Myles Harrington

Posts Tagged ‘boats’

Scaring Kids With An English Bloke

In Laos on December 10, 2010 at 10:46 am

Adam, the cynical and fellow innuendo obsessed Brit and I decided to leave Luang Prabang together and develop our friendship further north in little idyllic and remote villages. The first such place was Nong Khiaw, a destination Lonely Planet describe as ‘a sleepy market village with a humbling backdrop’.

 

The humbling backdrop

Our only afternoon there involved a walk to a long and dark cave where villagers hid during the Second Indochina War. While we were there two small and innocent looking children followed us around, whispering to each other as if they were plotting some kind of hit and run mugging scam. We started to whisper too so they felt just as scared and at the chosen moment jumped out at them which made them look like they saw their lives flash before their eyes. We shook hands with them and smiled after but it was a cruel yet funny trick. Perhaps it will teach them it’s rude to whisper behind peoples’ backs.

 

The whisperers

We walked on a little further up the tarmaced road to a small village where the children only knew the English word ‘pen’. It seems like it’s quite universally known for children to know that specific word but I don’t know why. Unsurprisingly the village shop had a good stock of pens for falang to purchase, so we bought 20 and distributed accordingly with bonus sweets and the full bag was eventually swiped from us by a couple of mothers with sweet teeth.

 

The lazy Lao bulls

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Sleep Deprived Sightseeing In Saigon

In Vietnam on October 10, 2010 at 9:46 pm

We left Saigon after a rather lazy, boozey and tourist sight filled few days. Saigon’s Reunification Palace was a tad boring but well preserved, exactly as it was when it was stormed by the liberation troops in 1975, as you might expect the carpet looks a bit dated. We endured the extremely bias 40-minute war documentary video in the military command basement and got photos of the cabinet rooms and a cheeky one of me in the president’s war room chair.

 

The boss

 

The War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon’s official name) is excellent and it gives a shocking insight to the Vietnam War, albeit still very bias, but it’s as you’d expect considering the atrocities of the unprovoked war. We also managed to squeeze in a couple of visits to Saigon’s legendary nightclub; Apocalypse Now. The first time we visited we’d had a few too many Long island Ice Teas to notice the sleazy nature of the clientele. It was basically a meat market, the buyers being fat, ageing Western men and the prime cuts being Vietnam’s finest looking teenagers. It’s a shame this goes on, but I suppose it’s a mutually beneficial transaction. We also had our last two nights indulging in Vietnam’s best bargain purchase; bia hoi. I’ll miss that cheap stuff.

 

This poor bloke has been locked up since the summer of '75

 

The last few days have been spent on a tour around the Mekong delta, on which to fit in all the activities each day, we’ve had to wake up before 6am. I never thought I’d be doing that on my nine months off work. We visited the Viet Cong tunnels at Cu Chi, a rice paper and wine factory, a handicapped handicrafts factory, a coconut candy and whisky factory, a honey factory, a rice noodle factory, two fruit farms and a fish farm. We’ve been on more separate boat rides than I can remember and cycled around a village, as well as visited four separate towns, Mytho, Ben Tre, Cantho and Chau Doc, we also spent one night at a local family’s house. It’s no wonder we want to go straight to bed when we reach Phnom Penh.

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