Alla inlägg under juni 2017

Av Magnus Ekstrand - 9 juni 2017 17:36

Today we'll do a shorter one. It is already late here and we will rise early tomorrow. We left Da Lat 09:00  to go to Nha Trang. We had hired two easyriders(local company of MC riders) to take us. We paid 65 dollars for the entire day which seemed a ripp of but in the end turned out to be a fair price. Our drives Loi and Van(?) made sure we saw everything along the way. Nature, culture, pagodas and museums. It was a really great day even if our backs were sore and our skin burning for a days exposure of the sun. I took way to many pictures and way too many ended up being decent. Thus the massive amount of them below.

 

Leaving our host and Pretty backpackers behind  

Our rides for the day.  

On our way out of Da Lat.  

Stopped by a museum before leaving Da Lat. This thing is called a Lingh(spellning) and represent man and woman/ying and yang. The top part is man  and the slate woman.  

Natives in vietnam, now all minorities. 

One of their traditions. Every year they sacrifise a bull to ensure prosperity for the coming year. I'd say something about religion making people do strange things but we Swedes also have our past...   

Loi called this an "American Lingh", it is a bombshell that weighs 500 kg. He also told us much of the history of Vietnam when it was divided up into south and north. He also told us that the war museum "lies" about much of it

's content. Not sure of exactly what. But he also made sure to point out that Ho Chi Minh was chinese and not vietnamnese and actually went as far to name him as a devil. According to him the populations affection for him and comunnism is very split, many are unhappy with the government and thus want to leave the county. Often seeking better fourtune in other countries.  

Martin in full riding gear = helmet  

Me in full riding gear = helmet  

To be continued...                                                                          

ANNONS
Av Magnus Ekstrand - 8 juni 2017 16:07

Yesterday night we tried to decide which tour we would like - the city or the countryside tour. Both had things we wanted and things we didn't really care for. Speaking of this with Nienke and Elfie, two dutch travelers we met yesterday, we found out that you also could do a private tour. This ment you got to see exactly what you wanted, only problem was the price. But yet again we were saved by the owner of the hostel who called the company and haggled for us. So for less than 120 sek/person we had a private driver for the day to take us exactly wherever we wanted. And what a day we had. I don't think I'll write too much. The pictures tells the vital part of the story.

 

So the day started with us being picked up by the driver at 08:30 and a longer ride to Elephant waterfalls. We got to see much of the countryside while riding. Here also there was a bit easier traffic. On this picture what seemed to be a large hayball was moving at a solid 50 km/h on the other side of a road, turned out to be a huy with a scooter. Wonder what kind of vision he had behind the thing.

We arrived at this majestic thing. The view was immense. Click to play.

 

Photo of the team for the day; Martin, Elfie, Neinke, me and Hotch.  

Further down you got to a cage were you could stand 10-ish meters from the fall itself. I went as far as I could toward it without standing in the water. Was greeted by a heavy rainpour and the deafening sound of who know how much water crashing at the surface. Was mind opening.  

Team in said cave, the others kept further back.

 

Found a rock in the middle of the river, required some fancy footwork but was well worth it. Would've loved to have stayed for longer just listening and watching the falls. But only going close to the downpour(above picture) and sitting here for 4 minutes left me soaked. The camera was also being drenched by the water but worked well anyway.

Video of the falls, Swedish gibberish.
 

 

Some of the steps going up/down, was also trash laying around a bit randomly. In one place there was a gap near the falls that was fully filled with trash only...  

Change of clothes at the top. Still not completly dry anyway.

 

Next stop was Robin Hill where we took a cable car for about 10 minutes. Gave some really amazing views of Da Lat. Also found out the Vietnamnese listen to heavy metal, as that was what the speakers was playing for the entire ride. Kinda surreal experiance.  

One of the views from the cable car.  

Next stop! Thien Truc Lam monastary. Feutured really nice gardens, temple and sights.  

Large bell.  

Part of the garden.  

One of the altars. Sat down and reached for objective nothingness and got slightly closer than last time. The inside features a bell gong being struck at regular intervals as well as song/chanting. Really relaxing.

 

Next stop; Datanla waterfall. It couldn't really compare to elephant waterfalls but was nice enough. It did however feuture a roller coaster ride down to the falls which was amazing. I took a video but it didn't end up very well...  

Next stop the Lien Phuoc pagoda. Was really amazing tho a bit crowded.  

Large wooden statures. Woodwork seems to be a speciality here in Vietnam.  

Larger hall of prayer, I shouldn't have taken this picture and I kinda regret it. it is disrespectful for the ones who come to pray. But is also such a amazing view that I want to share it with you.  

Found the gates to Buddist hell(?). Many families were standing outside hesitating to go in, curious as I was I went down before all others. As soon as I stepped in some did follow. What I found was really interessting. It was as a religious scary house. It feautured deamons tourturing, ripping apart, tormenting and frightening humans. It was as much gore as it sounds. And small children were being led by their parents to see these sights. I have some pictures of the content. But yet again, I will not post them here.  

Two guardians(?) watching over the altar  

Massive art on the wall.  

Even more massive bird made of wood. Must've been 2.5 meters tall atleast. More than this several other statures at 1-2 meters was featured.  

A hall with content I'd given much to understand. The monks are all plastic and have bowls where money can be laid. The green statues are facing to monks. All Vietnamnese go to all the monks in circular order(counter/clockvise does not matter) and bow to them. Some stay to pray to individual statues. The statues of the monks all look different. Important religious figures/people? I asked our taxi driver afterwards and got the replay "know answer, but not how to explain" so I guess I'll live in ignorance a while longer.

 

Last stop - "Crazy house" which was a minor waste of time. It didn't cost much but it also didn't feauture too much intreresting things. It was mostly weird walkways and strange rooms.  

It did however allow for a better view over Da Lat.     

 

To finish the day of we went to the night market which was larger that I'd anticipated.  

I haggled for a scarf and probably ended up paying "too much"(24 sek/2 euro) anyway. Martin wanted to try streetfood so we found some that seemed tasty.  

Bought some marinated chicken which was super tasty and took it back to the hotel. As a bonus we were treated black beans with sugar and ginger. Was also very tasy!


Tomorrow we will go by bike(as passangers) to Nah Trang which is a city by the sea, we plan to see if we can enjoy the beach for awhile.



 



ANNONS
Av Magnus Ekstrand - 7 juni 2017 12:58

We got up at 03:30 to make our fligt to Da Lat. I almost didn't realize how tired I was before I fell asleep right after takeoff. We arrived in Da Lat 1 hour later. The cooler temperature and somewhat chilly wind was more than welcome after spending time in Ho Chi Minh city. We ended up taking a taxi from the airport to the hostel. In view of happend yesterday I was somewhat apprehensive. Especially when the driver asked for the sheet with the adress, pulled over and then phoned the hotel. Not being able to understand what was being said I, sadly, braced myself for the worst. I had however in mind that there are bad people everywhere and I shouldn't judge him just because of yesterday. In the end from what I gathered at the hostel he'd just told them that we were about to arrive. He also, for some reason cut 100 000 dong of the taxometer. Maybe because he failed to take us the last 100 m to the hostel because a truck was blocking the way and hokning at him? Or just because he was stressed out of being honked at? Maybe both. It did renew my faith in humanity.


Being more tired that we'd taken into account we slept for 3 hours before leaving to explore Da Lat. The city seems to be thriving. New buildings are being built everywhere. And many of the existing ones seem to have been build recently and showcases some impressing architecture. During our exploring we also met Binh. A MC guide that asked if he could render his services in anywa and showed some skills in Swedish language asking both me and Martin for our names and lenght of stay. He also had a book where people had written down their experiance traveling with him. He had tales in german, english, vietnamnese and many more that I couldn't figure out. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy and touring with him would've been great. But we had already made plans for tomorrow and our trip to Nah Trang.


After that we went around the Xuan Huong lake in Da Lat which feautured multipple great buildings, a temple and a flowergarden that seemed amazing(we are probably going tomorrow) with a guided tour. Inside the temple i spend a few minutes alongside what I beleive was the keeper facing the altar of Buddah. I tried to remember the steps of letting go of everything and for a fleeting moment into objective nothingness, but failed. While exploring the temple the same man came back for me to show me some of the other altars.When he saw Hotch he suddenly burst out singing "Is it me your looking for?", stunned and a bit taken aback i couldn' help but to grin like an idiot and laugh. He then tried to give me a smoke and gestured for me to join him outside. I declined as graciously as you can using facial expressions and body language. He didn't seem to mind and went outside to smoke by himself, and I went back to find Martin who I'd left behind while exploring the temple.


One of the gardens we passed by walking around the lake.

       

Horses grasing without restriction, in the background some older building being renovated.  

One of the many sites where construction is taking place. You got the feeling the city was growing and evolving  

Found our first temple!    

Hall of prayers.  

Garden outside the temple.


 

 

It featured two miniature mountains with small satues on them as well as the "thing" in the background.  

 

Buddah on top of the mountain.

 

Exploring the streets.  

View of the lake and many things around it.  


     

One of the newer constuctions. Unsure what it was used for.

This thing however was a café, kinda cool.

Av Magnus Ekstrand - 7 juni 2017 00:41

So from now on we'll do this in english so Esther, Sören and other we meet may follow and know what I write. Yesterday(2017-06-06) was in many ways the worst of days. Martin had come back late and after that we stayed up chatting. To add it up someone was using a hammer the morning through. In the end it meant we didn't wake up at 09:00 as planned. Even if Sören banged on our door.


So when we got up 11:30, a bit hungover and still sleepy we had missed our meeting with Esther and Sören. We agreed to meet at the Ho Chi Minh statue at one of the larger walking steets. Going there was stressful, knowing we already made them wait in the morning. Plus this we were running late by 20 minutes yet again. Thus bad decisions were made. We had a biketaxi drive us, without negotiation price or making sure they took us to the right place before going in. We ended up paying a shamefull amount for a 15 minute bike ride that we might as well could've walked since they ran the long way. For those who've been in vietnam the sum we payed is outrageous. Lets just say it would cover our hotelstay, the food for three days and som more. How come we paid this knowing it was outrageous? Lots of shouting, angry arguing and lots and lots of anger and frustration + being stressed about being even more late. To sum it up, it was the worst start of a day I've ever had. Thus I spent the following 30 minutes with the team saying little, fury, anger, disappointment running wild within me. Only a phonecall with my partents, lots of laughter, the best of company, a glas of tasty wine, a rooftop view(23:th floor, long considering and contemplation later makes it easier to think about. But it does leave a very sad mark on the otherwise very friendly and helpful Vietnamese people. But there's bad people in all countys. I hope they spent the money well.


The bad day did however not end there. We went to the botanical gardens and Zoo. Only to find everything from snakes, otters, birds and elephants contained in small enclosures. For most animals pure concrete with minor details of actual nature. I was happy to find the did not have penguin, I do not think my heart could handle that. Not during that day, and not ever. Seeing the sad, almost lethargic animals took my thoughts away from money, deceit and anger to the larger picture. Once again I found that there's more important thing than losing money, even if it stings. Leaving the zoo, almost all anger, ditt and bitterness hade been replaced with contemplation and sorrow.


After this the day made a semi recovery. We went to a bar and had a drink. Then we went to another bar, this time at the 23:th floor at a hotel that seemed too expensive to even consider staying in. The bar featured kinda expensive drinks, a magestic view and yet again; my lifeline for the day, the best of company. I don't think I've enjoyed just sitting around drinking wine like this for very long.


 

On our way from the Ho Chi Minh statue towards the Zoo and botanical garden. Suddenly there was rain.  

We stood around, trying to wait for it to ease out but no luck.  

Instead we geared up, of course making sure everyone matched.  

"Lost?" "Maybe, I don't know."  

Sonner rather than later(after using google maps) we found our way to the Zoo/gardens. Was very excited until i realized how mistreated most of the animals were.  

Osterich that didn't facy us too much. They have a nack for looking angry.  

Some animals looked semi-well treated.  

Otters with access no nothing but concrete and water...    

The last elephant swaggering back and forward, seemlingly trying to avoiod being put in his/her separate pen for the night.

German beer! Made Sören alot happier. Be having a bad day went for juice instead.  

 

The hotell with the skybar.    

It was a really impressive sight!  

The others went for a picture while I was away. Hotch made sure to represent.    

"Sunset" = the world became a darker shade of grey. But still beautiful. It was hard to tell if the blurring of the horizons was due to rain or smog.

 

Many buildings lit up the night. Making for quite the show.  

Last night picture with the team. Sören, Esther, me, Martin and our host Harry. Harry also cooked for us a traditional soup with noodles with spring rolls as a sidedish. It was the single best thing I've eaten so far. We said goodbye to Sören at 20:00 ish, his plane leaving for germany soon. Esther me and Martin stayed awhile and chatten. I also got to play a league of legends on the Vietnamease servers, and I'm sad to say I fed. All together it was a really good day.

Av Magnus Ekstrand - 5 juni 2017 20:47

Idag var nog den bästa typen av dag. Där man har planerat tillräckligt för att man inte ska behöva tänkapå saker. Men har utrymme nog för allting extra som dyker upp. Solen sken när vi lämnade hotellet tillsammans med Esther(Este) och Sören vilka övernattar på samma hotell. Båda två väldigt trevliga och unika människor som vi under dagen lärde känna allt mer. Efter "hotelfrukosten" - scrambled eggs, vitt bröd, melon, banan och juice gick vi direkt till bussen som skulle ta oss Til Cu Chi tunnlarna. Vår guide hette Tiem men bad oss att kalla honom för Tintni för enkelhetens skull. Han gick igenom dagen och jag kände att det var dags att läsa på lite om världshistoria när jag kom hem igen. Från Värdskrig 1 till Vietnamnkrigets slut gick han(relativt kortfattat igenom Vietnamns historia och dess folk). Han dröje extra länge på Vietcong och deras kamp mot amerikanerna. Agent Orange, fällda bomber, år av lidande och missär gicks igenom på kortare tid än vad som är värdigt. Men mer om det senare när vi besöker Krigsmuseét.


Vi stannade vid en konstnärsverksad som tillverkade lackerade tavlor med inlagda stenar. Och fastän det var uppenbart att det var marknadsföring från deras sida hade få något emot det. Konstverken var vackra och man var på intetet sätt tvungen att köpa något.


Totalt en och en halv timme från att vi lämnade Ho Chi Minh city kom vi fram till Cu Chi tunnlarna. Vår guide Tintin ledde oss igenom alla sevärdigheter och förklarade Vietcongs kamp och taktiker mot amerikanerna. Allting från de fällor, tunnlar och hur man kunde tvingas leva nere i tunnlarna gicks igenom. På det stora hela en brutal kamp, med massiva övergrepp, lidande och det värsta av mänskligheten i ett. Man kunde inte låta att fundera på hur bra vi har det i dagens samhälle. Utan kring, med massiv trygghet för nästan alla händelser mot vad som finns bakåt i tiden. Innan vi kröp nere i tunnlarna fick vi även möjlighet att provskjuta något av vapnen som användes under krigen eller nyare modeller. Och mot mitt bättre vetande och samvete sköt jag 10 skot med en AK-47 och missade samtliga skott på målet 100m bort. Lika bra att jag arbetar med något annat.


Väl vid tunnlarna fick vi "krypa" igenom turisttunneln. Denna skulle enligt guiden vara 100 m lång och men bredare än den tunnlar som Vietcong använde. Både Martin, jag och Sören kröp hela vägen men svettades desto mer under marken än ovan.


Efter detta var det bara att åka 90 minuter tillbaka till Ho Chi Minh city och vi blev avsläppta i närheten av kringsmuseét. Sören som redan varit där åkte tillbaka till hotellet för att vila upp sig. Det lämnade mig, Martin, Esther och Hotch att utforka det som skulle kallas för ett skräckhus. För de dolde ingenting som kunde visas med fotton från kriget. Jag har medvetet inte tagit några bilder, för precis som Esther tror jag att många får lov att gå ut i rummet när en viss mängd blod, kroppsdelar, missbildningar och missär visas. Museét var brutalt. En bild är med mig mer än andra. Det var en man som trampat på en stidsmina och det som fanns kvar av hans kropp trasig på ett sätt som skulle låta en läkare dödförklara honom efter halva beskrivningen. Men värre var kanske egentligen det rum som dedikerades till effekterna effter den biokemiska attacken med agent orange. För er som är nyfikna får ni nog kolla upp det själva, på eget bevåg.


Slutligen återvände vi till hotellet efter att ha gått förbi Independance palace och Ho Chi Minh citys egna Notre dame kyrka. Vi gav oss direkt ut och letade mat och spenderade sedan en trevlig utekväll till sammans med Esther och Sören. Under dagen hade vi inte längre varit helt främlingar. Vi diskuterade allt från planer i Vietnam till hur man ser på livet och våra förflutna. Det är konstigt att det är så enkelt att dela med sig och ta emot livshistoriertill/från människor när det inte finns några förutfattade meningar och man vet att det mesta man säger kommer att accepteras. Eller diskuteras på ett vänligt sätt. Det kanske räcker att säga att det var en otoligt trevlig kväll, jag drack en brinnande shot och njöt faktiskt av den (kanske något blaskiga) lokala ölen som serverades. Nu sitter jag här, halv två på kvällen och avslutar mitt blogginlägg och min andra dag i Vietnam. Redan nu kan jag känna att det här resan är exakt det jag behövt väldigt länge.


And so slowly but steady, like the mountain river.

Does words and the world return to me.

 

 

Buss med välfungerande AC!

  

Tavelaffär

 

Tavlorna kostade inte så mycket, men mer pengar än jag tagit ut hittills. Och sedan var frakten till Sverige förmodligen lika mycket... Men om jag får tillfälle igen kommer jag nog absolut att köpa.

 

   Ingång till en av Vietcongs tunnlar

 

Ner med rakna armar annars finns det en chans att man fastnar :) 

 

Tintin visar ventilationsutgångar från tunnlarna  


 

Turisttåg!


     

Jag ville visa åtmindstonde en av fällorna som användes. Denna var nog den mest basala. Men enligt Tintin kunde de bygga på att antingen skräma, skada eller döda fienden. Psykologisk krigsföring mellan Vietcong och amerikanerna verkar ha varit en stor delfaktor.

Jag och Esther! 

 

Hela gänget, Esther, jag, Sören och Martin! Vi försökte att göra oss kortare så att Esther inte skulle känna sig kort. Gick sådär...

  

Skjuta AK-47 som var på tok för lågt monterad, men ställningen tog den största delen av rekylen iaf.

 

Esther ångrar sig precis när vi är påväg ner i tunnlarna.  


Sören först och Martin efter.

 

Börjar ganska rymligt.  

Och fortsätter ganska rymligt... Hotch för skala.

 

Sedan fick vi testa någon form av trädrot som jag redan glömt vad den heter... Den smakade ungefär lika mycket som jag kommer ihåg av namnet.

 

Vietcong uniformer. Tyldigen var männens gröna eftersom de stred ute i djungeln. Kvinnorna var med understödjande och tillbringade största tiden i tunnlarna där svar färg gav bättre skydd. 

 

Orm/skorpionsrom, smakade sådär... Och är nog ingenting jag vill stödja ändå.

 

Underliga saker har väl hänt men hur kom man först på tanken?

 

Åka buss tillbaka!

 

Krigsmuseét! Ni får dessvärre nöja er med utsidan :)

Av Magnus Ekstrand - 4 juni 2017 18:25

 

Dagen började väl ganska bra. Klinikfest med Kariologen på Platå i Linköping . 23:00 tackar jag för mig, åker hem och packar det sista i väskan 04:00 gick bussen till Arland. Martin väntar och vi gick direkt till incheckning, spända på att eventuellt åka buisness. Men icke, vi hade bara fått halva klädkoden och mina svara jeans och färglada sneakers var på helt fel. T.o.m Martin som var lite mer välklädd fick kritik. Men vi fick dock en chans att fixa till det. På 30 minuter shoppade vi båda ett par chinos och ett par snyggare skor, utan att egentligen veta om det skulle vara nog för att uppfylla standarden. Vi ställde oss vid gaten, jag såg ungefär ut som ni ser ovan. Kanske lite mer stressad då vi löpt 600 m för att hinna med incheckningen.


 

Men vi slapp bli fattigare för ingenting. Uppgradering på båda delresorna. Att sitta och vänta på att gå ombord och undra över vad det här med buisness egentligen var. Och om det var värt de ca 3000 kr vi spenderat.

 

Men mjodå. Större och bekvämare stolar än vad man kunde tänka sig. Champange, cognac, drinkar och otroligt god mat när man än ville ha det. Förutom detta en uppassning som man nästan inte kunde tänka sig. Båda flygen blev från väntetid till upplevelser i sig.

 

Bild på båda oss, jag var inte lika galen som jag ser ut och Martin var inte lika trött men jag tog bara en bild...

 

Förrätt med hummus, 3 olika bröd, sallad och valfri dryck till.

 

Huvudrätt med torsk och potatis. Gott!

 

Ankomst till Vietnam, enligt väderrapport regn den närmaste veckan men enligt väderrapporten omgångar av 10-30 minuter med allt från småskurar till skyfall


 

Vi tog taxi från flygplatsen efter att jag bråkat nästan 20 minuter med en bankautomat innan jag äntligen fick ut pengar. Tur var väl att vi ganska snabbt bestämt oss för att köra MC själva förmodligen var en dålig idé. Jag tror aldrig jag sett folk köra så nära varandra och nästan helt mota varandra mellan filerna. Mopederna åker mellan som små fiskar. Man tutar inte bara för när någon gör något konstigt utan också för att berätta för världen att man finns och att man kommer att köra på oavsett vilka marginaler som ges.  En mopeförare väljer för en gångare om den inte behöver stanna. Gångaren går så länge trafiken klarar av att väja. Övergångställen är endast samlingsplatser för att ta sig över. Ingen förur för gångare finns. Bilar respekterar varandra men tutar om man är oense om förtur. Bussar och lastbilar gör nästan vad de vill så länge de inte aktivt prejar ut någon annan. Lätt kaos är det enda sättet att beskriva det på, men trots det fanns det ändå någon rim och en reson vilket var ganska fascinerande.

 

Inte vad det så få mopedförare heller...

 

Regnskydd, tror det här bygger ganska mycket på tillit...

 

Efter att ha kört genom staden ca 30 minuter kom vi fram till hotellet. Men innan så körde vård chaufför ca 40 meter för långt och bestämde sig för att det var bättre att backa 40 m på en enkelriktad gata istället för att köra kvarteret runt. Jag tror inte jag varit så stressad av att chaufören jag åker med blev tutad på i mitt liv. Förutom detta tappade jag ocå min kamera i sätet när jag gick ut. Men Perry, vår värd och guide på hotellet löste det hela enatående och ringde två samtal och sedan dök taxichauffören upp med kameran utanför hotelldörren. Ibland ska man ha tur!

 

Utsikt utanför hotellrummet 1

 

Utsikt utanför hotelrummet 2  

Martin är inte alls trött...  

Vilopaus.  

nr taket delvis består av en plastskiva kan man ju undra lite...

Utforska de mindre gatorna!   

Testa Vietnamns nationalrätt, Phó. För mig blev dett biffbullar, nudlar och en kokosnötsolja. Book testade både de starka kryddorna och något som såg misstänkt likt en japeno men som lämnade både honom och mig hostande efter en smakbit.  

Fortsatt utforskning, vi gick förbi två marknader men jag tog inga bilder därifrån. Imorgon ska vi se Cu Chi tunnlarna som användes under kriget.

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