feed the birds

I refuse to believe I leave Beijing in five days. Completely unprepared for the freezing monotone of Sydney and not at all ready to say goodbye to this megatron city. Jumbled wordvomit of an update en route to your baby bird mouths:

Ventured to 798 Art District and Caochangdi Village in the northeastern suburbs of the Jing, and imbibed contemporary Chinese art laced with political shouting and beauty. My favourite was a Chinese artist called Yang Jiechang whose exhibition was a “realization of the inhuman that is both monstrous and transcendent”.

Learnt heaps of Chinese. I had a successful conversation with a Beijinger cab driver which is especially awesome because of their notoriously thick accent. He played me some Chinese metal music which sounded a bit like a choir of Mandrakes.

Climbed the Great Wall of China. They got the name right.

Ate heaps for no money. Most interesting culinary encounters include chicken hearts, little strips of congealed duck blood, possible jellyfish (we’re not really sure), lamb kidneys, scorpions. Rediscovered my love for weird Chinese snacks, the current fave is dried strips of haw rolled up into little scrolls.

Partied for no money. It says something about the cost of alcohol and the culture of showing off your wealth that I asked a Chinese man in a bar as a joke if he would buy us 20 tequila shots and he straight up did.

Saw Peking Opera (not my style) and Chaoyang Acrobatics – no OH&S rules and really bendy children made for a seriously entertaining and sometimes scary performance… thinking they could fit eight motorbikes in a cage really not big enough for two was an interesting decision!

Only have a few more days of cramming for the end of course exams and spending my kuai before hopping on a flying car back home. Send me your requests for fake anything-and-everything?

Tea and too many characters to learn,

PT

 

798

798

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the Chinese sky

The Chinese sky is porcelain white and a fifth of the world mills about underneath it in a flurry of quotidian extraordinary. Traffic jams are small cities, study sessions are houses of parliament, supermarkets are concentration camps of plenty, rubbish tips are beached leviathans.

White, constant, flat, low-hanging, imperishable Chinese sky. Jokes about the Truman Show aside, you could reach out of a top floor window and rap on it. It’s the backdrop of every photograph, it’s smugly settled in your conscious, it doesn’t lurk, it plonks, thunkily endures, it has done this before, it’s a staring competition with a wax figure.

…that can see you? It’s a babysitter who knows when you’re reading with a torch. It’s an omnivorous, erudite shade of grey with no blind spot. Historically unprecedented production has leaked the materials for 1.3 billion gossamer veils into the atmosphere and the Chinese sky has draped itself in them, one by one, until climate has become opaque and begun to pressure downwards on the perspiring proles below.

And then one day the insomniac smog lifts and newborn baby-blue sky peeks out from underneath, and suddenly the masks become faces and shadows exist again, proving the existence of the sun and the roundnesss of the earth. Colour occurs. Nature is almost natural again. We can see why calligraphy is so involved with landscapes, why oriental architecture mimics flora, how creativity previously existed in this concrete grid. Weiming Lake reflects cumulonimbus and I swear I heard a bird.

The Chinese sky is predictably polluted, but surprises us with out-of-the-white blues. China is predictably censored, but every day holds astonishment and revelation and Confucian confusion and things to learn. The Chinese persistent in their steps forward, perennially curious, they keep on looking.

Everywhere else just has nothing on here. Australia is a speck on the back of an ant in the middle of the ocean compared to this goliath. You can’t compete with 1800 years of development, innovation, revolution, exploration, creation, revolution, discovery, change, revolution, reform, experience, endurance. 1.3 billion people means a one-in-a-million chance happens 1,300 times a day. And counting. Here I can sit on any street corner and people-watch for ten minutes and ask why five hundred times.

I have heard that in New York, people climb towers to escape the jungle and stare at empty sky. Behold the Chinese sky and feel discomfort. Machined miniturisation, surgical metamorphosis, danger, insignificance.

The Chinese word for ‘crisis’ is 危机.‘危’means danger, and ‘机’can mean opportunity. A Chinese proverb we learnt in class reads, “when the winds of change blow, some people build walls and other build windmills”.

Windmills and other children’s toys made in China,

PT

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Beijing: Week One

Completely cannot believe I’ve already been in 北京 for a whole week. Stepping out of the plane into the smoggy, shouty air was a bit of a homecoming, and I’m already not looking forward to leaving the Jing in less than a month.

You just can’t make comparisons between China and Australia. They’re different universes. They have different air and different skies with different stars and different sounds and smells and peoples and practices. Chinese civilisation is over 2,200 years old, Australia a tenth of that. On every square kilometer of Chinese soil there are about 144 people, in Australia there are less than 3. Chinese history is rife with innovation, revolution, war, development. The fact that “Australian history is made” by Abbott’s 2014 budget says something about the diversity of our past. Everybody knows that this is the most populated country there is, and you can totally tell. During our first class we learnt the words for ‘traffic jam’, ‘noisy’ and ‘crowded’… and I’ve used them every day since.

Tian'anmen

Tian’anmen

To me, China is the most mysterious and confusing and fascinating place there is. I know I always say this but truly, every daily task – getting lunch, crossing the street, catching a train – is a dramatic episode and ‘certainty’ isn’t a factor in any equation while you’re here.

Most of my time since I arrived a week ago has been spent studying; the language course I’m enrolled in is intense and I’m learning ten times faster than we do in Sydney. I also get the feeling the Peking University tutors are giving us waiguoren the special-kid treatment. According to the Chinese friends we’ve met, classes are supposed to be difficult, and several hours of independent study every day is totally normal. My ‘meh, might not go to class today’ USYD almost-arts-degree attitude doesn’t fly in Beida (北大 – the name of the university).

跟我的同学们 at HOTPOT

跟我的同学们 at HOTPOT

Just going across the street from my dormitory to the university every day is a pleasure, though. 北大 is IMMENSE, you could fit three or four USYDs in here easily! It’s special to Beijingers because it’s got an enormous lake and park in the middle of it, which is super rare in the dense labyrinth that this city is. Also, education has always been a Chinese ideal, and this is the most prestigious institute for it in the country. It’s heavily subsidized by the government so with your nifty student card you can get a huge meal of basically anything you can imagine for less than $2 at the on-campus canteens.

Other highlights from the past week include a mammoth hotpot meal where a dude made noodles in front of us like a gymnast with a ribbon; reconnecting with the Chinese liquor of choice, baijiu; celebrating the 4th of July in a club of similar musical and class caliber to Soho; visiting Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City in 40 degree heat on 3 hours of sleep; getting lost on campus/the subway/in our homogenous building complex/everywhere; not getting run over (yet).

The complex where I'm living - nice picturesque smoggy sky

The complex where I’m living – nice picturesque smoggy sky

 

Chicken feet and a lack of chocolate,

PT

england prevails

Dearest darlingest friends and relations,

Awfully sorry for the recent lack of blog activity, only just figured out how to bypass China’s Great (fire)Wall and get myself back online. Here is a long overdue entry in the captain’s log:

I’ve spent the past two weeks or so in our wondrous mother country, reuniting with relatives, collecting tidbits of family history, and eating. Even though this is the loveliest summer I’ve ever seen in England, and I’m about to spend a month in sweltering Beijing, I still seem to be actively creating winter fat stores with an endless supply of chocolate, teacake, strawberries, strawberries with cream, teacake with cream, creamy chocolate, and cream (with cream).

Although coming to England has been a regular thing for me since I was tiny, I have to say I discover new things about it each time I come. Highpoints from this round of pom-attacks would have to include discovering that my dad (like me) was a fat kid, sampling Bristol’s indie pub scene (very Melbourne) and soaking up temperatures that for once are higher than Sydney’s. I have not enjoyed feeling as equally inadequate as Britain at international sport: this World Cup has seen Australia fall from its post-Ashes pedestal onto an embarrassing backseat. At least England is back here too…

Aside from reunions and sleeping in the splendid spare rooms of various friends and family, I spent a few days in the nation’s capital being a proper tourist. I moseyed about on the tube ticking off Monopoly properties and spending my sterling (I got the greens, blues and yellows done on day one, would definitely be the moneybags if life was a board game).

A London highlight would have to be the adventure I fell into on my first night here; having arrived sweaty and sleepy in the early evening, I checked into my hostel and was accosted by two Perth boys in my dorm who were determined to tell me all about how many beers they’d drunk on their Topdeck tour. Convinced that Athens was in Italy and reeking of hair gel and Lynx, I googled ‘what to do tonight in London’ and escaped their slimy stories with the first excuse I could find: a sketch comedy show in Islington. Yes I’m a grown-up and yes I go to university, but 24-hour time is still a bit of a bother to me so I may have arrived an hour early… but that was fine because the theatre had a bar and I made friends with a groupie chick whose best friend is living with ACDC in Sydney (cool? nt sr). The show was hilarious and we ended up swapping ‘straya jokes with the foursome of twee comedians afterwards, who are heading to Edinburgh for their SEVENTH fringe in a couple of weeks. I was smug because one of their sketches was in the USYD Arts Revue two years ago… Aussies can be funny (on purpose) sometimes too.

I had a gander round Saint Paul’s, ticked off a couple more art galleries, nervously crossed the Harry Potter bridge without being attacked by Death Eaters, was confused/inspired by the huge collection of ‘art’ in the Tate Modern and had a very lacy panic attack in Victoria’s Secret and had to make a run for it before I was drowned in thongs (in this country, they’re not for your feet) and fluff.

Advice for solo backpackers in London: do not enter MnM world without a responsible adult. With no one there to judge me I think I ate a kilo of dark chocolate peanut MnMs. #noregrets

Another fun thing about being by myself in a city I’m about to leave is that I can just lie to people and they’ll never know. If Simon from Bangladesh is reading this, real sorry for telling you I’m fluent in five languages, 24 and working on my sculpture. The Great Dane waiting for me at home is only half a lie. Single-serve friends, meet the many faces of not-Ella.

So I’ve stocked up on opshop purchases, muesli and Marmite. I’m fat and frisky. I’m one and a half books down, three to go, I’m ready for another looooong flight (bring on the vino) on my way to BEIJING.

Piccadilly and Pimms,

PT

On top of Bristol with lovely Lucy

On top of Bristol with lovely Lucy

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London from the Tate Modern

tiggers in paris

Three days in Paris was completely insufficient and has just served to whet my appetite for another European adventure as soon as possible – really it was a bad idea to come here because I know I’m not going to be able to get back to Europe for a couple of years at least, so I’m totally just blueballing myself into wishing I lived in gay Paris (pronouned par-ee). Stupid Ella.

I was reunited with some Sydney friends who I haven’t seen in SIX MONTHS, Jo and Nay, over here and we have spent a glorious three days being total tourists. The phrase “omg that’s so french” is dropped twice an hour, we have had red wine and cheese and snails and orangina and cute little espressos in adorable pave-side cafes, and plats du jour and french onion soup and creme brulée and haribo and crepes and are you getting the idea that the past few days has been a little food-centred? Because you would completely be right I think I’ve eaten my weight in butter purely from how much food is drowned in it. Lactose intolerance, no thank you.

We’ve gotten quite into the world cup while we’ve been here, and all our evenings have been centred around making sure we have somewhere to watch the game. I’m learning when the right time to groan/cheer is, and I’ve mastered the technique of knowingly saying “corner” at the right time. Football people like it when you state the obvious.

I’ve seriously enjoyed how accurate Paris’ stereotypes are. There are cuties playing double basses/guitars/accordions on the metro, and everyone smokes and sneers, and it’s quite dirty and there’s always a strike on and people do street art and are far more funky than anything you’d find in Sydney. It helped that it has been sunny and fabulous every day and you can walk down any street, get hopelessly lost and just enjoy how PRETTY everything is.

Highlights are an overlong Franglaise conversation with a cab driver who was so lovely that he took pity on my traveller’s pennilessness and gave me the cab half-price, spooning nutella (and French nutella too, which is so much better) into our fat faces in front of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, French goon (also so much better) and picnics in front of the Tour Eiffel in the gorgeously sunny evenings, and counting all the stairs on the way up the Arc de Triomphe before embarking on an odyssey to find flower-shaped gelato: worth it.

Shout-out to our brilliant Parisian host Sylvain, merci beaucoup pour les crêpes, lits et traductions.

Pain au chocolat and picnics,

PT

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Oh, the places you’ll go

As you may have guessed from the tender tone of the last bloggle, I wasn’t really ready to come home from the last PT adventure. Within two weeks of my return to Sydney I had pulled off an impromptu trip/kidnapping expedition with my brother to Melbourne and booked flights to Paris, the UK and China… it’s barely three months later and I’m off! 

Even though I’ve technically seen all these places before, (bit of a gap yah re-run) I’m heaps excited to get over to England and see my extended family again, and cannot wait to get back to China. I’m staying in Beijing for four weeks doing a Chinese subject organised through my course at uni, attending Peking University. 北大 is the most prestigious uni in China – only one in ten thousand students are accepted – so it’ll be crazy hanging out with kids who’ve worked harder than I ever have in my life to get in and study there. It’ll also be different to see Beijing in summer, as last time I was there it was surprisingly chilly. 

Is it wrong to look forward to the next thirty hours on a cheap airline more than six weeks of holidays in Sydney? Yeah I’m sorry, homebodies, you’re all sweet, but I couldn’t be keener for plane food and passport stamps and the crowded metro from Charles de Gaulle and queues at Heathrow and living out of a sack and searching for wifi and getting lost and newness every single day. 

Today is my day! I’m off to great places! I’m off and away!

May all your ham and eggs be green,

PT

ohplaces-3

This Is The End

Writing to you from the taxi on the way to the airport to board our long flight home, I don’t even know where to begin as I try to sum up this trip… our cab has a Buddha bobble-head, it’s dodging scooters piled high with sacks of rice and children, the appalling Vietnamese love song playing is punctuated by car horns every few seconds, I can see at least 6 Vietnamese flags from the window, I’m not wearing a seatbelt. I can experience none of this in Sydney and I really don’t want to go back to predictable days, routine, and educated decisions rather than interesting guesses. Fans, friends, family, I love and miss you all but Asia has stolen my heart!

1 continent, 6 countries, 34 cities, 11 flights, countless trains and buses, only a couple of mystery diseases (including the tonsillitis Liv and I have managed to pick up on our last day), barely any disappointing meals, several more kilos of shopping stuffed into my backpack, only one road accident, so few showers, exactly 100 days of adventure.

I’m really struggling with what to write because everything I say is going to be an enormous cliché, but it’s all true: I’ve met so many amazing people, been to heaps of places that I need to come back to, even on the shit days when you’re stuck in a bus with a smelly snorer and no gluten-free food for hours and hours, you can look around you and realize you’re in Asia, and that is so exciting that even the worst days travelling are the best.

While we were in Laos my dear sis told me about a little character she and some gals had come up with in Taiwan called the Naïve Traveller. Throughout the trip she and some other types of travellers emerged: the Naïve Traveller always carries a huge backpack, pays the first stated price for tuktuk rides, is always trying to use the wrong adaptor and can never get her head around time difference or exchange rates. The Wanky ‘I’ve Travelled’ Traveller has always been there, done that, is always saying things like ‘I just like to sit back and soak it in’, is constantly showing off his ‘local’ knowledge, and has to be the one travelling the longest. The Useless Traveller has lost her bag at every single airport and her friends have to carry her passport and wallet for her because she’s a menace, is often found going commando due to lack of clean underwear, is known to sleep anywhere but her own bed including balled up on kitchen tables and in showers, and has never successfully navigated anywhere on her own. We realized by the end of the trip that there is a little bit of all of these travellers in all of us, and there was absolutely nothing we could do about it. I think we’ll be returning to Sydney as the annoying people who never stop talking about their travels… sorry in advance, everyone!

Gotta run and catch our flight, but thanks to everyone who was bothered to read my rambling for this last little leg of adventure, and can’t wait to reunite with you all as soon as possible whenever my next trip begins.

Passports and planes,

PT

the naive travellers

the naive travellers

Asia.

Asia.

Halong Bay

Apologies in advance for the spelling and grammar errors you’re surely about to encounter, I write to you with significantly less brain cells than the last post. We have just returned from three days in the beautiful Halong Bay, where we cruised on a little boat and shacked up on a private island with a bunch of absolute loons.

I have been lusting after photos of Halong Bay for years now; I think I’ve found myself gazing at National Geographic snaps of the huge, looming rocks rising from the green water at least half a dozen times during moments of wanderlust in lectures. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site (we’ve now seen all three in Vietnam, yay!), it’s seriously like nothing else in the world. I kept having that amazing moment of “Oh my god, I’m really here” whenever I looked out of the window at the ridiculous scenery around us. 2,487 islands of sheer cliffs and greenery jut upwards from water that is a crazy turquoise colour because of the limestone in the water. Unfortunately we were pretty unlucky with the weather, and it was cold and misty and rained on us a bit, but the fog kind of made it creepy and special, and even without sun it was amazing anyway.

We had signed ourselves up for the infamous ‘Castaways’ tour run by our hostel, having heard about it from just about every traveller we’ve met along the way. Three days and two nights of madness in a setting as stunning as Halong Bay was definitely an experience. We spent a night on a boat and woke up surrounded by nothing but misty water and enormous islands… it was so beautiful I was actually happy to be woken up at 7am. The second night we spent on a private island where there was glowing plankton at night and a shell-spangled beach during the day. There were normal activities like kayaking through caves and into little coves, cliff-climbing (really hard, I failed but Liv nailed it), tubing and beach volleyball… and there were a LOT of drinking games. I have never done so many push-ups in my life, I have never appreciated Red Bull like I did on tour, I don’t think I’ll ever drink with my right hand again lest I get buffalo’d, I have never seen so many people shotgun a beer at 8am… there area lot of ‘I nevers’ that could apply to the last three days.

Best quotes:
“I had thirty valium and a bottle of whiskey once.”
“Jesus turned water into wine, he was a fucking legend.”
“I lost my virginity in a threesome on a ski lift.”

Highlights included setting a Welsh dude’s ass on fire and rippin up the DF with the Vietnamese staff, some of whom seriously liked to party. We met some more seriously weird people and some absolute champions as well. I think my body is still in shock, but it was a really amazing way to end our trip.

Only two more days left in Hanoi trying to spend all our money (far too easy) before we jet home on Thursday!

Rum and also rum,

PT

Halong Bay

Halong Bay

Captain Liv

Captain Liv

"I'm Welsh"

“I’m Welsh”

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

In the wise words of the adorable kid from UP, “ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE!” and we have definitely found it. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a totally stunning section of Northern-Central Vietnam, home to a complex of caves including the largest cave in the world.

We had 2 nights and 1 day here, which, as usual, wasn’t enough. Staying at a homestay run by an adorable Vietnamese/Australian couple, we spent our nights huddled around a campfire swapping stories with British bikie boys, Danish cavers and American journalists. I learned that there are weird people everywhere and because you can’t escape them, sometimes you just have to take them as they are.

On our only whole day in Phong Nha, we had a full on adventure into the Tu Lan cave complex. After driving through a beautiful mountain pass – the scenery here doesn’t stop stunning you out of your seat – we were dropped off at a local ethnic minority village called Tan Hoa and began the trek. After a few kilometres of peanut and corn fields, we hit jungle and began to clamber rather than walk. As usual we were reminded of the war, and we all felt sorry for everyone – American and Vietnamese – who had to hide in the labyrinth of twisty vines, mossy rocks, and mud during the violence.

After an hour or two of fighting through the jungle, El-Dorado style, and wading across a couple of ridiculously blue rivers, we reached the Rat Cave. Headlights were affixed to helmets and we descended into the gaping mouth of the cavern. I had never seen a cave before, so to me it looked completely enormous, but our guide Duc assured us that it was just a baby one. We saw some sick stalactites and stalagmites, but no rodents of unusual size. It was seriously impressive though, 5 million years old and it apparently takes 10,000 years to form 1 square centimeter of space in there… the caves are so dark and cold and ancient you feel like you have to whisper out of respect.

Another hop, slip and jump (but mainly slip) through the jungle and we arrived at the mouth of the big mumma: the Hung Ton Cave. We wolfed down some food, strapped on life jackets and set off. After a dodgy descent down a rickety ladder in complete darkness, we went for a wander and found ‘cave pearls’, spiders bigger than our hands, and total, overbearing darkness. For a minute we were all told to switch off our headlights, and the blackness was tangible. It would have been hand-in-front-of-your-face darkness if I hadn’t been clutching Liv’s so hard!

The next part was the real challenge of the day: lower yourself into the coldest water you can imagine, and swim for fifteen minutes to the exit of the cave. I think I’ve mentioned before how much I hate cold water (I struggle to swim at Bondi at the best of times) so this was nothing short of torture… the cold attacks you like ten million steel toothpicks dipped in dry ice, and the best bit was when you went numb all over because it stopped hurting! It’s actually a good thing that Liv’s waterproof GoPro case is broken and we couldn’t film it, because it would have just been us whimpering for our mummies. Quite embarrassing.

After the swimming ordeal we had another trek in front of us – this time over a mountain for a couple of hours, and in wet clothes, before heading home. Now I know at this point that our day doesn’t sound very fun, but I don’t mean to sound whingey, we were having the best time and now I’m really into adventure!

To sum up: caving rocks (pun intended – thanks Liv), would do it again in a heartbeat. If I had a spare $3000 I would totally book in to see the largest cave in the world (I don’t). Phong Nha is crazy beautiful, and they’ve only explored 10% of that jungle… there’s still 90% left to go so maybe there’s another, even more impressive set of caves in there!

Off to Hanoi for our last leg of the journey. Thanks for stopping by.

Rocks and rats,

PT
DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

Hue

Hue (pronounced ‘hway’) is an ancient capital city of Vietnam, famous for its architecturally marvellous Citadel and also for its unfortunate position during the American war – the city was almost completely destroyed during the Tet Offensive by US troops attempting to free the city from the occupying Viet Cong.

Our journey here was pretty eventful in itself… instead of slumming it in a bus we surrendered our enormous backpacks to an excitable lady who managed to load all of them, and herself, onto a tiny scooter and zoom off into the distance. Then we mounted our own valiant steed, Samantha the motorbike, and (after attracting the attention of a suitable number of over-helpful Vietnamese guys to help us get the thing started) we were off! Fortunately for our health Liv was driving, so I could sit back, take photos, and scream for help when necessary. The ride there was completely beautiful, we were really lucky with the weather and we sped down the highway under blue skies in shorts and singlets. Even next to main roads in Vietnam, the rice fields are abundant, spreading out from either side of the road like a perfectly green, wet, gluten-free blanket.

We had a difficult run-in with some official-looking people who spoke no English, and through a series of mimes and some pointing we managed to establish that we weren’t allowed to ride through a tunnel because the danger of accidents was too high, that instead we could either load our bikes onto a truck for transit or we would have to go round the long way to get to Hue. Try acting that out in charades! Eventually it was all sorted though, and we skipped the tunnel and rode over a mountain pass that Top Gear had previously covered, and you could see why: in Liv’s words it is Vietnam’s Amalfi Coast. The water is Gatorade blue, the beaches are as white as my tan lines, it is so stunning we felt like we were in a Bond movie.

For our lunch break we had a picnic at Elephant Springs, a gorgeous little lagoon surrounded by boulders shaped like elephants – we swam through the freezing water and slid down a waterfall before heading onwards. Everything was going swimmingly until, 14km outside of Hue, disaster struck and our bike pooped itself. The whole way it had been making very confusing popping noises and emitting a rather concerning burny smell, but we hadn’t really taken any notice of it… and now we were stranded on the side of Highway 1 with the sun going down. We debated hitchhiking (and were offered a ride into town by two dudes in a van – not creepy at all I’m sure) but in the end managed to flag down a rare taxi and got ourselves into the city, leaving Samantha abandoned by the road. Inevitably this ended in a huge fight with the motorbike dude, who also spoke no English, but we got our bags back and escaped unscathed so ALL GOOD.

Hue itself doesn’t have a huge amount going for it. For one thing the weather is miserable at the moment, and after weeks of heat and sunshine Liv and I were decidedly grumpier in the rain and the cold. We only had one full day here and spent it exploring the Citadel, the seat of the old capital of Vietnam before French occupation. It was pretty impressive, huge and sprawling with lots of gilded golden buildings and spacious gardens – even horses! – but the rest of the town didn’t have a huge amount to see. We were told that the nightlife was non-existent since almost everything closes at 11pm but teamed up with some new Dutch and British buddies we proved that theory wrong and partied probably too hard both nights we were here. We peer pressured our new friends into the ‘time bomb’ challenge – shotgun a beer and then do a shot of any liquor and a jagerbomb in less than a minute – and took over the only club open in town, where locals and backpackers alike were dancing really embarrassingly to the Grease soundtrack and 50 Cent.

Even though I didn’t love Hue as much as I loved Hoi An, it was fun to hang out with other travellers and meet new people. I have to say that waking up to an eyeful of some dude’s hairy ass on the bunk next to me was probably a bit much, and way too many people had sex in our dorm, but once again us Senior Adventurers took it in our stride and lived to tell the tale!

Off to Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park to do some caving… hopefully it’s not too freezing but I hear swimming through an underground lake is no hot tub.

Tequila and turtles,

PT

Driver Liv

Driver Liv

The view from the road

The view from the road

Thelma & Louise

Thelma & Louise