It’s now 82 days into the Fall semester of the South East Asia 2012 trip and literally we have been busy almost every moment of the past few days. Even the last few weeks have been jam packed with a multitude of awesomeness. Sounds like I’m over exaggerating, but I’m not. We started free travel heading out from Ho Chi Mihn city down the Mekong Delta on a tour that would bring us to the infamous Coconut Island, the Unicorn Island, the Dragon Island, and the Monkey Island. Each of these islands offered a wide variety of wicked cool unique things to see and do. On Coconut Island we saw how coconut candy was made and multiple group members even purchased some coconut candy to bring home to family and friends. Then on Unicorn Island we took a boat ride through a small river, getting paddled by nothing more than a shoot of bamboo. Dragon Island and Monkey Island had us riding in horse drawn carriages and seeing a wide variety of exotic sites that boggled the mind. This tour then brought us to Can Tho that night allowing for us to further engross ourselves in the local Vietmeise culture. The next morning we made our way to Ha Tien, a secluded beach town on the southern coast of Vietnam, in probably the most cramped bus ride thus far. With this also came one of the most exhilirating rides of our lives as the driver seemed to love to weave in out of traffic on both sides of the street. We managed to arrive though with nothing more than a couple sore legs and a slight adrenaline rush. While we were in Ha Tien for the next two days, we visited the local beach and chillaxed in the sun for a little while. Concluding in Ha Tien, this brings us to the most major of our choices for free travel where we chose to go to Phu Quoc early and kick it on the the most amazing beaches I have ever seen in my life. The sand here was whiter than white and the water clearer than clear, which sounds unbelievable, but describes it perfectly. The entire time we were in Phu Quoc we stayed in some sweet beach side bungalows and befriended multiple locals such as our friends at Hiew. Hiew became our go to place to eat, serving us almost every meal and never failing to impress us with awesome food and the brightest smiles. During our free time there the group did so many different things that it is probably impossible to list them all, but I’ll try to list the majority of them anyway. Derek and I rode 25 miles on a bike to see the local river, a pepper farm, a sick temple, and the local town of Duo Duong. Other members of the group rented kayaks, recieved massages, got pedicures, saw the pearl farm, and dove in the ocean water for early morning beach swims and late at night for some sick flourescent phosphorite swimming. The last four days, however, saw the group getting SCUBA certified. This consisted of class time, pool time, and then finally ocean time. Most members of group did a total of 4 dives, while Luke and I did a 5th fun dive. This brings us to the last day of our incredibly amazing trip where the group got together and had a final feast that consisted of tons of seafood, chicken burgers, pancakes, and sick fruit shakes at Hiew’s. Following this, a couple members of the group decided to go skinny dippin in the ocean. Talk. About. Freezing. That concludes our trip so for those who are still contemplating whether or not to go on this trip next semester, stop contemplating because it’s soooooo worth it. You won’t regret it and it will change you forever. Stop thinking and seize the day!
Chris Krauss aka Booyah
Nit Noi: Much love and gratitude!
Ryan: Shouting out to Ling for cutting his “birthday” cake for him!
Madison: Shouting out to whatever the future brings to each of us!