Temples, Ruins and Pulling Teeth

What a summer! It’s hard to believe the number of things I did over the past 3 months, but I took a lot of pictures…and they really did happen. The latest trip was a month long tour through Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. I could fill a book with the number of things that we did (and happened to us) during this trip. The food was amazing, the locations were breathtaking and the people…well, let’s just say they were an adventure unto themselves. This was a trip that will go down as one of the most adventurous that I’ve been on.

We started out with a week touring around Vietnam. We performed and taught a bunch of kids from an orphanage in Hanoi. We then headed up to Lao Cai (right on the border of China), spent some time laying concrete and performing there (the people just stared at me as they never have live performers there) before heading into the mountains near Sapa. We then headed back to Hanoi to catch a flight to Bangkok. Spent some time in Thawang Pa, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Sot. We then finished our trip by taking a 2 day stop in Siem Reap (visiting the famous Angkor Wat temples) followed by a very long bus ride to Ho Chi Minh City and then an overnight junk tour of Ha Long Bay.

During the trip we rode trains (daytime and overnight ones), buses, motorcycles, mopeds, boats, junks, kayaks, skiffs, taxis and when we were willing to risk death…we walked. Crossing the street in Vietnam is not for the faint of heart. We even got in some good old fashioned dental work while in Bangkok (significantly cheaper than the US), Alicia had her wisdom teeth pulled while I got a cleaning.

On top of all the adventure we got to experience, I had the great opportunity to teach jump rope to some amazing kids. We worked mainly with orphans throughout the trip. The hardest part was leaving them at night as they would cling/stick on to you to the last (which gave the nickname of sticker to the kid(s) who really connected with you). A lot of what we saw was quite heart breaking. We worked with kids who were purchased out of human trafficking, some who were raised (quite literally) on top of a garbage dump and some whose parents would simply sell their child off for as little as $12.

If you want an adventure, Southeast Asia will certainly offer you one. As much as we saw and did…I haven’t even scratched the surface of what is available there.

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