Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Southeast Asian Backpacking Interlude

Bangkok tourism culture shock. They leave their boards at a hotel.

Straight to Vietnam. Water puppets.

Hummer in Hanoi

Vietnamese taxi

"Chinese Monument" Hanoi

American tank at Cu Chi, near Ho Chi Minh City

Viet Cong tunnels at Cu Chi

In the tunnels

Cobras in liquor

Ho Chi Minh City

To Cambodia. The land mine museum, run by a former child soldier who has since removed about 20,000 land mines using just a broomstick, adopts children who've been injured and trains people in detection and removal.

What he remembers.

Angkor Wat is still in use by Buddhist monks.

Many heads taken by looters.

Locals commute through the huge complex.

Noah and Ryan part ways. Noah goes to Chiang Mai in nothern Thailand. The city is vibrant and the food is great.

So he takes a cooking course.

The cooking students enjoy their products

Wat Prathat Doi Suthep on a hill outside the city


Then a 2 day boat trip down the Mekong into Laos

Laos is murky and hilly

First stop, Luang Prabang

Noah and Ryan meet up there.

For 2 dollars this woman will free the sparrows she has taken hostage in those little cages.

Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage City.

Buddhist monks love Social Distortion.

Ryan and Noah go south to Vang Vien, where Ryan had just been.

Ryan goes ahead back to Thailand and Noah stays a few days in Vang Vien. Off-road tractor taxi

Vang Vien is for backpackers to intertube down the river

and swing off giant rope swings into the water.

'Beer Lao numba one, Lao-Lao numba two'

United Nations intertube flotilla

Ryan and Noah meet on Koh Pha-Ngan Island, Thailand.

Full Moon Party at Had Rin beach

It goes all night and into the next day. Thai scenesters

After a few days they move on to more quiet Had Yuan beach.

Then back to Bangkok

They are eager to get back to surfing. Noah sews up his crap boardbag and they make for Indonesia.