Five months. That's how long it's been since I've posted here. A shameful hiatus, I know. It would be impossible to write in full depth everything that I have done in that time and every trip I've taken. Instead, I will give a mere brief on the last five months and in so doing, hopefully I'll be able to return to this blog and write more meaningful, in-depth entries.
[Too far back, can't remember what I did this month.]
Wherein I hosted another tea tasting. Traveled to Cambodia for Christmas, without getting sick. Went to a friend's wedding in Nha Trang and then quickly headed back to Saigon to catch a plane to Singapore. Running was involved.
A fantastic New Year's in Singapore, after which Daphne went to Thailand for a yoga retreat and I returned to Saigon alone. Spent a couple of weeks working at a rock wall. Flew to Thailand for Tet to go rock climbing in Krabi. Flew to Kuala Lampur so that Daphne could do a visa run to continue the second half of her program.
Flew back to Thailand in the north to hang out in Chiang Mai and Pai. Left Daphne to finish her program and returned to Saigon alone and much poorer. Picked up a few hours teaching to make up for the travels. Daphne returns from training with yogic glow.
Which leads us, in just a few short paragraphs, to the present.
Last weekend, Daphne and I went for one night to Can Gio, otherwise known as Monkey Island. Located just an hour South-East of Saigon, it's the shortest possible route to the coast. We stayed one night at a resort on the beach. The drive was excellent, with a long stretch of mangrove forests to drive through and not a single shop to interrupt the scenery. The resort was not without charm either, with two pools to compensate for the filthy beach that no one dared set foot on. It was a holiday, King Hung's birthday. Vietnam may be the only socialist country to celebrate a king. Despite it being a holiday weekend and close to Saigon, it wasn't crowded at the resort. The combination of its large size, low occupancy, black sand and overcast skies lent an eeriness to the whole place. Those clouds were not without purpose, we would later find out.
We took dinner and coffee in a nearby small village. The village was everything I could ever have wanted from a small local village that I had never been able to find before then. It was quiet, yet not empty. The people were friendly and the architecture was attractive. If you have a sigh that needs releasing, it's not a bad place for it.
The next day we took shelter from a brief storm before heading back towards town. We tried to stop at Monkey Island Preserve on our way back, but they had closed early for the day.
The next day: typhoon. It would have been worse for us if we stayed on Can Gio near the coast, fortunately, we were back in the city, drinking cappuccinos and watching a storm that seemed without end. It had started as a mere drizzle and increased steadily throughout the day. We continued to be surprised as the storm grew heavier, thinking all the time that it was as heavy as it was going to get.
Trees fell and roads flooded, but it was a Sunday. We didn't have anywhere to be.
I'll wrap this up here, and will try to tune my attention back to this blog. As usual, photos from my travels can be found on my Flickr.