So, my buddy and I just arrived at our hostel in Hanoi, Vietnam after a 30 hour (yes, you read that right – 30) train ride from Saigon arriving at 4:30 am. It’s 5:55 am here, and we can’t check into our hostel yet, so I have some time to do a quick update with some of my thoughts.

Bangkok, Thailand — Definitely a cool city with a unique culture. The temples are the main attraction, and they were certainly worth the visit. We took a river tour in a longboat that took us through back canals to see part of Bangkok that we wouldn’t otherwise have seen (recommended if you visit).

Koh Phi Phi island (Thailand)– my new favorite place on earth. An extremely relaxing beach town with no cars. The only means of transportation are boat, bicycle, or by foot. We took a boat tour to, among other places, Maya Bay and Monkey Beach. Monkey beach was littered with fat monkeys who get fed bananas by tourists all day long.

Phnom Phen, Cambodia — A relaxed city, yet still bustling with activity. The Royal Palace is definitely worth a visit.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia — We toured the ancient temples on the backs of motorcycles. We could have taken a tuk tuk (picture), but motorcycles sounded funner (I’d highly recommend the experience). The steps up to the top of several of the temples were essentially straight up. The sunrise at Angkor Wat is worth getting up at 5:30 am for. I have some pictures, but no way to get them off my digital camera here in Hanoi. We met up with a huge group of backpackers at a local pub for St. Patricks Day for a fun night. We didn’t even realize it was St. Patrick’s Day until we walked by the bar around 7 pm and saw a group of 15 people, some of them wearing green, recruiting passing tourists to come drink with them. We even took a shot of Absense with an Irishman.

Saigon, Vietnam — can you say motorcycles galore? A local tour guide told us there are upwards of 22 million motorcycles in Vietnam, with more than 5 million in Saigon alone. They are EVERYWHERE you look. Truthfully, I have no idea how people keep track of their bikes when parked in the city — if I lived there, I’d have to paint my motorcycle florescent green to find it amidst the hundreds of bikes parked on the streets. We visited the Viet Cong tunnels, which are tiny. 20 meters was a long way in a tunnel I could barely waddle through. I can only imagine how hard traveling 11 kilometers into Saigon must have been (it was said to take 18 hours).

Random thoughts:

  • I’ve said it before, but materialism serves no purpose. You don’t need material goods to be happy.
  • I’ve been a Red Hot Chili Peppers fan for awhile, but after having read Anthony Kiedis’ book, I’m even more hooked now. It’s fascinating to hear the stories behind some songs like Under the Bridge and Californication and what experiences in his life inspired those words. Definitely one of the most addicting books I’ve read in quite some time.
  • If you haven’t traveled the world, by all means, do it.

And yup, I do think about work from time to time over here. For instance, I’m happy to see Dueling Digs launched successfully.

Forgive any spelling or grammer mistakes, as I definitely rushed this summary. I’ll try to write more about the trip after returning to the states in another week.