Staying at the Chungking Mansions in Hong Kong isn't for everyone. The rooms are tiny. Like crawl-over-the-bed-to-get-to-the-toilet tiny. Like don't-hit-your-shin-on-the-commode-or-hip-on-the-sink-as-you-shower tiny. Like only-two-power-outlets-and-only-one-works-tiny. You know: Tiny. But comfortable enough for a good night's sleep. And clean enough (at least in the room we rented from the Canada hotel) to forgoe bathing in hand sanitizer the next day. And a heck of a lot cheaper than traditional hotels.Read More
Two hours and uncountable free beers later, laden with the $237 (HKD) of additional beer for later consumption, three of the expats forced us to go to karaoke with them. Forced, I say! But what better way to experience Hong Kong?Read More
Yesterday morning I got my butt kicked by a pensioner playing Mahjong, visited an incense smoke-filled temple of the god of weather, and paid a woman to hit my buddy Jeff's spirit with a shoe. What did you do?Read More
And there are lots of nooks and crannies to explore in Hong Kong. We only made it to about half the destinations set out on the excellent City Walks app given to us by GPSMyCity, simply because we got sidetracked by a cool looking shop or colorful street that begged further exploration.Read More
The beaches of Nha Trang, Vietnam, are lovely. But they're a little different from what you're used to, so Vietnam has some helpful rules you should follow so that you and everyone else -- mostly scowling Russians here -- have the best possible time.
No organized catering. Unless, of course, you're the organized caterers setup to rent out the cabanas or bring food and drink situated not more than 20 meters from this sign. Well obviously not them.
No kites. Because everyone knows that it's not the dangerous undertow that will kill you. It's the kites. So don't buy kite from that street vendor set up on the beach. Everyone hates kites.
No stepping on grass or destroying of trees. Sure, you can step on the trees and you can destroy the non-existent grass. But if you reverse those two, you shall be taken out and shot.
No animals grazing. Don't bring your pet worm from Arakkis, the only animal I know of that actually grazes on sand. Or your sand-eating dog.
No indiscriminate defecation. Because the people of Vietnam have put up with your random shitting for far too long.
No ball games. Like frisbee. Which isn't a ball. But still, no ball games. You know what? While we're at it; no games at all. This is a serious beach.
No fire. You don't want the sand or the ocean to catch fire, now do you?
No fishing. Ignore those boats just off shore. They only look like they are fishing.
No hawkers. Also ignore all those hawkers selling everything from books to sunglasses to freshly broiled lobster (totally not kidding). Because no hawkers.
Walking only. Not only are running, skipping, and crawling out; but we're not sure you should swim, either. Just walk. It's safer.
Wear a life vest. Yes. When you walk. It's safer.
Garbage at designated places. Take it with you, then drop it on the nearest street, sidewalk, or gutter. You don't want to put the street-cleaners out of work, right?
Ah, Nha Trang. You were a special place. Do svidaniya!
For as long as Evo and I have been together, he has wanted to share the underwater world with me. He would come back and tell me about the wonderful sea life and what he saw while scuba diving. Stories about the vibrant fish or how he picked up a beautiful shell on the sea floor only to find out there was a small octopus finding refuge inside sound incredible!Read More
We've been on the rails of Vietnam for the last eight days and mostly don't hate it. In fact, we love the country. It's the train itself and the short-stint in each city that's not working all that well for usRead More
We're only four days into a 15-day journey -- by train -- of Vietnam. It's been an incredible experience which has completely changed how we feel about Vietnam. But considering most of that was set up by Chuck Norris movies and folk rock tunes from the '70s, change that expectation is a good thing!Read More
We didn't spend a lot of time in Chumphon, which isn't all that unusual for "farang" (that means foreigner). For us, Chumphon was merely a way-point to another destination. But it's the kind of place we wouldn't mind spending a little more time in.
Since we had several hours to spare before our ferry took us to the island, we let Google Maps guide us around the city. Talk about an adventure! What looks like a nice, big street is often times little more than a path, often with a gate (thankfully open) at one end. You might squeeze a motor scooter through, but there's no way a car could pass. Does Google point out the difference? Nope. Because this is Thailand.
One such path led to a suspension bridge over a river. A bridge with holes in the planks -- or missing planks all together. The walk over was a little terrifying for us, but not to the young monks jumping from the center to the murky water some 15 meters below. Or the locals who didn't bat an eye as they drove their motor scooters quickly across the full span. Gulp.
Chumphon certainly has it's charm. So if you're traveling through (not unusual if you're visiting any of the islands on the gulf-side), plan on spending a few hours here. Bonus points if you hang out at Farang Bar, where you can tell Ivor you're a friend of ShEvo's. (On second thought, don't do that. It's quite possible we left an open bar tab there. Oops!)
Now listen: I don't care what you (or Sheila) says. These were hyper-agressive Komodo dragons. Sure, they may look like water monitors and occupy the same habitat as water monitors, but those are just "facts" in the way of a better story. They were Komodo dragons. And I saved us all. I need a medal. Or another beer.Read More
Eight months ago, I was a craft beer snob. Now, after living in Thailand for three months, I've learned to embrace the goodness that is mass-brewed lager beer. My inner beer nerd isn't happy. But me? Wel...Read More
Luckily, there's one type of street food that works for her every time: Roti prata telur. It looks like -- and kinda is -- a fried crêpe filled with banana and egg. But it's much more complex and delicious than that.Read More
Myanmar (you may know it as Burma, even though it's not called that any more) was our shortest trip, with just over an hour spent in-country. It also holds the honor of the most interesting way we've crossed the border: in a long-tail boat.Read More
Yes, I was fully sober with of all my faculties when I sat down and let Woodee jab electric-powered needles into the underside of my forearm for three hours straight. Three cigarettes (for him) and many tears (from me) later, and I've the most permanent memento of our new life-abroad lifestyle. Memories fade, but ink stays. Sort of.Read More
I went into sound-engineer mode, thinking that maybe with all this activity, we might pick up some monkey sounds. I pulled out my Zoom H4n and set it on one of the supports, pointed roughly at the biggest mass of monkeys. The thieving bastards.Read More
After more back sliding, a new plan was in order. This time Sheila and I would ride in the back of the truck until momentum slowed. We'd then hop out -- on to the loose boulders resting on wet, slick clay, remember? -- and then push. Because there's no way anything could go wrong with that plan, right?Read More
We must have looked out of place to the the police officers that stopped us in the middle of the street, not five minutes into our ill-fated walkabout. And by "police officers" I mean sidearm-toting members of the Royal Thai Police.Read More