. Only a few minuets after checking in one of the girls fainted and sprained her ankle. There was a lot of drama about it. Becky and I knew we couldn’t help and we didn’t want to be a part of the crowd so we grabbed bikes and headed out to explore.

To guide us the our tour manager posted a map of the town. As we were riding away she flagged us down and let us know her map was upside down. Lucky she caught us or we would have been lost for sure. It was the perfect weather for a bike ride through the charming countryside. As we rode past houses kids would run out and wave. I really felt like we were part of their community. Most of the bike path was on dirt so the bikes were very hard to manuver and then there was a fork in the road that was neglected from our map. So it was quite an adventure!

For dinner our hosts prepared a great feast and entertained us with local music and musical theater! We also sampled rat and snake! The rat was barbeque so it wasn’t to bad. In fact if I hadn’t been told it was rat I probably would’ve ate more. The snake was disgusting. It was mixed into a curry but you could clearly tell it was snake.  The skin was still on it! Snake is also very boney. So it was hard to eat. It tried it once, but never again!

Afterwards we hung out in hammocks and then everyone gathered around the “Jungle Juice” to drink and play kings. I think the enviroment relaxed people because everyone in the group got pretty drunk. But it wasn’t party/dancing drunk. They got sad and somber drunk. So we had deep conversations and ended the night singing “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran.

Floating Villages, Siem Reap Cambodia

This morning no one was sad to leavePhnomPenh. We were all ready to depart the noise and congestion of the city and head to cleaner air and calm. We found this inSiem Reap.Siem Reap is a townsteaped in history, French colonial charm and Khmer culture.

We checked into our beautiful 5 star hotel Casa Angkor then headed to Tonle Sap, South East Asia’s biggest fresh water lake. On boat we toured the floating villages and crocodile farm. It was interesting to see such a different way of life. The people live in boats on the water their whole lives! They have boat shops, restaurants and schools. I loved seeing the brightly colored boats and homes.149377_10152743605210813_7931250949720401317_n

I did not enjoy the crocodile farm. It wasn’t really a farm. They just had a bunch of trapped crocodiles stuck in a very small cage. Tourists could pay to tease the crocs with large fish. I thought it was a very cruel and inhumane situation.  10346459_10152743606135813_1984422104842932812_n

After the tour Becky and I chilled by the pool before meeting for our group dinner.

8AM is perfect for drunk kayaking

Up bright and early after an insane binder last night at Kangaroo Sunset.

We were picked up by two tuk-tuks blaring old school hip hop music. As soon as we piled into the tuk-tuks we were all handed Lao Beers (it was 8am).

After a 30 min drive we arrived at the river for cave river tubing. By that point many people had already down 3 or 4 beers. While we waited for a cave tour to begin we downed more drinks. While we were shot-gunning I noticed the other tours around us were sitting quietly, while ours was dancing and laughing. The other tour groups also had helmets and life-vests. We did not.

Finally it was our turn to hop into tubes and pull ourselves through the cave river. Many intoxicated 20 somethings were led into a dark and ominous cave. Where we sung show tunes very loudly, people floated into dark crevasse and kept hitting their heads on the low hanging cave. I don’t think they let us go all the way through because at one point we just suddenly had to turn around. It was probably a wise decision.

Then we walked to a riverside bar where we were blessed with shots and drank wine coolers before kayaking. Our guides managed to put amps in their kayaks so we cruised down the river blaring old-school jams. One team of drunk kayakers flipped their kayak immediately. Ayal ended up dislocating his shoulder and having to paddle the rest of the way, while same passed out drunk in front. It was an amazing spectacle. Kayaking through the Laotian countryside and monstrous mountains was breath-taking. Being buzzed and listening to rap as we paddled through the Mekong was straight out of a movie. Best day of my life so far.