Posts Tagged ‘travel’
Huacachina is a remote town located 5 hours south of Lima, Peru. It is a huge desert.
There is nothing to do there. Except for dune buggy riding!
For 30 soles (around 10usd) they will take you around for an hour, going up and down steep hills at an amazing speed. It was really hot but I swear I was breaking out in cold sweats. Good times!
What can I say about this little city except WTF! Imagine a huge bowl that is La Paz. On the rim is the barren El alto, perching precariously at 13615 feet. This is the only city I think where the poor has a room with a view. No one wants to live there it is so freaking cold. Those w/ money live at the bowl’s bottom, where the air isn’t thin and you can walk around without panting every 5 steps.
I wish I had taken more pictures. I was just too cold and sick from the altitude. All I remember now, and the memory is still hazy, is fat Indians in comical hats eating fried sizzling meat w/ their dirty brown hands, clear blue sky, windowless shacks stretching as far as the eyes could see, tree-less dirt roads, men with weather-beaten eyes, steep stairs, plaintive wailings, and of course the bitter cold of the altiplano.
South America is such a lawless place and Bolivia is among the worst. No one walks around at night. The few who do often become victims of petty crimes, corrupted cops or taxi drivers who rob you at gunpoint. So you can imagine how nervous I felt when I chanced upon a gang of masked teenagers in the city center.
It turned out they are just shoeshine boys.
And they don’t really wear masks because of the bitter Andean cold. It is because they are shunned by society.
The river is darker but still clear and green. Far away lays the vast expanse of rice paddies, dotted with trees and ponds. If you strain your eyes further, you can spot the sun hiding behind the glooming mountain range, playfully throwing sparkles of light here and there, onto the glassy river’s surface, onto the little kids shrieking gleefully, onto the thick forest of a thousand year old, and onto you.
Uncle Ho is everywhere. His sayings are made into banners and hung all over VN. His picture is in every classroom. In Nghe An, where he was born, his statue is elevated to another level. The village where he grew up is featured prominently on various tour brochures and highway billboards. The road to his childhood house is paved, clean, and dotted w/ lotus and old growths. His mother’s tomb is built on a huge swath of land cleared from a mountain’s shoulder, and heavily guarded round the clock. In Vinh City, they erected a gigantic square commemorating his highness.
And in many companies, private and public alike, shrines are put up to worship him. In other words, he is God.
Discreetly taken in the office of Sabeco-Song Lam on Jun 24 2009-during a board meeting
Vietnam has given me the chance to do lots of things I never imagined I’d do. I figure I should list them down, so when I grow old and senile, I could look back and go “Did I really do that?”.
Nghe An is a province in the Northern Central part of Vietnam. It consists mostly of forests, and if you trek deep enough from Vinh City, you will reach Giang river, where the minorities live. The rich make money through illegal logging. The poor hunt, farm and fish. They live up and down the river, which is cool, green and the main artery for all who live around it.
For this job, I traveled 4 hrs from Vinh on a Dream, hired a wooden boat and for a half hour went up river to deliver a few eggs to a man living on a floating bamboo house. Who knows what he does there or whom he lives with. All that matters is the eggs were successfully delivered and he had a nice hot omelette the next day. So to the half naked man living in the middle of nowhere…”You are welcome”
In Saigon, business spills onto the street pavement. In Phan Thiet, it spills onto the shore, where entrepreneurial Vietnamese sell souvenirs, drinks and of course seafood.
Like nowhere else on Earth, here on the sandy beach of Phan Thiet, the food’s source is almost 0 meter away from its consumption.