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Can Tho - Vietnam

Can Tho – Vietnam

Can Tho,  the heart of the Mekong Delta, is a bustling market community of  200,000. The central Mekong Delta is the richest, most prolific  agricultural region of Vietnam. It covers some 67,000 square km and  is one of the nation’s most densely populated areas.

The Mekong  Delta is comprised of small villages that dot dozens of ribbon-thin  arroyos meandering under a thick canopy of papaya, mango and  jackfruit trees. Some are reachable only by longtail boat, and then  only at high tide. Tiny bicycle paths cut off innocuously from  Highway 1 barely noticed by the tourists who whisk by in minibuses.  Deep down these trails are wonders which will delight even the most  “‘Nam-ed out” tourist. The adventurer can simply choose one of these  rutted paths and follow it, sometimes many kilometers, to the end.

Be prepared to stumble upon Buddhist funerals, tiny cafes, pool  halls and sows the size of water buffalo that might only be coaxed  out of your path by a less-than-gentle kick to the rump. If you’re  backpacking Vietnam, you’ll be invited into villagers’ homes for  freshly-slaughtered sow and chickens, and vats of that volatile  concoction called Ruou Gao, or homemade rice whiskey, which is  distilled from rats, snakes and apparently virtually everything but  rice.

Floating  markets are the Delta’s prime attractions. Unlike those found in  Bangkok, these markets aren’t for the benefit of camcorder-toting  tourists. Early each morning the Bassac River and its tributaries  swell with vendors in sampans, houseboats and longtails jammed with  fresh Delta produce: jackfruit, mangosteen, durian, papaya, mango,  bananas, pineapple, guava, fresh vegetables and smuggled sundries  from cigarettes to shampoo. The best market to visit is about 30 km  south of Can Tho in Phung Hiep. There, hundreds of watercraft weave  in and out of this congealing maze of boats, their owners shouting  to advertise their wares. A little closer, but no less exotic, is  the Phong Diem floating market. Closest is the smaller Cai Rang  floating market, just across the Cai Rang bridge about 6.5 km south of Can Tho.

Another  worthwhile trip, best made at dusk, is to the Bang Lang Stork  Sanctuary just outside the village of Thot Not. A hour’s drive from  Can Tho, then another 15 minutes by longtail boat, the sanctuary is  home to literally thousands of storks that return each evening to  roost. Even those who aren’t crazy about birds will appreciate the  intimate glimpse of Delta life along the waterway to and from the  sanctuary. Back in town, check out the 1852 Binh Thuy Temple and its  100-year-old stuffed tiger. Other attractions include the Ho Chi  Minh Museum, the Central Market and the Cantonese Congregation
Pagoda.

Can Tho is rapidly taking on the trappings of Saigon.Each  month, the city seems to creep farther and farther into the  neon-green landscape of the Delta. Its mishmash of cultures –  Vietnamese, Khmer and Chinese – gives the city an almost  cosmopolitan feel. A brand-new, 4-star resort property is testament  to Can Tho’s surge in popularity, both as a business and tourist  center. The best time to visit is during the dry season from  November through April, as the delta is virtually underwater the  rest of the year.

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Hong Kong Island

China is a big and beautiful country and you will definitely want to come visit here at least a few times during your lifetime. One of the most popular places in China is Hong Kong. Whether you are going to Hong Kong for business or just trave.ling fun, there are so many things to do and places to stay.

A truly underrated aspect of Hong Kong has to be Hong Kong Island. This is truly considered as one of the best area to stay in Hong Kong no matter who you may be. Hong Kong Island is an island  that makes up the southern part of Hong Kong and has a population itself of over 1 million. Enjoy the popular attractions like “The Peak”, which is an oceanic park, and go hiking along the island’s mountain ranges.

Hong Kong Island beholds so much natural beauty and has a ton of shopping areas for people just like you visiting. You will find the view on the island to be amazing and simply breath taking. There are many options when it comes to choosing a hotel or residency during your visit to Hong Kong. And don’t forget about the many restaurants featuring the tasty Chinese cuisine.

As always, make sure to plan everything ahead of time and make sure you are fully packed and prepared for your trip to Hong Kong. Make sure to leave room to bring home souvenirs as this is a common mistake travelers will make! Your visit to Hong Kong is surely going to be a memorable one. Enjoy your stay on Hong Kong Island and it is guaranteed you are going to have a great time!

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China is Probably My Favorite Country

China is the perfect combination of modern technology and old school traditions. It has a lot of class and so much pride. The people are usually very nice and the land is so beautiful. I stayed in China for over half a year, which is the longest I’ve stayed in any country to be quite honest.

I am in love with the exotic cuisines and the performance arts. I can’t get enough of the music and I love to explore the everlasting nature that is surrounding. I walked the whole great wall of China (not in one go!) and I’ve climbed many mountains. I may be white but I consider myself to be half Chinese. Funny right?

If you haven’t been to China yet then I really suggest you go. There is so much there for you to do and so much it offers. I actually double dog dare you to go!

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My Accomplishments as a Traveler this Year…so far

I would like to share with you as well as reflect some of things I have been doing this year. I love to recap and remember what I did so I can remember how much I do. That’s enough of that though, here are my accomplishments:

  • ate frog legs
  • ate frog hearts!
  • tried curry for the first time
  • swam in the black sea
  • saw the great wall of china
  • went to the philippines for the first time
  • smoked weed in amsterdam
  • bought dinner for this one family for a week
  • helped a man out on his farm for 2 weeks in return for a place to stay
  • rode the india railway from mumbai to new dehli
  • went to the himalayas
  • rode an elephant
  • met 3 beautiful women who showed me around thailand
  • fasted for 3 days (not sure why but I did it!)
  • lost 10 pounds
  • started exercising at least 4 times a week and stayed consistent

Wow that’s a lot of stuff! What have you accomplished so far this year?

El-Gringo

Being A Gringo Expat

Being a Gringo expat is a whole lot of fun. I get to see new things and try new foods. Meet new people and truly experience the different cultures of the world. However, I also do stand out like a sore thumb in the crowd, especially when I’m not in a tourist area.

I don’t mind it though, I love the looks I get and the reactions I create. Communicating with the local people is actually a lot of fun. Whenever I can, I try to help those in need out. I feel like it’s my duty to give back to this community that has given me so much. Maybe it’s not your style but that’s just how I feel and what i know is the right thing to do. I am so much more fortunate than many of these other people and I know they can see it. I don’t want them to think I’m just some lame old selfish white guy, there’s too many of those around here.

Anyways, maybe I went on a bit of a tangent, but that’s just how I feel. I’m glad you made it to this blog and I hope you come back again. I’m out!

-The Gringo Expat

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Up Next…Going to Mongolia!

So I decided that after being in the Philippines for 3 weeks, I’m going to Mongolia. I went there for a couple days a few years back but I was never able to experience it like I should have. The weather is so nice and very unique. I love the culture and the people are beautiful.

I feel like there is a lot I can do to help there too. Mongolia I feel is like a forgotten place that nobody talks about. It’s between China and Russia which gives for an interesting twist. I love the idea of it so much that I booked my ticket and hotel today before  I could even change my mind. I am forcing myself to do this…but I really do want to!

If you’re going to be in Mongolia or you decide to join me on my journey, then by all means please join me. I usually know at least a few people where I’m going, but I don’t know anyone in Mongolia. I am so happy that I can do the things I want to do and travel where I would like to. I will always be grateful for that!