Monthly Archives: April 2014

Return to Vietnam

Vietnam 1

Me Circa 1971

Forty three years ago, I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of this place but during the last 10 years going back has been high on my bucket list. This last March, I finally returned. We were on a cruise in SE Asia that sailed from Hong Kong to Singapore. The cruise made three stops in Vietnam at Ha Long Bay, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).  What did I see and do for these three days? Well, my blog below is longer than normal so the short version is – I saw temples, dragons, lots of motor bikes, lanterns, markets, ate great food, and  met lots of friendly people.  A pretty good three days! Continue reading »

Posted in Uncategorized

Springtime in Seattle

Tulip Festival 2014A sure sign of spring in Seattle is when the Skagit Tulip Festival kicks off in Mount Vernon. Thousands of people descend on the Skagit Valley as hundreds of acres of farmland with over a million tulip and daffodil bulbs come to life and put on quite the show. About 60 miles north of Seattle, the Festival runs from April 1 through April 30 each year as it has for the last 31 years or so. The Skagit valley is a big agricultural area and one of its predominate crops is bulbs. Fortunately for us, these bulbs bloom in April and this festival is one of the things that I think make the Pacific Northwest special. Continue reading »

Posted in Uncategorized

Welcome to Bangkok

Our two hot intrepid travelers

Our two hot intrepid travelers

One of the stops on our SE Asia cruise was an overnight stop in Bangkok. The ship docked at the port of Laem Chabang which is several hours or more from Bangkok depending on how awful the traffic is (generally awful).  We arranged a tour through Trip Advisor with some other passengers on the cruise. The tour visited the  highlights of Bangkok on day one and took in highlights outside of the city on day two before returning to the ship. Our guide was Ms Air of BKK Tours ( http://www.bkktours.com/ ).  She is also one of the owners of the company. She was great and I highly recommend them.

Bangkok was built on the Chao Phraya River (River of Kings) and is the home to over 9 million people. It is sometimes called “Venice of the East” for the numerous canals (khlongs) in the city which we explored later in the day on a long tail boat ride

Continue reading »

Posted in Uncategorized

Hong Kong

 

Selfie at Victoria Harbor

Selfie at Victoria Harbor

We recently returned from a cruise in SE Asia. The cruise started in Hong Kong and finished in Singapore with stops in Vietnam and Bangkok. We spent a few days in Hong Kong prior to the cruise sightseeing and the comments in today’s blog and the gallery reflect what we saw in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is comprised of several areas with the two major areas being Hong Kong Island and Kowloon which are separated by Victoria Harbor. While the size of Hong Kong island and Kowloon on the mainland are not big (approx 166 sq miles), they pack alot into the available space. Approx 7 million people live here (mostly vertically in high rises) so one of the first things you notice are the number of people (everywhere). Hong Kong is a modern big city, like New York and it is a major economic center for the region, but within the city are small pockets of the Hong Kong of old that give it its unique character. Continue reading »

Posted in Uncategorized