The people are patient, kind and had working
This beautiful mom-to-be was selling lottery tickets on a ferry
You might get your purse snatched on the street, but you wouldn't get murdered
|I was in the way but this person graciously went around me|
Street food is tasty
Don't drive unless you are 21 and fearless
It is chaotic by our standards.
|Driving requires knowing where you are. Thais drive left side of the road, Lao and Cambodians on the right side. There must be a giant cross-over lane at the border of Thailand & Cambodia.|
In Vietnam it is a cooperative dance at intersections with cars, bikes and motorcycles merging from all directions.
No one looks nervous or scared though!
Crossing the street, especially in Saigon, is an adventure
You need bravery, timing and intention.
|Our mantra was, "Be one with the traffic (not the pavement)"We heard the story of an American women who was so terrified of crossing she hired a taxi to take her across the street|
Consider visiting places you're not sure you'll like
You may be very surprised if you try something new
|Slip into a Cu Chi tunnel|
Eat something new
|Crunchy--like the fried shell of shrimp|
Talk to children
They are the future.
Ask them about it
|Many children know some English|
Use alternate forms of transportation
The river boats on the Chao Praya in Bangkok are a fun and cheap way to get around.
You can buy a jump-on, jump-off ticket for the day at about $5.00
The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok has high tea
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Lobby
Do fun things
|Men in suits play checkers with pop bottle caps|
People watching is rewarding
Bright colors abound
Look up and down!
|M.C. Escher would have loved the floor in the cathedral in Saigon.|
|This is Istanbul, Turkey. A teaser for our next posts in Turkey|
Bamboo is used for scaffolding
|The scaffolding goes through the wall|
Buy stock in Starbucks
There is one (or many) in every city we visited.
Also American fast food is in the big cities.
|My Vietnam--My BK (Burger King)|
Farewell to our OAT Tour
|Sang, our Siem Reap, Cambodia, guide|
Anya our trip leader from Bangkok
|Mana, our Lao guide|
|Sofia, our Phnom Penh guide, demonstrates the usefulness of the large local scarf in fashioning pants|
|Henry, our Vietnam guide|
New ways of doing things
Mannequins are not in store windows; they are on the sidewalk
|Andy's new friend has half a brain|
|Darrell meets a girl almost as tall as he is|
|Anya could be recruiting a cute client for her next trip|
I loved the spirit houses and looked for them around every residence or business.
I was crushed when I saw a spirit-house store where one could buy a basic, gilded spirit house ready for installation in the yard. I thought they were all hand crafted by the occupant of the house they protected. However there are some beautiful, high-end spirit houses.
A spirit house is a shrine to the protective spirit of a place and are found in the Southeast Asian countries of Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.
Most houses and businesses have a spirit house placed in an auspicious spot, most often in a corner of the property. The spirit house is normally in the form of a miniature house or temple, and is mounted on a pillar or on a dais.
Candles or food and drink are left at the house to propitiate the spirits. Happy spirits, happy house.
|Night life for the spirits|
|This spirit house protects the residence and is a hat rack, too. (Cap hanging in upper left.)|
|Not your run-of-the-mill house|
|My type of spirit house--homemade! Maybe the dog has a protective spirit house too. (left)|