Sunday, January 31, 2010

Vietnam - Day 3 and 4 - Videos

Here are some videos from days 3 and 4:

5 Star Hotel - How beautifulllll hahah one day I will be rich and stay here :D

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This was on the motocycle on the drive up to Marble Mountain!!

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This is walking up Marble Mountain and the view around it!!

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This was biking down the random lanes in Hoi An - so pretty I loved it!!

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Again in Hoi An - but biking in the centre of town! :)

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This was the night bus. Everybody all crammed into our little Alien Pods!! When I layed down flat on my back I still had to bend my knees to sleep! and Im only 5'3!! Poor guys whoa re both over 6 feet!! haha. silly alien pod night buses....

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Vietnam - Day 3 and 4 - Hoi An

Day 3 and 4 oh my!!

So we were going to bus all the way up the coast to the top of Vietnam and stop along the way but realized that with our 10 day time contraint.....busing 1705KM was not feasible since at most, with the shitty roads and crazy drivers, they travel at 60 km/h. which is SOOO SLOWWW. haha. So we flew up to Danang which is an hour away from Hoi An. Hoi An used to be a trading capital for Asia, but that moved to Danang so Hoi An is this BEAUTIFUl little town with old historic buildings on a river with a really easy vibe to it. So we flew in and got into a taxi.....and we agreed upon a price...but then it went over the price so we argued with him and finally he dropped us off in the middle of nowhere.....haha....literally.....so we went to the coast and walked along the beaches until we came up to this hotel under construction. there were men working all throughout it...and here we are.....5 backpackers just wandering threw....haha the wonderful thing about asia is the people will NEVER speak to a foreigner in a negative way telling us to leave or anything...haha we just wanted to find somebody who spoke english who could help us.....so half way up to the hotel, walking through what will end up being a BEATIFUL pool area...ALL the workers are staring at us and smiling...and then a gorup of them took out their camera and took a picture of US!! hahaha so we took a picture of them right back. it was funny. then we get inside...turns out...the hotel was OPEN!!! hahah but at a discount because its still under construction...but WOW....it was.....GORGEOUS!!!! it was a 5 star hotel....so I went to the bathroom in there just to say I have gone on a marble toilet. Jealous? You should be. hahahha :D

Then we went outside and managed to flag down a taxi but then we couldnt comunicate because almost nobody in vietnam actually speaks english...they know words like 'hello' and 'pay' and 'cannot' haha. But then this motorcyclist stoped and she spoke perfect english. and we asked if we could get a motortaxi ride from her. she said wait ten minutes and she would get 5 motorcycle taxis for us for 100,000 Dong per person for the 50 Minute Ride. So we all hopped onto the bikes and it is one of the prettiest roads along the coast and a this one mountain!!! yay!! then we stopped at Marble Mountain and climbed up to the top to this beautiful temple and statues!!

Then we went to Hoi An and spent the evening wandering around the streets. The next day (4) we rented bicycles and toured the old quarters of the town. so pretty! I was leading and I took us off the main roads onto the back streets so we could see the real locals houses and everything - it was beautiful!! I love this town - its so calming and pretty!! Just look!!

Then we got onto the Night Bus to travel overnight up to Ha Noi the capital of Vietnam. Seriously. This bus. was made for tiny Asians. hahaha We were in these Alien Pod like things hahah.

im special interlude

so heres what just happened...

I bought this little nutella jar so i could have yummyness with my sweet bread cause they dont have normal bread here.....but it was not mixed....like watery something on top...like yogurt gets....so i went to stir it...im stirring and then some drips over the edge so i bring my head down to lick it but then i throw the lid and i flail in an attempt to catch it forgetting that i have a container and spoon filled with nutella...so im reaching for the flying lid, and the spoon comes flipping out of the nutella jar covered in nutella and slaps me in the face and then hits my arm and sticks. But i catch the lid. so all is well and Im licking my arm and trying to lick my own face cause wasting nutella is a bad thing. and im not sure how clean I am since its hot and sweaty here. but it seems alright. but I just wanted you to know Im still special. Cheers

Vietnam - Day 1 and 2 - Ho Chi Minh

Did you miss me?? :)

Since I spent 10 days in Vietnam. I shall make 10 posts. So you can experience everything I did while I was there!! ANDDD do I dont make one HUGE post!!!! :) Here we go!!
Day 1:
Dear Diary, mood: apathetic.....haha kidding......and if you dont get that.....well forget about it cause you missed the joke :)

So I left for Vietnam early pearly on Thursday Jan 21st. Marco (Oregon USA) and I went a day earlier since the others were staying a day later and we have Thursday off school! We arrived at the Vietnam Airport in Ho Chi Minh (Siagon) and went to the ATM first. Problem was - the numbers were coming up in MILLIONS of Dong (the Vietnamese currency). WTF? A Million DOng?!>!?! What is the exchange rate! Well $1 CAN = 18,000 D. Wowza! What a rate!~ hahah This just made it REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLY hard for conversion. So I took out 2,500,000 Dong to start :) Im Rich im Rich! atleast, in Asia Im rich! haha.

At the ATM we met some friendfolk - Tim (england) and Asha (Poland) so we shared a taxi together to the backpackers district since, as backpackers, thats where we want to be~!~ Marco and I booked a hotel for 1 night, cost us 150,000 Dong each, or $8 CAN for a night. Jeeze - Vietnam is Pricey compared to Thailand! i've gotten so accustomed to cheapcheap Thai Baht that I almost continued my search for a cheaper hotel! haha. But nope - we stayed there. It even had a television! That is very rare! But the only english channel we had played 7th Heaven over and over. hahaha What a flashback to childhood.

So Marco and I are two strangers in Vietnam, so we go a wanderin'. Nice area not too much to do, we tried to get a tour somewhere but since it was 1PM by this time, we'd have to rent a local car to take us there instead of a day tour which would of cost us $30 a person. No way Ho-zay! We booked a tour for the following day for $6 for the same trip :) haha But leaving at 8AM. Then we met up with Ming, a guy Marco met while partying in Seattle the previous year! they stayed in touch, and lucky for us cause he took us out for drinks for the evening to a local spot which was cheaper and alot more fun. We drank.....I drank.....Tequila Sunrise, to Tequila, to Beer, to Saki.......Yum Yum Fun Fun.

There is this, as Marco says- 'orgasmic', local sandwich which is pronounced "Bang Me". I do not know the proper vietnamese spelling but it doesnt matter anyways. I never ate it cause its just filled with meat, but after our drinking we were wandering down the street yelling Bang Me Bang Me in search of the food, WITh the double ententre for ourselves serving us unimaginable entertainment during our search for the food. hahaha We found it eventually and there were about 10 more backpackers all around the stall yelling Bang Me. hahah. What a Good Night.

Day 2:
But what a Bad Morning....since we had booked the tour for $6 to the Mekong Delta for the day we got up after only 4 hours of sleep still feeling the alcohol.....we got on a crammed packed bus with no air conditioning and a bad smell.....we started on our way.....a bumpy bumpy way......I wasnt feeling so hot and after about 5 minutes on the bus I had to get off for fear of puking on everybody. Im such a poor sport I know. haha. So I biked back to the Hotel while Marco continued onto the day trip. I slept off my drinking and swore to myself I wouldnt drink like that again during the trip. Im weak what can I say. hahah. Then the other three showed up - Din from Singapore, Tatjana a Serbian raised in Germany studying in Italy, and Pauline from France. :) haha What an international crew we were!! so we all just went wandering somemore about Ho Chi Minh - the city itself is actually pretty boring with nothing really to see.....but Tatjana, Pauline, and I went in search of a French Bistro so Pauline could have real french food again - since Vietnam was invaded by French and still has lots of french within the country. Then later we met up with Ming again and he took us to this sky bar which was SUPER nice - ontop a Hilton Hotel. then they all drank as I laughed at their drunken antics. Good night all around. and great start to our Journey in Vietnam!! :)
Random photos of Ho Chi Minh:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vietnam Adventure

Hey Friendfolk,

Tomorrow, Jan 21st I am leaving reallllly early in the morning for Vietnam! I am going for 10 days during the vacation time from University! So I wont have access to my computer for those 10 days! But If I happen to run into a computer I'll do a quick update!!

My plan: Fly into Ho Chi minh, then open-bus-ticket up to Hanoi, stopping at Dalat and Hoi An, then Halong Beach, and Sapa. Then flying back down to Ho Chi Minh and then home to Bangkok.

Until then! Have a great 10 days! :)

Cheers!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ayutthaya Videos to Enjoy

hey Friendfolk,

Here are the videos I took in Ayutthaya for you to see what it was like!! :)


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Monday, January 18, 2010

Ayutthaya

Hey Friendfolk!
My school organized a trip for all the exchange students to see the old capital of Thailand - Ayutthaya. (A-you-tea-uh)Yeah, took me awhile to learn how to say it too! It was free and amazing, double whammy! Ayutthaya means "The invincible city" - it is because the city is built with a city surrounding it making it difficult for attack. It took us 2 hours to drive there by bus, where pretty much everybody slept at awkward angles since the roads are so bumpy and it was 6AM. Early starts are NOT my thing, and apparently everybody agrees here!! But they fed us when we got on the bus, normally at 6am you're looking for a biscuit and orange juice, maybe even a coffee if you're lucky enough to find any in Thailand.....but what do they give us? Tuna Sandwiches. What the?? haha exactly...we were all somewhat confused so we all just passed out and figured we'd eat it for lunch instead!! We had this tour guide who I thought was great, he was quite chatty though, but very informative, so I learned alot about the whole area we were driving through and tons of details on all the temples and ancient thailand. :) But I took photos and videos for you to experience all the splendors of the ancient city!
This is a whole group of us sitting in an ancient temple in the three pagodas of Wat Phra Si Sanphet in Ayutthaya historical park.
Jackie and I posing at top of a temple.


Me, after walking all the way up to the top. these steps are so high. They are the length of my foot to my knee and they are straight up, it was funny to watch me climb all up. Aw look at how proud I am to of made it all that way!! haha


Me sitting infront of some ancient walls, they were built in the 1300's. It was fantastic :)
Buddah! :) It was the only one with its head still attached. The people removed all of the heads of the Buddahs because they are made out of incredibly heavy rock, and they were scarred the Buddahs would break or somebody would attack and deface them. They removed all the heads, so there are these bodies all over the temples that are headless. Spooky at times.
This thing is amazing. It is a buddah face carved into a tree. It is made of stone and over the years the tree had grown around it. its beautiful. It reminds me of Pocahontas a little bit. The stone buddahs all have one of three facial shaps. Big Nose, Big Lips, long ears. Big Nose, small lips, Long Ears. Or Big nose, small lips, short ears. The nose is always the most prominant part of the buddah. :)
This is Phra Thinang Wehart Chamrun. It is located in the Bang Pa-in Palace on the way to Ayutthaya City. It means Royal Residence of Heavenly Light. It was the residence of King Chulalongkorn in 1889. It is made of beautiful gold and designed chinese-style by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fredrik's Birthday - Kissed by a Ladyboy

So. We all went out for Fredrik's Birthday. We went to a Korean BBQ. You select plates and plates of raw meats and then cook them at your table on this fire they put. It was pretty neat actually!! I ate seafood since I dont eat meat - BUT everybody else had fun cooking meats and such. SO much meat though.

This is a video of all of us and our little meat cookers!!!

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This is the very unfortunate looking Ladyboy (which are EXTREMELY common here in Thailand - it is highly accepted to switch genders). This one sang happy birthday as you can watch to Fredrik and then gave him a very nice kiss kiss!!! bahahah!!! So amazing.

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randomness

Hey Friendfolk,
I have been out and about doing random things these past few days. So here are some pictures to catch you up! :)
This is a photo of something on campus. It says " October 14th, 1973" completed and opened on October 14th, 2001. Students and citizens uprising againsted the dictatorial regime turned a new page of Thailand's political history at "Lan Poh", Thammasat University. Consequently, the constitution was restored and democracy bloomed to its fullest, along with the development of social culture."
Yay for Thammasat!! This is Jackie (Wisconsin), me, and Becky (California). Dressed in Uniform for school. Aren't we Purdddyyy. haha
This is part of the Grand Palace. We went to go inside, and as a Thammasat Student we get free entry, but we only have temporary identification currently so they would not allow us in. So I have have this picture. WHen they let me in I shall video tape the splendor!!
So this is death by Thailand spices. haha. Top Left is Curry powders, Top right is curry and red chili peppers (death), bottom left is red and green chili peppers (spicy but managable after a few tears), and bottom right is Sugar! Thais like it sweet and spicy all in one! :) I hate spices, Im a bland person, but surprisingly after only 2.5 weeks here I am learning to enjoy more spices - by no means to the Thai standard, but I throw on some curry and pepper juice now (never the peppers cause I cried last time I did that haha). Hopefully by the end of this trip I can handle anything!! hahah

I went to the Market again today and bought more stuff! yay me!! :) So lets see what I bought!!
Orange day pack - 200 Baht = $6.67
Red Travel Pack - 700 Baht = $23.3
Two Towels - 300 Baht = $10
Socks - 5 pair for 100 Baht = $3
Watermelon Rug - 150 Baht = $5
Colourful Purse - 300 Baht = $10
This is for Jeannie! haha These are salt and pepper shakers of two cows that hug!!! :D they come apart but then they sit on the table hugging!! Aww!! and I love Jeannie even more now that she is visiting me in Thailand in May-June!!!!!!!!!!!! :D YAY MEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so super excited now!!!
Last night it was Fredrik's 23rd birthday so we all went out!! Here is a bar called Naz that we went to!! This is Emily (Ottawa), Geoff (Ottawa), and Becky (California). We waited and waited to get in but it was one huge debacle so then we switched clubs. haha :D but still a lot of fun!
This is on campus. Pretty things i can look at.
This is more things on campus. Just from a different angle. It is the side of campus I wont be on much. it is the Graduate Law school.
So I went shopping to this GINORMOUS mall called MBK - I think it means Mall Bangkok. So I bought these 3 dresses!! Since most places in Thailand only make clothes for tiny Asian people and I am not a tiny Asian person. So MBK makes normal sized clothing sooo I bought these!!! Very Fun!!! :D I love to shop shop shop!!! Each of these dresses cost me 300 Baht = 9$. Oh Thailand.....what a fantastic country!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

white

I went in search of Sunscreen. Which they barely sell here in Thailand. Only at touristy resorts have any of the exchange students been able to find any - and the prices are like 1000 Baht = $30!! Rip Off!!

So I went to the Local Tesco Lotus (big chain store here) and found some for 500 Baht. So not too bad. But then I read the back. And turns out, it is whitening sunscreen!!! what the fudgicle??

So, Thais want to be whiter. They all buy whitening creams in any form; body lotions, sun screens, spray ons.....they essentially are bleaching their skin to be whiter. So it is VERRRRRY difficult for me, whitey white, to find any of those products in non-whitening form. Cause All of us exchange students want to be brown. hahah So apparently nobody is happy being who they are and we all want to alter skin colours.

:)

dont eat what you see

Hey friendfolk,

so I was eating lunch after class with a few other exchange students yesterday. Fredrik from Sweden pointed at somebodys meal (a local Thai) and said "I want what she has". He figured he'd try something new, and since the servers speak minimal english, and the signs are all in Thai, at times it can be very difficult to order anything besides Padthai. So we sit down and he starts eating his soup with noodles and such. He eats this one kinda of darky brown red marshmellow looking thing and gets an odd look on his face. I start to laugh at him and he explains "it tastes weird, strange texture and very strange taste, like nothing I've had before". We are wondering what it could be cause they eat some strange things here...then one of our Thai classmates sits down with us and Fredrik asks him, "so what is this thing?".....and the Thai student laughs and says "Thats deep fried Pork Blood". EWWWWWWWWWW. hahahha so Fredrik was eating blood soup essentially. hahah How nasty is that. He wanted something new and he certainly got it!!

Cheerio

SkyBar

Heya Friendfolk,

I went to a sky bar the other night. It is a bar on the roof on top of the 59th floor of a building. It was verrrrrrrrrrrrrrry high up! But absolutely beautiful!! 360 view of Bangkok. Here is a video and some photos. The video isnt very clear but you can see how far up I am at some points :) That is me and Jessica from Sweden.


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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

360 of university on the river

This is a 360 view while standing next to the river on University. It is a nice place to see from University.

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Thammasat University

Here are some pictures of Thammasat University. It is small but it is right on the River. Atleast I cant get lost this way - All my classes are only in one building.
This is my building that all my classes are in. It is the newest building on campus.
Standing on my building looking Right is this building (dont know what it is)
This is looking straight across from my building- the multipurpose rooms.
This is looking to the right of my building. The main administration building
Thammasat University Sign. :)
This is the administration building on Campus. It is pretty. I can see it from my window that peak with the flag.
This is on my walk to school - There is this market across the river form school. :)This is the ferry I ride everyday to cross the river to get to school. :)
It takes me about 15-20 minutes to walk to the ferry and then 3 minutes to cross and my university is right there. So it isnt too bad. The walks are becoming less hot since I am slowly but surely getting accustomed to the heat. SLOWLY. haha