I’m pleased to present today Chris Johnson’s, “Memoirs of A Traveling Teacher.” Chris was a winner of the LanguageCorps Southeast Asia media contest a couple years ago, and his fascinating journals are a great example of how much is possible while Teaching English Abroad.
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Motorcycle Tour Through Vietnam – Central Highlands, Vietnam
During our summer break from teaching English abroad we took a 2 week trip to Vietnam. One of the highlights was a 3 day motorcycle trip through the central highlands of Vietnam.
The Dalat Easyriders are an unofficial group of Vietnamese tour guides that drive large, antique motorcycles through Southern Vietnam. We had the pleasure of hiring 2 guides to take us on a 3 day trip from Dalat to Saigon by way of the central highlands. The motorcycles were quite comfortable for the passengers!
On our motorcycle trip we made frequent stops at local villages to see how the people of South Vietnam make a living. One family spends their days making rice paper for food. The rice paper is laid out along the front of the house to dry in the Vietnamese sun.
In addition to exploring the south we also explored the north of Vietnam. In particular we traveled to the small mountain town of Sapa. While here we explored waterfalls, rolling hills, and fields of rice paddies. While off exploring rice fields we ran into this local who was carrying her goods from her smaller village into town. The road that she is walking is extremely steep and we had a hard time navigating down it safely. Here, the hill tribe woman floats up the hill with no problem!
From the mountains to the beach! After Sapa we traveled to the Ha Long Bay region of Vietnam where we discovered a sea of limestone islands erupting out of the water. On one particularly beautiful day we rented a traditional Junk Boat to take us out into Lan Ha Bay, just off the coast of Cat Ba island. We spent the day sun bathing on the roof of the boat as well as riding off in kayaks in search of untouched private beaches!
When it rains in Bangkok it TRULY rains. One of my favorite parts of our apartment complex was the covered roof deck that gave a stunning view of Bangkok skyline. The best way to view the Bangkok Skyline is at night when the lights of the city illuminate under the smog to produce an almost surreal feeling. Add in a thunder storm and you will truly experience the magic that is the Bangkok night skyline.
Loy Krathong – Lumpini Park, Bangkok, Thailand
Every year thousands of Bangkok residents flock to the various rivers, lakes, and ponds of the city for the annual Loy Krathong festival. During this festival you are to float small boats made of banana leaves, flowers, incense sticks, and candles along with a small coin in a body of water whether its the Chao Phraya River, or simply a small neighborhood pond. Floating the boat in the water is supposed to bring you good fortune and luck.