North America, Asia · 17 Days · 58 Moments · December 2017

Linda and June’s Grand Adventure 2017

27 December 2017

The past couple weeks have gone far too fast. In Viet Nam, we cruised the Mekong River, we made lanterns and wrote a water buffalo, we saw the water puppet theater, planted and harvested rice, one of us ate snake and spider, and we visited ancient old temples. We have been well cared for and later today we begin our long journey home. Thanks for following our journey, we will talk with you soon.
The second temple visited was Angkor Thom. The name means “Great City” in Khmer (the local language). This temple, also built in the12th century, is full of large and beautiful faces.
Today is our last full day to adventure. Yesterday we flew to Cambodia and today we visit the temples of Angkor Wot. Lots more to follo
The 3rd temple visited was Ta Prohm. If you have seen the movie “the lost temple” much was filmed here. What makes this temple special is that it was thought to be a very wealthy Buddhist monastery for the high priests. The temple sits among the large and fast growing banyan trees. The temple is pretty much in its original state. They are just now begging to renovate.
Whoops, forgot to post the pics of Anghor Thom... here they are

26 December 2017

We have spent most of the day visiting the World Heritage Site’s Buddhist Temples. There are almost 300 massive temples,, today we visited only 3. The first, Anghor Wat is the largest and most famous. With its massive 5 peaks, it is said to be the largest religious building in the world. It was built in the 12th century. The temple is classic Hindu. The 5 towers represent the the peaks of Mount Meru, home of the Hindu Pantheon, which sits at the center of the universe.
Last evening we took “Tuc Tucs” to the night market. One of us ate snake and tarantula. Both of these are local treats. After that, Linda treated herself to a foot treatment by the fish that nibble the dead skin off the feet.

25 December 2017

Today(12/26) we were up at 5AM to go to the Temple in Luang Prabang, Laos to offer sticky rice to the Monks as they walk through town. They gather sticky rice and other local offerings each morning and that is their food for the day. We sit lower than the monks, take our shoes off, wear a scarf sash, and place a small amount of sticky ric in each monks bowl. There are 2 kinds of monks, the ones who are in it for life and the younger boys and young men who are monks to receive an education. This second group are often boys from the farms, who are very poor and who desire education and support.
We have had a day full of activities on this Christmas Day in Luang Prabang, Laos. We started with a visit to a Buddhist Temple, then to the royal palace of the last king (who disappeared into Russia with his wife and son in 1963). From the temple and palace we went to a rice farm to try our hand at farming. Then we continued onto a beautiful butterfly garden and then on into the mountains to see waterfalls and for some a swim. On the way back to the hotel we visited some bears who are being raised to return to the mountains. We have created a photo set for each adventure. Merry a Christmas everyone.
Finally, high in the mountains we visited a beautiful waterfall with ponds extending down the mountain.
The butterfly garden for lunch
One more set about rice farming in Laos
More rice farming

24 December 2017

Rice Farming. We did every step of the process from planting seeds to gathering, cleaning, and eating the final product.
The kids got little birds in cages that they later released.
The temple and palace
More pics from the hotel’s history
More pictures from Hanoi
Now in Loas on this Christmas Eve. 90% of the country are Buddhist so not much Christmas celebration here. Before we left Hanoi, we toured the old town. Enjoy the pics (2 sets of photos)

23 December 2017

We were on our own for the last night in Hanoi. So, we grabbed the map, made reservations at the Green Tangerine, and headed to the streets. Part of our evening adventure also included walking through the extremely crowded night market
Our Hanoi hotel, Hotel Metropole, is the location where all world diplomats stay (including the US presidents) when in Hanoi. It was also the location where many famous US entertainers stayed during the Viet Nam was. Three who specifically sang and wrote about the war were Joan Baez, Jane Fonda, Pete Segeger. Of specific interest is the bomb shelter under the hotel where Joan spent Christmas Eve in 1972. She spent 11 days at the hotel going in and out of the shelter. This is where she wrote the song “where are you now my son”. The song was inspired as she met an old lady outside crying the same words. To share all that we have learned, we are posting the pics in 2 batches.
More pics about the prison. The Flight suit is John McCains
Our final visit today was to the Hanoi Hilton where John McCain and other pilots were held for 5 years.
We continued the city tour by visiting an extremely old Chinese Confucius Cultural temple which had the names of thousands of old scholars. We also learned more about relationships between the turtle and Phoenix. The Phoenix carried the turtle to find food and the turtle kept the Phoenix from drowning.

22 December 2017

After visiting Ho Chi Minh, we saw the one pillar pagoda and an elaborate temple
Our first visit today in Hanoi was to view the body of Ho Chi Minh and see the palace area where he lived. No photos in most of the areas. Large soldier presence.
Just a few other photos including motor scooters, a wedding car, and school children
Hanoi. Early morning Tai Chi in the park
Merry Christmas to all our family and friends
Today we fly from Hoi An to Hanoi. The weather has been very cool mostly because of the typhoon that hit the Philippines. Two days inHanoi where we will learn more about Ho Chi Minh and visit the “Hanoi Hilton”. Incase you are at the airport at 3 AM and need some Pho noodle soup there is a place ready to serve
We made it to Hanoi. Another big city of 6 million. Motorbikes everywhere. We went to see the water puppet theater. Simplistic yet amazing. Here are some photos. TheChristmas tree is made from skirts

21 December 2017

On our way up Marble Mountain to see worlds largest Buddha in cave
On way up mountain before entering the cave
First stop on way up Marble Mountain
Riding water buffalo on beach this morning

20 December 2017

Today we wore most all clothes we have. Cold and windy. We are in Hoi An which is in the middle of the country on the ocean. We had our cooking class and learned to make rice paper, spring rolls, pancakes, and egg plant in a clay pot. In the afternoon we made beautiful lanterns and in the evening we floated lanterns in the river. More pics to come when our electronic devices get charged up.
Setting our lanterns in the river and making 3 wishes
Yesterday started with our trip through a local market then on to cooking class. It ended with a challenge to eat fried silk worms (spicy of course)

19 December 2017

More tunnels
From the Museum we traveled north to the jungles where the Viet Cong tunnels were located. Amazing how clever these folks were. They were so small and diverse.
More tunnels

18 December 2017

Today was our last day in Ho Chi Minh wick included a visit to the Vietnam War Museum and the Viet Cong tunnels. First however is a quick look at the electric lines. No idea how anything gets repaired
The War Museum was very sad. There was lots to see and read about the Tiger Prison, agent orange, and the tremendous loss of life
Today was our first day with the Adventures group. There are a total of 6 families. We are the only two without kids. They are amazing families. Most have traveled Disney several times so we are all experienced travelers. Today we traveled to the Mekong Delta and visited the floating markets as well as family industries. The first group of photos were from our river trip.
The land portion of our day showed us family industries including making coconut and ginger candy, drinking wine with dead snakes in the bottle (Gordon strength and good luck), watching popped rice being made and of course holding the python. A nice day. Tomorrow a few more sights in Ho Chi Minh city, then off to the airport heading to Da Nang.

17 December 2017

Sunday evening we went to the Saigon Opera House to see TEH DAR. A magnificent jungle tribe acrobat show that made Circque du Soleil look like a high school play. No pics were permitted, but we can show the opera house. After the play we had a light dinner at the Lemongrass a traditional Viet Nam restaurant
Batch 2 pics of Ben Neigh Market. Linda, of course, found a new pair of shoes that she just had to have. From the market, we stoped for a Starbucks and then on to the old post office with Ho Chi Menih’s photo properly hanging at the end of the hall. We ended our afternoon of adventure at the large Catholic Notre Dame Cathedral. (No visitors were permitted because of renovations)

16 December 2017

Today we are on our own. Still in Saigon, we walked to the Ben Neigh local market. The pictures are in 2 batches. Swipe the pics to see all 10 pics in the first batch
Our hotel is all decked out for Christmas including this very integrate Ginger Bread House
Made it to Ho Chi Minh City. Very tired of sitting and airplane food. It is a miracle that our luggage arrived on the same flight we did. The driver was there to meet us, our hotel room was ready at 10 AM, we have had showers and are now resting before we head out to explore. Life is good.
Photos not wanting to post. Hopefully the sunrise will post now
Sunrise over Singapore as we were landing. We left on 12/14 and after crossing the International Date Line it is now 2/16. One more 90 minute Flight and we will be in Ho Chi Minh City.

14 December 2017

10 December 2017

In just a few more days we will begin our 2017 Grand Adventure to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. We are glad you have decided to follow along. Stay tuned.