Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Koh Tao Pow!!

Koh Tao was my first a few island stops in Southeast Asia. This island is famous for it's diving. Not just because the diving is good, but because it's also really cheap. It is especially cheap if you want to complete some courses, which is exactly what I did.

Getting to Koh Tao involved an overnight bus from Bangkok that stopped at the ferry pier at 2am. This was a little annoying due to the fact the ferry doesn't arrive until 7am. Luckily there was a little area set up to chill/sleep in (mats on the ground) and I just curled up and passed out. I was so tired in fact someone had to wake me to tell me my ferry had arrived. Once on the ferry, I immediately fell to sleep again.

When the ferry arrived I met up with one of the hawkers selling diving schools and found a sweet deal that was 9000Baht ($300Aus) for my PADI open water Cet. This also included accommodation and a free fun dive at the end of the course. They gave me a ride over to my Bungalow and after a couple of hours I began my "theory lessons" for the course. There was meant to be 4 people doing the course with me but only 1 girl showed up, so it was just us two. This was nice because the classes are much simpler and quicker when there are just a couple of you.
That night, I went out to the beach and got stuck into the cheap BBQ that the restaurants provide on the beach (this would end up being a bit of a daily ritual). I also met up with some folk that I met on the bus on the way to the ferry. We chilled at one of the beach bars and watched the cool Thai Fire dancers. This was pretty much my only night out in Koh Tao (my only late night that is) as every other morning I had to begin diving lesson nice and early. I slept well that night. In fact it was the first time I'd been in a bed for about 3 days because I'd been taking all those damn overnight buses!
The next day of diving school involved a few more cheesy American diving videos and then a bit a pool practice diving. It was exciting to finally get under water and start using all the equipment and stuff.The third day was the first day of diving. We still had to do a few skills when we were under water and stuff, but for the most part swam around and got the feel of being submerged. It was pretty cool! Didn't see anything really amazing though... Just tons of fish and lots of coral.
The last day of the course was pretty sweet! We didn't have many skills to do, just pretty much dived. We went far out to Chompon where there are meant to be lots of sharks (even Whalesharks), so I was hoping to see something cool. once again, there were no sharks :( there were some large schools of Barracudas though which was pretty awesome.
On the fifth and last day, I did just one dive (my free fun dive). This was one of my best! I finally saw a shark, though it was not very big and I also got see a lot of trigger fish, though they didn't want to play (they usually like bit divers fins and stuff).
Overall I really enjoyed Koh Tao. The diving was awesome and the island was really chill and nice. I now have another really expensive hobby though. I wish completing an open water course meant that dives become cheaper, but they really don't. But it so much damn fun! So, I know I'll keep doing it not matter how much it hurts my bank.

Friday, January 22, 2010

What's the capital of Thailand? Bang....?

Okay, so as I mentioned previously I was in Bangkok for a night before I headed over to Laos. I was also there for a day after I left Chiang Mai. So what I'm going to now is "Tarantino" things a bit and go back to when I was in Bangkok in 09 and then catch up to when I was there a couple weeks later.

So the reason I went to Bangkok in the first place was because it was much quicker to head there before going to Laos then trying to get to Laos from Siam Reap. This is because Thailand's transportation system is much more organised and efficient.
So after a bumpy ride to the Thai border from Siam Reap, I spent about an hour or so trying to get into Thailand. Not because I was having visa problems, but because there were about 200 other people traveling through the same crossing at the same time. When I eventually got through and across I was pleased to see the smooth sexy 2 laned freeway that the rest of Southeast Asia had been lacking. This made our trip to Bangkok smooth and easy.
The bus dropped us all off at Koh San Rd, which is the main backpacker hub in Bangkok. I didn't have much trouble finding cheap accommodation and I met another backpacker that was keen to split a room to save cash. Also when I arrived in Bangkok I met Graham and Kevin again and they were staying just around the corner from me. So I ended up hanging out with those 2 as well as some other folk and we spent the night drinking on Koh San Rd. The night went by pretty quick and I remember it being quite fun, though I assure you it was an uneventful night... No "Ping Pong" shows and no strange stories involving Ladyboys. though, I did do to bed before Graham and Keven... So maybe they have some interesting stories... Who knows?!
Anyway, even though I thought I had a relatively tame night; I still woke up with a mean hang over. I didn't let this effect my day too much though. I managed to get out on the local buses and get over to the main part of town, where I was attempting to fix my camera (for some reason it's been taking sketchy shots). I also managed to get over to one of the malls and pick up a new lens for my camera too (i've been using the same crappy lens for about 3 years now). Plus I completed all my transportation using Public transport (no Tuk Tuks), which was cheap and rewarding!
Well after a day in Bangkok, I headed out on an overnight sleeper train to Vientiane. This train was not as comfortable and as well organised as the ones in China, but it was still comfortable and got me to my destination (even if I did think I was going to get tossed out of bed all night).

So... Now onto my 2nd time in Bangkok. The journey here first begins with a rough overnight trip from Chiang Mai. Well, maybe rough is the wrong word... Wet is a better one!
So, if you read my last post you would know that Thailand was receiving some rain. Well, the bus we were taking was a little old and not really water-tight and it seemed to be leaking water everywhere! Luckily the bus was half empty (or half full depending on your religion) and a lot of us moved about the bus looking for a seat that was going to keep us dry. I managed to rig up a little shelter by jamming the curtains over the leaking spots and that seemed to keep me dry for the most part. but after a while, I fell to asleep and didn't even notice that the bus was sinking!
I wasn't actually staying in Bangkok this time, just merely hanging out for the day and waiting for a bus to take me south. I arrived in Bangkok at 5am however and still had to wait until 6pm for my bus. I hung with some French guys that were on my bus for a bit and they were doing a similar trip. We were forced to hang at this Israely cafe, which is where the bus drops you and picks you up (and as you know, I do like my food Kosher).
So, this stop in Bangkok was a lot different from my previous stop in Bangkok. This time I ventured out camera in hand and played the tourist game. My first stop was the museum. I'm usually not really into museums and never really have been, but this one was different... NA!! Just kidding... It sucked! It was pretty much the same as every other history museum. Though mildly interesting, it was still full of the same pots and bowls that every museum has. Sorry to be so negative, but I guess I'm just not really into this kind of thing! It's funny because as an adult I thought I would begin to enjoy the things that I had found boring as a child. But no! Most museums are boring and Church sermons are still fall into a similar category. Don't get me wrong, I have been to the odd museum or two that I have enjoyed and Art Galleries are in a totally different category (love those). It just seems though, if a country in Asia has a whole lot of old crap lying around then they are going to open a museum to display it and rip tourist off at the same time.
Well after that I headed over to the palace but back out after I saw the price! So instead I walked over to see the lazy reclining Buddha. This was pretty impressive! He was huge and really really gold!My next plan was to head over to the large market that was on the outskirts of town but after a bit of miss-communication I ended up in Chinatown. this was a pretty crazy place... Very different from the rest of Thailand. didn't spend much time there though. I headed back to Koh San Rd and did a little bit of shopping.
Well that's pretty much it. Bangkok done!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Oh my Chiang Mai

Now that my time in Laos was coming to an end, I purchased a ticket over to Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand. Geographically, this city is very close to Luang Prabang... but in reality the two cities are divided by crappy roads, and an out of the way border crossing and a long transit time after the border crossing.

To begin my journey to Chiang Mai I took a night bus from Luang Prabang to the Thai border. This trip took a really long time! 12 hours to be exact! Plus I reckon we traveled on the windiest and bumpiest road in Southeast Asia. Not even 10mg of Valium could get me through the trip (this dosage has worked well on previous long bus trips). I did meet up with Marco (a Croatian guy that I met in Vang Vieng) on the bus, which was cool and provided a bit of conversation for good portion of the trip. Plus, in case the current bus circumstances were not bad enough they were worsened by the fact the temperature dropped incredibly low (I was wearing shorts and t-shirt) and my stomach was feeling a little ill. Anyway, enough complaining...

We got to the border early in the morning and once we got our exit stamp we had to catch a long tail boat across the Mekong over to the Thai border. After all the usual Immigration/Customs crap was completed, I had to wait about 2 hours for a minivan to take me over to Chiang Mai. Well... Late in the afternoon, I arrived in Chiang Mai!!

My first impressions of Chiang Mai are blurred by the fact that I was incredibly tired at the time of arrival. It did seem like it was a happening place though. Lots of people (foreign and Thai) and nice little restaurants and cafes. I did manage to head over to the 'Night Bizarre' to see what the fuss was all about. It was pretty much just a night market filled with the same stuff you find allover Thailand (funny t-shirts, lanterns and jewelery). The was a bit of "Bizarre" there though, this was the elephant I saw walking in to bars and the lady-boys yelling out 'handsome boy' from across the street to all passersbys.

On my first full day in "the Chiang" I took an all day cooking class, which was high on my list of priorities due to the fact that I love Thai food. The class was relatively cheap compared to the amount of food that I was fed. Myself and the rest of the class had to choice a bunch of things that we wanted to cook and after the usual "trip to the market" we all spent time learning how to create Thai masterpieces. I was surprised at how simple most of the things were to make, though the biggest challenge that presents itself to me is being able to recreate them with limited access to Thai style ingredients.
On the 2nd day I rented a scooter to drive up to Doi Suthep which was about 16km out of town... Not a far trip, but this was made difficult by the bendy and steep road that I had to ride up and oh... did I mention that it was Raining!! not just raining, but pouring!! I wasn't when I left town though - just a slight drizzle, but as I was about halfway it really started to piss down! I powered on though, my main concerns being staying on the road and if my camera was getting wet in my backpack!

Once I arrived at the top of Doi Suthep, I was surprised at how many people were already there wandering around and checking out the temple. Surprised because I think I only was about 2 other cars on my way up to the top of the hill. Anyway, I walked around for a bit and saw the temple/Wat, but was bummed not to be able to see the view over Chiang Mai. As I was up there though the rain really picked up and I was forced to abandon my decent plans and sit and wait the rain out. I was on a bit of a time schedule though as I had to catch a bus to Bangkok later in the arvo and I was worried that I would have to just suck up the weather and gun it back to town. Luckily the weather subsided and I was able to make it down and back to town safely while staying pretty dry.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Luang PruaBANG!!

Ok, second stop in Laos! Luang Pruabang is probably one of the most famous towns in Laos and it is definitely the most touristy! I guess before I headed over there I had visions of this relaxed, charming Buddhist town with few people and few western luxuries. But I guess once 'UNESCO' gives your town the heritage stamp then everyone start to flock in, especially when you open an international airport right on the edge of town.

The first shock I received when I arrived in Luang Pruabang was the expense! It seems that everything was about a third more expensive than Vang Vieng and my dorm room hostel ended up costing more than my private room guesthouse I was staying at previously. the next thing that I noticed was that all the trendy backpackers I'd been seeing round Vang Vieng had now been swapped for rich retirees and middle aged vacation seekers. This is not really a bad thing, though when there are people with money (and not afraid to spend it) then everything is generally made to cater and appeal to their needs.

The reason this place is on UNESCO world heritage list is due to its charming French architecture and it's Buddhist landmarks (Wats, Wats, and more Wats). I guess after I saw past the obvious touristic chaos, then I really did start to enjoy the town a little more. The Wats were pretty and unique and the architecture really was quite charming. This is also made all the more impressive by the 2 rivers that are on either side of the town (Mekong and I don't remember the other).

While I was there I met up with Joey and Skye once more and we hung out for a bit. We ended up recruiting a few others and headed over to a waterfall that was about 30km out of town. The waterfall is pretty and the water temperature was chilly but refreshing! There is also a bit of a rope swing there which was relatively tame compared to the ones in Vang Vieng, but still fun none the less.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Vang Vieng madness!!

After, Siem Reap I actually headed over to Bangkok for the night but I'll be there again in a bit so I will wait for my 2nd visit before I blog that chapter.

Anyway, so I caught a sleeper train from Bangkok all the way to the Laos border. The train was an incredibly bumpy experience; not nearly as comfortable as the trains in China, but it got me there none the less. At the border I had to go threw all the proceedings of making my way into Vientiane, which pretty much included a couple of Tuk Tuks and a bit of negotiating. Once I arrived in Vientiane, I immediately found a local bus that would take me all the way to Vang Vieng. The local bus was pretty crazy! A lot of Laos folk packed onto it, along with a few token westerners. Plus they also seemed to be able to pack the bus full of all other sorts of things such as groceries, luggage and household appliances... It was full!

After a 4 hour bumping and uncomfortable ride I arrived in Vang Vieng. I wandered off to the main street where I found Joey and Skye who were having a bit of lunch. We walked around in search of a cheap guest house, which took a lot longer then I anticipated. Eventually I found a hostel for the night, but could only stay there one night as they were going to be full the next. Once I had dropped of my bags I set off to explore the town. 30 minutes later I'd seen the whole place... Yeah, it's pretty small! But there is a lot going on and the excitement is on the outskirts, not in the town. That night I met up with Graham and Kevin again and we all went out for some drinks.

On the 2nd day; Joey, Skye and myself rented some scooters and headed out of the town. We ended up finding some cool caves and a sweet blue lagoon where we did a bunch of swimming and jumping off stuff. We also hiked up a nice peak where we grabbed some amazing views looking out over the nearby rice fields. Some local kids followed us up the mountain, which was kinda cool... Not sure if they were expecting us to give them money, but we gave them a bunch of other stuff, like snacks instead. They were good fun! That night we stayed out a bit later then we had planned and the night ended at about 3am. it also ended with me losing my room key which sucked! I spent a bit of time looking for it but eventually gave up and woke up my guest house owners and got them to let me in. I was pretty annoyed about losing my key though, I blame the sketchy pockets in my fisherman's pants! Comfy pants... Crappy safe house for valuables!

The next day was new years eve so a whole lot of us went tubing, which is really what Vang Vieng is famous for. It's not really the tubing that is the exciting part, it's the craziness that happens along the banks of the river that is exciting.
Once we arrived at the drop point we were met by a hundred other fellow tubers who were all drinking and dancing at the bamboo bar next to the river. This is the first bar... There are several more though all within about 10m tubing distance of each other. Each bar hands out free 'Lao Lao' (it's free because it sucks!) and all the bars were serving up their own slice of creative, irresponsible madness. The first bar has a zip-line that would come to a sudden stop, instantly propelling the person who is attached to the line (this one was quite entertaining to watch). Another bar had a mud volleyball court, which was more of a mud fight then it was a game. With all this going on, sometimes you forget that you still have to tube down the river.

Eventually, we grew tired of all the partying (not really, it was just that it was getting late and we had to have the tubes back by 6pm) and we headed down the river. The river has a natural and constant current, though being the dry season this current was a little slow and we were getting a little annoyed at how long it was taking us to get back into town. After a while we were starting to feel a cold, so we decided to hop out and hitch a Tuk Tuk back to the tubing shop. We arrived just in time!
Well the details of the rest of new years are all a little fuzzy. I think that those stories are best saved for first hand explanation, which will involve me saying things like "I think this is what happened... But i'm not sure." And the day after involved me switching between cafes (which play either 'Family Guy' or 'Friends' on TV) and sleeping on there really comfortable cushions and mats.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Siem 'Wat' you Reap

You can't go to Cambodia without visiting Siem Reap and Angkor Wat now can you! Well, you probably could... Well, I mean you definitely could... But that would just be stupid now wouldn't it! I mean come on! Unless you have seen the temples before or you are in Cambodia for specific reasons then you really HAVE to go see Angkor Wat and all his little buddies too.

So... Anyway, I ended up taking a 12 hour overnight bus from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap, which thanks to my good friend Valium, was actually quite comfortable, quick and painless. So when I arrived early in the morning I was met once again with usual Tuk Tuk pushers who for once were actually happy to take me to where I wanted to go rather than trying to sell me an alternate guest house. I ended up staying at 'Garden Village' guest house, which was cheap and had a pretty chill group of backpackers hanging about.

Well, rather than wasting a day sleeping and being tired and boring, I decided to take on some of the temples. I found a moto dude to take me to some of the temples that were a little further away and I made plans to cycle to the closer ones the next day. I was pretty shocked/bummed when I was hit with the entry fee though... $20 a day! Yeah I know right! Oh well, like I said... Angkor Wat really can't be missed. So, I can't remember the name of the first temple I saw.. But it was freakin' sweet! I was totally impressed! I spent about 3-4 hours exploring round about 6 temples on the outer track and every single one of them blew my mind! I was stoked too because these were only the smaller temples, I still had the big ones to see the next day.

The next day I woke up really early (4:30) to cycle out to the temples to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat. Oh.. And did I mention that it was Christmas day! Well, cycling to the temples is not too far, but when it's pitch black and no one about then it's a little difficult to get about. I recon that I was only passed by about 2 or 3 Tuk Tuks the whole way, this lead me to believe that I may have been one of the few people that rose early for the sunrise. Haha! What a fool I was! When I walked through the gates of Angkor Wat I was greeted by a few thousand people that had set their alarm clocks for the same time as myself. Everyone was trying to get that nice shot of the temple reflecting on the pond too. The sunrise was amazing though! It was well worth the early rise. So after a little exploring around I moved onto Bayon temple which is quite famous as well. This was one of my favourite as it is very unique with the faces on all the towers and the shear size and detail of it is very impressive. I also went to the temple that was made famous by 'Tomb Raider,' it too was very impressive! However, it was made a little frustrating by the hoards of tour groups that were pushing their way through the already confined spaces.

Christmas night was a good time! Garden Village was holding a Christmas party which consisted of cheap food and lots of beer. There were quite a few people about too. I met a couple called Joey and Skye (who I would end up seeing in many other places), they were from Canada and were traveling for a while. I also met two guys named Grahame and Keven who I had met previously in Nah Trang. The night was fun but relatively uneventful, which I guess is sometimes a good thing.

Before leaving the next day I met a Korean guy that was cycling around the world. He was giving himself 5 years to do it and he'd only been going for about 3 months. He was a really col guy! He was also living off only $5 a day. Cool huh! If you want to check out his site then here's the link most of it is in Korean, but you can use Google translator on his site.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


After one night in Phnom Penh I decided I'd had enough of cities, so I hopped on a bus and headed to Sihanoukville which is on the coast of Cambodia only about 4 hours from Phnom Penh. I got there at about midday which was nice because I still had the whole day to relax on the beach and stuff! It turns out that was all I really did for 3 days... Relax on the beach! It was nice though. Not too crowded, not too expensive, the water was warm and the days were bright and sunny. I was a little irritated with all the kids and woman that would patrol the beach trying to sell you everything and anything! Some of the kids were crafty and clever too, but giving them money doesn't really help anyone because all they are doing is giving back to someone older. Plus buying things from kids in the middle of the day also teaches them that they don't need to go to school and that they can just hassle foreigners on the beach for the rest of their lives.
One of my favourite things to do at night in Sihanoukville was to go to the BBQs that they would have on the beach. This is where they have fresh seafood on display and char it up for you for really cheap prices! I mean really cheap... Like $3 for a whole snapper... Oh yeah!
But beside cheap food, a lot of relaxing, swimming and sleeping I really didn't achieve much else during my time in beach town. But I have no regrets! I was nice to finally get to chill for a bit.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Can I borrow your Phnom Penh?

After a not so long bus ride and pretty simple border crossing, I made it to Cambodia and arrived in Phnom Penh early afternoon. I travelled with Lars, who is a Dutch dude I'd been traveling with for about a week. We both found a cheap hostel, dumped our stuff and ventured off into the city. We were there on a Sunday, so it seemed that a lot of people were out and about! However the place didn't really feel overcrowded (not like Saigon).

The only thing that we really wanted to do on the day was visit the old Khumer Rouge prison that was in the centre of town. The prison is not as famous as the the Killing fields, but it holds a similar representation and was the site where thousands of people were killed by the Rouge. The first shocking thing about the prison is that it is housed in a primary school, so all the classrooms were turned into cells and they hung wire and fences all over the place. The place was very creepy and quite sad, the saddest part was seeing the faces of the people that were executed there, as they had their photos hung all over the place.

Well anyway, after a bit of a somber afternoon we headed over near the palace to check out the river and see what was going on. Over there it seemed like half the city was out and about, having a good time! They were all playing badminton, or hacky-sack or just running around with friends and family enjoying themselves. It was a complete contrast to what we had previously just seen. It was also very different to Vietnam in that it always seemed like the Vietnamese were working and never enjoying themselves, so it was quite refreshing to see some change! Especially in a place that was supposed to be a whole lot poorer.

Speaking of poverty though, I did happen to notice an unusual amount of really nice cars driving around Phnom Penh! Seriously! They were everywhere!! Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, even Hummers! It was really surprising! But later we got talking to a local expat about it all and he says that most of the cars belong to non-government organisations such as different charities. I hope that this is not true! You would hate to think that charitable companies were sending money to Cambodia to fund these dude's rides! But don't let that turn you off giving money! I'm sure that most non-government organisations are legit! Just try and be sure who you are giving money to!


Alright, so everything you hear about Saigon (HCMC) is true! It's crazy, it's busy, and it's full of tourists! Oh and one more thing... It's FULL of scooters! I thought Hanoi was 2 wheeled madness, but it's got nothing on Saigon! Crossing the road here isn't just an adventure... It's an extreme sport! But to be honest that was the only thing that I found unique or exciting about this city. Yes, it has a happening nightlife, but it's no different to that of the nightlife you can find in any large city. Plus it has become extremely international! To the point that everything seems to cater for tourists and guests and it really seems to lack identity in cultural form.

One thing I did see that was rather interesting/disturbing was the war museum. So, my knowledge of the Vietnam war can be summed up by movies such as 'Platoon,' and I feel that I really only know simple facts, opinions and a bit of the basics. But this museum, shows everything from the Vietnamese point of view and let me tell you they do not sympathise with the Americans what so ever! Like I said I am not educated enough to give a proper opinion, so I could never really label the museum 'propaganda' but they really don't show 2 sides to the story. However, in saying that it really is sad to see what went on then and to see the way some of the US troops killed and destroyed villages (the photos are exceptionally disturbing). They also have a bunch of US military vehicles on display, which I don't think they are planning on giving back anytime soon!

Anyway, Seeing I was starting to learn a bit about the Vietnam war, I decided to take a tour of the Cu Chi tunnels! I took an all day tour that also took you to a temple that was supposed to be pretty cool. Well, the tour was pretty much an all day bus-about with a quick stop at a temple and a short break at the tunnels. If you are going to do the tour, do the half day!! Skip the temple!


So, those that have been checking out my pics on Facebook would have noticed some sweet abseiling/canyoning pics of me and others. Well Dalat was where that all happened!

After a late night for my birthday, I headed (with a few of the same previous people) to Dalat which is in the South of Vietnam, high in the mountains. The trip there was a mixture of rough, bumpy, hot, long and all of that was made much worse due to the fact I was nursing a bit of a hangover! But once we arrived we were welcomed with some cool fresh mountain air. The town itself is rather small and pretty chill. A lot of folks from Saigon like to holiday here to escape the craziness of the city and it's definitely a lot more relaxed than Saigon.

The day after we all arrived, we got up early and went on our canyoning trip. I was pretty pumped because I had received tips earlier that this was "the thing" to do in Dalat, even in Vietnam!

The whole thing was really fun! I could go into detail, but I feel I can some it up better with words like crazy, wet, slippery, exciting, exhilarating, strange and bloody sweet! Plus... I'll just let the pictures do the talking.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Nha Trang madness!!

While heading south in Vietnam it occurred to me that my birthday was fast approaching and I decided that I wanted to spend it someone chill but fun and to make sure I wasn't doing any traveling on that day. So I headed to the beach town of Nha Trang which is on the South East coast of Vietnam. I headed there with Lyndsay and Dom who I had been with in Hoi an. We ended staying at the town's only hostel, which was where we met lots of other cool travelers and found people to hang out with during the day and at night.
The town has a really pretty beach and I pretty much spent most of my time hanging out/sleeping on it! At night we spent our time hoping around the many bars the town had and tried to find the best happy hour deals. We had some good times at these places and they definitely kept me out later than I always planned.

For my birthday I managed to find a good crew of people to join me on a boat tour of the local islands. The tour was quite cheap but a lot of fun! It began very early, which was tough because we all stayed out late the night before, but after a bit of swimming we all felt fine and we powered through! The guys running the boat tour were a lot of fun and they made sure everyone on the boat had a good time too. They even managed to remember nearly everyone's name... An impressive feet considering there were about 40-50 people on the boat. During the trip the crew served a kick-arse lunch which was followed with a musical performance. The performance consisted of the crew playing songs from everyone's home country and one person from that country would have to come up and sing. Naturally because it was my b'day I was roped into singing (waltzing Matilda... Of course!) and while everyone else sung happy birthday I had to shotgun a beer... No Worries!! After the eating, singing, dancing and stupidity we all jumped into the water for a swim. In the water they had a "floating bar" which was a large metal ring with a little Vietnamese guy sitting inside. The little Vietnamese guys was serving a fruit cocktail drink which he poured into small plastic cups for us. It was really chill and plenty of fun! After about an hour of floating bar madness we all piled back into the boat and headed back to shore. The night definitely continued on, but the details are all a little blurry... Sorry! It was my birthday! You understand, don't you??