Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Wonderful, Wonderful Trip

What a wonderful trip! Martin and I left for Vung Tau Beach yesterday afternoon about 4:30. We drove on our motorbikes, and I must say that Martin is an excellent driver. He made sure not to go too fast and that I was able to keep up with him. I'd take more trips with him for that reason alone.

On the way to Vung Tau, we stopped at his grandparents' house. They don't speak English, and I don't speak Vietnamese.. so I just kinda played with the dogs. After Martin ate and visited, we headed to the beach! It was wonderful as we'd arrived about 8pm so the weather was fantastic. We checked into a very nice hotel on the beach for only $30 including breakfast! I love this country! After checking in, we ate, grabbed an alcoholic beverage, and went back to the hotel to sleep.

This morning we woke up, ate breakfast, climbed a mountain (kind of) to see some statues, and went to Phat Quang Temple. I had been there before, and this is the temple that Co Mai attends. It's a little less than two hours from Bien Hoa on bike. But.. on the way there, Martin got a flat tire. Sad times.
Might I also add that while venturing down the road just before the climb up the mountain to the temple, there was surely a herd of goats galavanting toward me! Random... and sooo Vietnam!
So, I was excited to go to the temple because I met some friends there last time. There's a girl, Nhi, who is staying there for a year. She's from Maryland, and she is wonderful. She was having a difficult time adjusting to Vietnam the last time I saw her as she had only been there a month at that time. I, also, have another friend (who reads my blog, by the way - hi, Ban!). He's a lovely man and one of the higher ranking monks at the temple. His English is very good. I was anxiously anticipating seeing him again.

After arriving, we ate and talked to a lot of the monks. They LOVE to speak English so we had a great time. There was one funnnny monk named Tien. We really took to one another, and I've officially adopted him as my little brother (em trai). We all took some pics together before Tien took us on a tour of the surrounding mountains. More about that later, but here is a pic of some of us at the temple. The first picture is Banh, Martin, me, Nhi, and her sister (I forgot her name). The second and third are of my little brother and me.

Tien was so wonderful to Martin and me and took us walking 5 km up the mountain and around the area to show us some beautiful views. We saw waterfalls and pools of clean, fresh, blue water that we washed our faces with. Spectacular! At the top of one of the hills were beautiful rocks and a random satellite. Go figure! Here are some photos of our wonderful hike today!

I want to post a few pictures of Tien in his element. He's so funny. Whenever I was taking a picture of something, he randomly busted out some martial arts moves .. haha. We're so much alike, I think. We're always joking, smiling, and trying to make people laugh. I think that's why we took to each other so quickly.

After our expedition, we all relaxed in the hammocks. I'll be going back to visit in a couple of days. Some more pics. And again, thanks, Martin, for a great time! Good night.


Anonymous Martin said...

That was also a great trip kicked off in 2009. We'll have some more fun this year, believe me :)

January 24, 2009 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger Patsy said...

that's the cleanest water I've seen in VN!

January 26, 2009 at 4:20 PM  

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