A Travellerspoint blog

Things you can carry on a motorbike

An ongoing list of some of the crazy things we have seen being carried on the back of a two-wheeled vehicle

View Honeymoon on jgjourney's travel map.

Items seen with our own eyes:

-1, 2, and even 3 passengers (not including driver)
-babies (anywhere from 1 month and up typically sandwiched between driver and passenger)
-flat screen TV
-water pipes (15ft long, 2-3"diameter)
-food (entire kitchens worth)
-circular saw
-bananas (lots and lots of bananas - hanging off the back, sides, and handlebars)

Items we have heard of:

-cages with live lambs
-a pig cut in half

Posted by jgjourney 07:47 Comments (0)

Things we appreciate a little more

-Traffic lights
-Order (A by-product of the above two)
-Shower curtain
-Toilet paper in public bathrooms
-A burger once in a while (McD's or KFC will do just fine)
-Food variety (who can eat rice or noodles 2-3 times daily?)
-Cleanish air
-People you can trust
-Not being blatantly ripped off (oh, that price tag is wrong your price is 2.5x higher!)
-Free information
-A soft and comfy bed

Posted by jgjourney 07:46 Comments (0)

Halong Bay - Living the Postcard

overcast 22 °C
View Honeymoon on jgjourney's travel map.

One of the reasons we wanted to visit Vietnam in the first place was because of Halong Bay. I've always seen amazing images of those limestone peaks jutting out of the water and knew it was something I had to see. Most people do tour packages there so we did the same. It started off with a terrifying 3 hour bus ride - I don't think we've seen the glare of oncoming traffic hurtling towards us in our own lane so many times in our lives. Miraculously, we got to our boat in one piece. Aside from the massive loads of tourists and the garbage in the water, Halong Bay was very impressive. It always amazes us to be able to experience such natural wonders.

we're actually here!

the scenic view

We filed through one of the caves in the area and it was interesting but the best part was going kayaking on our own between the landscape. After George nearly capsized us in the beginning, we got the hang of it and there were moments where it felt like we were the only ones there. We also loved the convenience stores on water, where they sold everything from batteries to beer! At night, we hung out with the great people we met from all parts of the world (UK, Australia, Switzerland, and South Africa just to name a few) overlooking the shadow of the peaks and the lights from the other boats, and the boys made an unsuccessful attempt to prove their manhood by fishing for squid. We ate all our meals family style, which gave us a chance to get to know the two other couples we were with. In the morning we headed back to shore and said goodbye to our friends, who we might get to spend Christmas with in Bangkok if we are lucky.

buy some-ting?

here squidy squidy squidy!

When we arrived back to Hanoi, we continued our quest for something warm we could take to Sapa, a small hill tribe town in the mountains. I found something for myself in a few minutes but decided to wait for George to shop before I bought my sweatshirt. I should have known better because "king kong" sizes are nearly impossible to find. Add that to George's nitpickiness and you've got a lethal combination. By the time he found what he was looking for, my store was CLOSED. George warm, Janet cold. Argh! It all worked out in the end, but that will be the next post...

Posted by jgjourney 02:52 Archived in Vietnam Comments (1)

Hanoi, enough with the honking!

overcast 25 °C
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We've spent one day in Hanoi and we feel mentally and physically exhausted! Just crossing the street requires sheer concentration, weaving through an insane amount of mopeds and cars. And sidewalks? What sidewalks? They are taken up with parked mopeds and shop fronts, forcing you to walk along the orderless streets. Basically, start walking and hope you get to where you want to go in one piece. All in all, a draining experience.

defying death! (or crossing the street - same thing)

Aside from the chaos, Hanoi has some interesting attractions. We saw the tomb of former President Ho Chi Minh (you can see his actual body, which George didn't realize was real until we left!) along with his house and the Presidential Palace. We also saw the Temple of Literature, the site of the country's first national University and the Hoan Kiem Lake in the centre of the city.

temple of literature

Our highly anticipated Pho cuisine (noodle soup) lived up to its expectations and we will soon be heading out for round two! Yum. Locals eat on tiny stools at food stations along the sidewalk, which would surely be an interesting experience and one we might try. Our trip to the market was not a very successful one since George's bartering skills are still well below par. Picture a large, shy, confused man attempting to haggle with a local Vietnamese pro. I may have to take this task on myself.

anyone wanna buy a banana?

what better place for a haircut than the side of the road!

Although Hanoi is interesting, for the sake of our sanity, and our relationship (Cross now! Watch where you're going! Did we just get scammed buy the elderly lady selling the Vietnamese version of Timbits?) we've decided to go to Halong Bay tomorrow and maybe get a chance to finally relax! We're REALLY looking forward to it.

Posted by jgjourney 02:15 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Kicking it off in Hong Kong

semi-overcast 26 °C
View Honeymoon on jgjourney's travel map.

And so it begins! Our fifteen and a half hour flight finally brought us to the first destination of our two month long honeymoon - Hong Kong. We were nervous and excited stepping off the plane not really knowing what to expect. But really, this was the perfect place to begin out trek. In many ways, it feels a lot like home (well, let's say Spadina or Markham), with signs being in English first and Chinese second. Language is not an issue and the city is one of the safest we've ever been in.

Over the last few days we walked around the entire city and have gotten to know the sites (and smells) pretty well. George is about twice the size of most of the population and we figure that he won't be able to buy any clothing if he ever needed to since it is "made to fit the asian frame", and we all know George's frame is anything but asian. We visited all the markets and are sharpening our haggling skills. Apparently, you can offend the merchants by going too low, as we found out when bartering for George's signature souvenier - the magnet. Who would ever pay $6 for a magnet? And the much anticipated lazer light show along the waterfront was spectacular in the 90's I'm sure. It could definitely use a bit of an update but still was a great concept.

on the waterfront

on the waterfront

We took a terrifying trip up a gondola to see the famous Big Buddah statue and Buddhist Monastery, one of our highlights so far. And today we plan on siteseeing some more and attempting to improve on our haggling skills - knock off purses here I come!

petrifying gondola ride with giant buddha in background

petrifying gondola ride with giant buddha in background

that's one giant buddha!

that's one giant buddha!

Some major things we've noticed being here so far - there are TONS of people! In the subways, the streets, the markets, people are everywhere and you really have to fight for your space, which George is getting pretty good at, standing his ground when a small asian woman tried to elbow him out of the way and sucking her teeth when she realized it wasn't going to happen. Victory! I on the other hand get trampled by elderly grandmothers everywhere we go. They have some muscle! Another thing we've noticed is they blast the AC to unspeakable temperatures. It feels like we're in the Arctic every time we enter a building. And the food...hmmm, how can I put this, well...it's interesting. Basically the options are traditional chinese food (picture Spadina restaurants with headless meat in their windows) and McDonald's. We pretty much expected this here but haven't had the courage to try it. Mental note - lemon chicken and sweet and sour pork is NOT real chinese food. Maybe we'll be adventurous today...

typical Hong Kong street

typical Hong Kong street

Overall, we've enjoyed the culture and vibrancy of HK and are happy we started our trip here. We're off to Vietnam tomorrow - can't wait!

Posted by jgjourney 23:23 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (4)

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