On the Road Again — By All Means Necessary — except scooters obviously
Hanoi, Vietnam. March 11th 2008.
5 hours on the bus through Malaysian palm plantations was a little long for our parents. We didn’t know it would be two hours late, we didn’t remember that the journey ends in the mountain jungles of Cameron Highlands. they rented a chauffeured mini-van on the way back.
Luckily, the cycle rickshaw is a real good way to visit the old town of Malacca. Particularly for old or handicapped people!
To get to Ha Long bay, the road passes through flooded rice paddies and small industrial towns. The law of the road here is strict : The bravest may survive. We pass hundreds of schoolgirls bicycling home for lunch, farmers in pointy hats, overloaded scooters, water buffalo… Michel is probably coming back to open a driving school.
The old junk we rented for the night in Ha Long Bay slides on the morning mist between the towering floating rocks. Drivers are more relaxed here, but we did manage to have a little accident with another boat.
In Hanoi, just crossing the street can get tricky. The old city is organized by trade. Even on the sidewalks, you have to look out for spare car parts, stuffed animals, soup stalls, people squatting in front of tiny plastic tables.
In Bangkok, taxis are slow. Gives us a lot of time to look at the golden temples scattered in the megapolis. In the Banglaphu tourist ghetto, walking is slow. We need to move among drunk white people with fresh tattoos, the pineapple stand, the t-shirt cart, the white hippies who look like they’ve been stuck here forever.
Getting on and off of a fishing boat isn’t the easiest thing for us to do. But its the only way to Railay Beach. Tucked away behind white walls of stand stone, the beach here is perfect.
Tomorrow we’re learning to move underwater. It seems to be all the rage here in Kho Phi Phi. It should be a nice change from not moving on the beach, watching the locals walk by (tall, muscular, blond, tan tattooed locals…. or are we in Sweden? I’m confused.