Hanoi, The Capital of Vietnam

Smooth Arrival into Hanoi

At the airport in Laos heading to Hanoi, Vietnam. Meet this guy, he was rated in the top 10 at one time when he was lean and mean and “cowboyed-up” on the rodeo circuit. Sat and talked and sat with him at airport (he’s been to about 60 countries). The man travels light. I thought I traveled light.

Landed in Hanoi, driver met us at the gate and that’s always a good sign. Got to the hotel about 10AM, room wasn’t ready can’t check in till 2PM. Left our luggage and went out sightseeing.

“Hanoi Hilton” AKA Hao Los Prison

Saw (St. Joseph) a big beautiful Catholic church. A short distance away took a tour of the infamous Hoa Lo Prison, commonly referred to sarcastically as the “Hanoi Hilton” by the hundreds of American prisoners, who some spent as many as 6 years there.

Told Jeanette that they will slant the war in their [Vietnam] favor. And they really got on the Fench for there participating in there war with Vietnam. Saw Senator John McCain’s flight suit that he was wearing after being shot down during the U.S. Vietnam conflict.

Left and walked over to the war memorial, where American aircraft left over from the war are on display. Remember some of them well.

Practicing English with the Locals

Got back to the hotel about 7:30-8PM after walking around the lake (which you can do in 30 minutes). Jeanette was checking out about 10 elderly ladies standing in a line doing small taps and massage therapy to each other. I was just sitting there and a young college kid comes up and asked if I spoke english and wants to practice his english. Pretty soon we had 3 of them practicing their english.

Nice kids and its pretty common for them to approach you and want to talk or take a picture with you. Got back to the hotel and they were wondering what happened to us. You only get so much daylight in a day use it. Next day we had a tour of world famous HaLong Bay.

The World Famous HaLong Bay

Met James and Helen from Britian on the 3 1/2 hr. ride out to the bay. Went to see a beautiful bay with small pointed islands (1900+ of them) pointing out of the sea. Our ship along with about 10 others said around these small islands.

Underneath the arch the French guys and James and Helen.


1969 of these limestone karsts and islands jutting out the bay.
Some of the 10 big boats that I counted doing the same thing we’re doing.

Beautiful sights even of the other ships. Got my first experience kayaking, if we had been a big boat we would of sunk the other Kayaks. Once we got the hang of if, it was a lot of fun and tiring. Food was great and our room was super with a balcony. More to come.


Had a fun night with the karaoke singing (not me) and dancing. Next morning took a tour of the people livinging on the bay.


We (6 of us) were in a row boat and judging from the workout Jeanette and I got from the light weight kayaks these rowers were getting a good workout.

People that live on the bay.
A night fishing squid boat. Lights attract the squids.
Our ride as arrived.

Took up a nice tip for our guy, also had young ladies doing the same thing. Finished our tour and headed back to Hanoi. Said good bye to our new friends James and Helen from Britian who were heading further north to do some hiking. James has some great stories about travelling/backpacking in the U..S. in the 70’s. Told him he should write a book. Promised to keep in contact.

Heading Out To Our Last Stop

One of our daughters friends dad told us about this hotel. Was really nice and the front desk and employees couldn’t ask for better service.

Gets a lot “worse” when people get off work. Pure entertainment.

We’re driving in Vietnam with the Tutt-tutt, bicycles (hauling customers), bicycles pedestrians, and cars all vying for the use of the road. Amazing how they get from point A to point B. They do and the cars all look pretty good.

People put their tables and chairs out by the tracks and have to move them when the train comes through.
Jeanette standing where people clear out when the train comes through. Probably 5 mph.

Showed jeanette a place where the homes are so close to the railroad tracks that they have to go indoors when the trains passes. Heading out to our last stop tomorrow. Hong Kong.

XOXO – John

Sent 1/27/17

“We Do It For The Experience.”


Coming down the home stretch. As we left Hi Chi Minh (formerly Saigon), we decided to fly this time. A little to far to take the bus. Going in we had heard and read that the capital of Laos was more of a laid back city.

They weren’t wrong, nothing like the other cities we had been to. Granted they had their one big market. The night life was almost non-existent. The tutt-tutt were here. A little more power than the previous ones we have used.

Admiring The Sights

Nice warm day in front of the Patouxai.

Beautiful temples and parks abound. Probaly the most popular sight would be the Patouxai, an arc modelled after France Champs Elysees. Built in the 1950’s. Come down Xang Avenue. Pretty impressive sight.

Buddha Park

At Buddha Park. The last 2-3 miles of dirt road to the park.

Probably the most we’ll remember about it is the ride out there in our tutt-tutt. We bounced all over in the back of the tutt-tutt. Out side the park sat a man playing a flute blowing out through his nose. Pretty clever and of course if you wanted him to play just drop a bill or some coins into a pale and he would play and you could take pictures.

He played music by blowing air through his nose into the flute.

Your Have Two Choices

Had a good evening at the Aussie pub. On our way home one night Jeanette wanted to try a a street venders pastry (who would bring his cart to the same spot each night) that everyone was lining up for. Even cars pulled-up awaited.

You had two choices with or without the egg. Jeanette chose without. He pulled out some dough and commenced to flatten it out. Added some bananas and folded it into a 6×6 inch square. On his hot plate he could cook 3 at a time. Non stop ..the man had talent.

Back on the Bus

Only spent a couple days here in the capital and prepared to head up north to Luang Prabang. Granted we could of probaly flew up there in about and hr. or so (just as cheap as the bus fare) but as a fellow British gentleman traveller said “we do it for the experience.”

Crazy, but true. Some places that jeanette and I took a bus or the train I wouldn’t do again. This trip if I could go the other way I would. Told you it’s crazy, especially since it took 11hrs. 15 min. Also we were all in agreement that the drivers looked like they were both 20 yrs. old.

It was a V.I.P. bus and they could handle it. The mountain passing were a little touchy now and then, and the time we left a French couple running along side and pounding on the bus. Jeanette and I made friends with a couple of Swedish girls that we continued to run into throughout our stay in town.

The girls from Sweden with Jeanette.

About the British Gentleman

He bailed me out of a situation. Every couple hrs. The bus would stop to stretch and use the bathroom which cost 20 Kip. I had 10 and some big bills 8000Kip= $1 U.S. dollar. The Brit loaned me the remaining 10 k, pennies.

Visiting Rice Wine Distilleries

Our stay here took us on the Mekong River through a village that not only had their own rice wine distilleries, 55 proof….looked like a moonshine setup, but bottled, labeled and sold it themselves. Don’t really know about that part though.

Tasting some of the local “home brew.”

Actually got to drink some as it was coming thru the pipes after cooking. Drinking it straight out of a pepsi can.Bought some and had to mix it with a slush later that night. Couldn’t sip it, had like a vodka taste. Had fun in Whiskey Village though.

The Monks of Pal Ok Caves

The tour continued on to the Pal Ok Caves. The best known are Tham Ting (lower), and Than Phoum (upper caves). The lower caves has been filled with damaged or old and+ unwanted Buddhas I think our guide said their are hundreds of Buddha’s in the cave. As we exited the lower cave Jeanette and I headed up the stairs to the higher cave. Got to the top with only two breaks, Jeanette took 5.

Looked around and as were heading back down the steps about 4 monks are climbing up. Just as we are about to pass them one monk throws up his arms says something to the others and turns around and heads back down. He looked a little bit bigger that the other monks. Was pretty funny how he did it.


Got back in our personal boat and headed back to town to trade it in for a van and head out to the Kouang Si waterfall. Swimming it was to cold, though some of the younger kids did get in the water. Water was a crystal clear blue. They say during the monsoons, it’s really beautiful.


Got back to town and what was earlier a functioning car road is being transformed into a night market. Their selling a little bit of everything. It goes on every night till 10p. If we get up early (5:15 a) enough we can watch the monks going around and collecting all the donation from the people.

The monks are out at 6AM calling whatever you chose to give.

Jeanette and I took the ferry across the river to a small village, negotiated a price for a tutt-tutt tutt and took us a 3 hr. ride out to see a home business of pottery making and another waterfall. Got to watch some construction workers and traffic work together.

Water fall was nice but met a really cool guy that had a set of horns. Longest horns on a bull I’ve ever seen. Just a lot of fun this town had to offer. It’s becoming well know in the western world. It has been said at any given time there are more tourist than locals.

Hanging out with my 28 year old “best bud.”


See you soon!

XOXO – John

Sent 1/26/18



Ho Chi Min City – The History of Saigon, Vietnam

Ok here we go about Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon). Again a 6 hr. bus ride from the capital of Cambodia. When I do these bus rides I always try to figure out which way the bus is going (North, South etc.), so I try to sit on the opposite side of where the sun rises so your not sitting on the sunny side for 3-4hours. Anyway that works about half the time. Hopefully the cloud cover will help you out.

The Cambodian Border

Got to the Cambodian exit border, no problem. Got off the bus to eat in-no-man’s-land as our driver’s helper referred to it. It’s between the exit Cambodian border and the entrance of the Vietnam border.

Ate, got back on the bus for about 150 yrs., got off the bus, luggage was unloaded, grabbed our bag and preceded to luggage check which consisted of someone screening the luggage and you walking thru the screener and if it beeped no one was there to wand you.

Someone was sitting there to stamp our passport books. Of course someone had the wrong visa date . Held us up for about 45 minutes. Really pretty laxed. Fine with me. Especially after going through those of the eastern block countries.

The Presidential Imperial Palace

All in all was a really nice bus ride, a lot of scenery through the small towns and the roads we pretty decent. Took a tour of the former Imperial Palace where the (former President of South Vietnam lived) is now called Re-unification Palace. Used now only for special events.

The Presidential (Imperial) Palace – Now known as Re-unification Palace.

A Battle of North vs. South

Saw similar tanks (North Vietnams that are permanently parked) that had the same numbers as those that broke through the gates April 30, 1975. Unfortunately one tank (#843) didn’t have enough speed when busting thorough the wrought iron gate and got stuck whereas the other tank (#390) had the speed and busted through the gate onto the palace grounds and the South Vietnamese flag was lowered and the North Vietnamese flag was raised.

Vietnam Tank
Similar tanks that broke down the gates to enter the Presidential (Imperial) Palace.

Went over to the American consulate and it is guarded. One guard had a rifle which you could see and another was in a guard shed. Saw a motor bike stop close to and entrance and immediately the guard stepped out blew a loud shrieking whistle and said something in a loud menacing voice the bikers nodded and took off. They even told us to keep moving when we were walking by it and stopped. Not that you could see anything, walls were so high. I think this is where all the evacuation flights took place along with the Imperial Palace in April, 1975.

Their Side of The Story

On the tour saw different types of weapons (both sides Vietnamese & American) used. Interesting to see that they weren’t that far from Saigon. Even Jeanette had to admit (I had already warned her) that everything would be slanted their [Vietnam] way, and it was. We’re both aware of it so it was no problem. Really saw it on the fighting fields up north when I was here 6 years ago.

We could hear gun shot as we were doing the tour. Eventually we made our way over to the firing range. You could fire a Russian (known as one of the most durable weapons in the world) AK47, an American M-16 or a 30 caliber machine gun.

Jeanette firing the M-16. She said the M-16 had more of a kick than the AK47.

We chose to fire 10 rounds (bullets) each from the AK47 and M-16. Each round cost $3.00 each, so (20×3=$60.00). I started out first with the M-16 and fired 5 rounds.


By the way we had ear muffs on….or what ever their called. Then it was her turn. The weapons are kind of mounted so you can’t swing them around. We’re shooting at bottles. She did good, just fired her 5 shots, and we did the same with the other weapon.

Isn’t She Precious

She made the mistake of removing her headset in between when someone else started firing. It’s loud and were outside. Another lady was with her husband and she fired 1 round and she quit. Said that was enough for her.

Jeanette wanted to know if we had and kind of headset when I served in Vietnam. One of my Vietnam buddies go after I told him about jeanette’s question “that’s precious”, he said. She said to me no wonder you have a hearing problem. Nope, Dr. says “you have selective hearing…you hear what you want to hear”.

The Party Street

Walking home from a play. These motor bikes are everywhere…streets and sidewalks.

Normally we may have to walk a short distance or take a tutt-tutt, but this hotel along with at least 5 others are within 50 yards of a major party street. Probaly not as loud as Pub Street, but just as crowed. Met different travellers from all over the world. They should put a big name across their street like Pub Street did.

Party Time!!!

Times change and as Jeanette mentioned you really don’t see a lot of old people. Where they at? I think I’m the only person in the whole country who has grey hair!

😎 Still lov’n the food!

XOXO – John

Sent Sunday, 1/21/18


The “Good Fortune” Birds of Cambodia

After leaving Siem Reap our next stop was the capital of Cambodia. Another bus trip through the villages. I enjoy the sights and I think Jeanette does also. Flying would probably probably take about and hour the bus ride about 6 hrs. It’s just the experience of seeing the countryside which I enjoy.

Our lobby at hotel…absolutely fabulous. Drive LooAnn was cool good guy.

History of Cambodia

Originally I was going to bypass Phnom Penh, but I had heard of the killing fields of Cambodia. Not only from the movie (which I will see when I get home). Spoke to a traveller who had been out to see the fields, very somber.

A monument to those who died during the rule of Khmer Rogue.

There are estimated to be around 20,000 of these fields around Cambodia where approx 1/3 of Cambodia’s population perished under Pol Pot’s Khmer Rogue 4 year (1975-79) rule. Seen the Nazi internment camps in Germany and Poland. Just have to say this one is just different.

I’m Like A Bird And Want To Fly Away…Sort Of.

On a brighter note the boardwalk was just a lot of fun and activity. Food, entertainment and people galore. One of the big things was the people selling these small birds to people…in pairs. They would buy the birds, hold them in their hands, whisper something to the birds and toss them in the air.


Sitting by a couple from Montana, trying to figure out what is meant by this act, they didn’t know either. This girl bought a couple said something tossed them, one flew off the other just fell straight down, think it was dead. Something about “good fortune.” Poor girl. It was just strange!!

River boardwalk. 
Our means of transportation. A/C is always on. 

Time to leave Cambodia!




Sent 1/19/18

Buy Us A Beer And We’ll Call It Even

Sorry for the delay in not getting these to my blogger (daughter Britt, and her busy schedule), in between being lazy, partying, falling asleep early after a busy day. We could even give our friend Nancy Gornowicz a run for the money in the Fit bit walks. We put in our share of pounding the pavement each day.

After arriving at the airport in Siem Reap, Cambodia from Malaysia, we were told by the hotel a driver would be there to meet us. Immigration no problem, had previously gotten visas. Went out to find our driver, got there and there must of been 45+ drivers holding pieces of paper with “your name” printed on them.


Sun is shinning in our eyes as all the incoming passengers start looking for their name. Probably walked back and forth 5 times..no name…called the hotel, they said “he’s on his way. Be there in 15 min.”

We’re Out of Gas

Told Jeanette let’s take a cab. No, she said.. called hotel there sending someone else. He shows up with our name printed, don’t know if Jeanette has ever seen that before, or been met with a driver holding your name. Cool.

Anyway turned out to be a tutt tutt. A motorcycle with a little cart attached behind it. We had ridden in them before in Jakarta. Got in and headed for the hotel (it’s about 3p), driving along and it sputtered, Jeanette looks at me and says “We’re out of gas,” I nod.

Made it about another block and it stopped. Come to find out he was trying to make it to the gas station. He pushing with both legs while still sitting on his seat. Had about 1 1/2 football fields to the gas station. I go “let me help this guy,” got out and started pushing from the back. He got off the bike and it was really easy to push, but his fellow tutt tutt drivers were making comments to him as they went by.

Told people about it and they said it’s something you don’t see everyday …passengers pushing the tutt tutt’s. Was pretty funny actually.

Bus Us A Beer And We’ll Call It Even

Hotel manager came out to greet us and was sorry that the 1st driver didn’t show and asked how everything was. I told him great, except the 2nd driver ran out of gas and I had to help him push. I said “buy us a beer and we’ll call it even.” He (himself) went and got us two beers. Each day he would come over and talk to us. Enjoyable employees.

Angkor Wat Monument

Angkor Was becoming a known place. Quite a few people here.
Spread all around Siem Reap lie more than 100 Angkorian monuments. The one I heard about was Angkor Wat built around the 12 century. A lot of the things that are there now are replicates due to thefts.
From the 15th century when it was abandoned, to the 1900’s. German and Japanese firms have come in and done a lot of restoration work to the temples. Trees that have grown out of the stones, old steps that led down to swimming pools. The temple is amazing.We spent two days just in and around the other monuments. Others they know about, but the jungle still has a hold on them.

Night(s) On The Town

Out on tours during the day and heading down to Pub Street a couple nights. They do know how to have a good time. Jeanette got the little “fishes” feet manicure, along with some kind of feet and leg massage. The guy beside her fell asleep and was snoring. The girls started laughing.

The “outrageous” prices we had to pay to have fun! Wasn’t a long street, but it was rock’n!

We had a really good time here and if I hadn’t been rambling on so long I would tell you the story of the ex-Cambodian Colonel who owned a bar. That was another fun night!



Sent 1/15/17



The Awesome Sights of Kuala Lumpur

Arrive in Kuala Lumpur after a 6 hr. bus trip from Singapore. If we flew it would probaly have cost us a few more dollars than the bus. Reason being why we didn’t fly, is I enjoy seeing the countryside. Again it wasn’t the best of sights, to much freeway. Good thing about this bus trip, it dropped (stopped) right in front of our hotel.


What a really comfortable bus and we had the 1st two seats up front. Hotel was really nice. I would say the best one that we’ve stayed at. We figured out the metro system, but still decided to do a lot of the walking. Really inexpensive to ride the metro (underground) and they all seem to come stop at a mall.

How’s Jeanette Doing

She (Jeanette) can’t believe all the shopping that she could do here. Another time. We still enjoy all the variety of food that’s available. I told Jeanette that the hard part of the trip would be after we left Australia, because of the language barrier. Not been a problem, everyone speaks a little English. From the reception desk, waiters and sales personnel.

Jeanette’s getting waited on at an outdoor restaurant.

In my earlier travels I’ve heard about places from other (travellers) that Jeanette never has. She’s doing great, getting involved with other travellers that have been to where we’re going.

Just An Awesome Sight

A site about 200 yards from our hotel The Petronas Twin Towers was the world’s tallest structure until 2004. Signed up the day before for the next day for a 4:30 p.m., earliest that we could get in. Always enjoys getting up high to get an over view of the whole city.

We’re so high up here! We got to walk between the two towers.


One Of The Biggest Shrines Outside India

Another sight is the Batu Caves, which will cater to thousand in late January. One of the biggest shrines outside of India. Don’t know if you want to see this festival. There is piercing with metal hooks with ropes attached to them. Absolutely will be packed.


Getting ready to tackle the upper portion of the caves.
Hot and humid. We were beat after this day!


XOXO – John


Sent 1/8/17

The New Years I’ll Never Forget – Singapore

A little late telling about our New Years celebration. Day started with us taking a ride on a giant ferris wheel, it takes 30 minutes to complete its cycle. The whole city and outline areas you can see. If you have ever ridden in a cable car, I think this is what these are. You can have a complete dinner served.

Ferris Wheel
In our capsule. Could of had a full dinner or got married here.

Our car must of had 12 people in it at least. Stand up walk around or sit. Pretty neat. Had talked to a few people as to where would be a good place to stand for the fireworks display. As we left the ferris wheel we walked over the bridge where I thought it would be a cool place to stand got a couple choices.

You Have To Try The Chili Crab

Earlier in the day we were weighing our options, stay out all day or have dinner and go back to the room for a couple hours. Had been sprinkling off and on. Decided to have dinner and go back to the room. We’re told we had to try the chili crab. Found this great venue, waterfront view, and great food.

Jeanette has commented about our experiences with hotels, tour services and food (don’t think we have eaten out yet at a place that she didn’t truly enjoy what she had), it was a delicious dinner. A little bit out of our budget, but we had been told about this area and you only get to go around once. Enjoy it, and we did.

Our chili crab dining spot.

Headed back to the hotel (about a mile+) for a couple hours. Left the hotel and headed back to the harbor, streets were kind of empty. It’s about 8:30p I thought to myself is everyone at the harbor. As we making our way back to the harbor, streets/sidewalks were blocked off, and police were everywhere. We started to head to one of the spots we had been told was good.

Singing In The Rain – Or At Least Waiting In the Rain

Absolutely no way your getting thru that human wave of people, plus it’s sprinkling a little hardner now. Made our way to the waters edge which was probably 10 feet wide, since all the eating/drinking establishments along the boardwalk were fenced in and were fenced out. Reservations only.

Couldn’t even order a beer. We’re standing 3 deep from the edge of the water with (almost) three hours till New Years. The people sitting on the ground(1st row) had been there since 7p, a young German couple had been sitting since a little after 8p. And their covering themselves with their umbrellas. Conversation with the young German couple was interesting 7 weeks vacation. Traveling all over.

All the while tons of people are walking different directions behind us. Just had to find find a spot and wait. The rain would come and go. Wasn’t a cold rain, just a wet one with everyone holding an umbrella all within a 6 ft walking space. The sitting and standing have the other 4-5 ft.

The Moment Is Getting Near

After almost 3 hrs. of standing (in the sprinkle and rain) the moment is getting near. They had two previous fireworks display that lasted about 1 minute each. Pretty good. The laser/water show was was good also. The laser show came from the top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. If you have an extra $400 p/night you can stay there.

Marina Sands Hotel
The Marina Sands Hotel. What a great site!

Absolutely a beautiful hotel, which just happens to have a boat (on top) connecting all three hotels. Went to the very top (where the boat is) for a drink. Was told that there is a $48 cover charge p/person that doesn’t include a drink just to enter the bar. Had to pass, even though we got to look over the edge.

Marina Sands Hotel Night
Night photo of the Marina Sands Hotel.

Once the count down started I had already warned Jeanette people would start jocking for position. We had already got a front row (for Jeanette and umbrellas were up…its raining) I kinda got in beside her and there were phones above, beside my head all recording the fireworks.

I Would Give A 6 Out of 10

I think we were in an excellent spot. (On a football field I would say we were on the 45 yard line). Overall on a scale of 1 thru 10 for the display I would of given it a 6. It was raining pretty good and a lot of low fireworks (skimming the water)….never seen that before, explosions everywhere that left a lot of smoke so you couldn’t really see some of the higher explosions.

Once we got into one of the eateries, all was forgiven. Had a couple drinks and started walking “home.” All streets blocked, with a minimum of 3 police with sometimes 7. We had to go a certain way that was blocked, talked our way thru about 4-5 blockades.

Sweet Talking The Police

1st blockade would let Jeanette and I thru, when we got to the 2nd one they would tell us “no you can’t go this way.” We would tell him “so and so” said it was OK. They all gave us permission to pass.

We wished them all a Happy New Year and they wished us one back. I was 75% soaked and Jeanette’s upper body was dry and lower…including shoes was drenched. Saw people with no umbrella at all. Like I’ve mentioned to a few people this is one New Years I’ll never forget. In Singapore

Leaving Singapore for Lumpur, Malaysia


Here’s Jeanette trying to figure out how to get this “little” piece of machinery past customs. It’s filled with small pieces of gold (of different weights) that you can purchase right out of the machine at the Harbor Front mall as we were getting ready to depart Signapor e for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Happy New Year – John


Sent 1/3/17

Our little tutt-tutt turned into oncoming traffic – Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta Hotels

Even though I’ve been in Singapore for a few days, just like to finish up a few things about Jakarta, Indonesia. Most people arrive and depart for other parts of Indonesia. Can’t say that I disagree with them. But we stayed in Jakarta for a couple days. Hotel was excellent. Nice bedroom, checked out the bathroom, noticed that it was a combo bathroom/shower with no shower door or curtain. Seen them before in other countries, but didn’t know if Jeanette had. She hadn’t. Told her it was just a bathroom with an open shower, no she told me it’s a shower with a toilet in it.

Though we had a driver/guide in Bali, here we just kind of winged it. Read about the old Dutch area of Kota on the coast. Decided to go up there, only Jeanette and I were the only two people walking around these old wooden schooners. To me I would of called them Chinese junks name that I knew them as.

This schooner just sat low in the water. Still applying their trade. You just had to see these old wooden boats. Even got to climb aboard one.

Some guy (2nd guy spoke english…1st guy didn’t, couldn’t understand him didn’t use him) comes up to us and asks if we would like to take a tour for $10 each. I thought to myself great get on one of these boats and never be seen again. But Jeanette wanted to, plus a van pulled up and 8 people got out for a tour.

We (driver, tour guide and us) got into a small wooden fishing boat and just toured along these old (really old) schooners. It was great watching them load the boat using antiquated rigging gear. They paid the equivalent $7.oo U.S.p/day docking fee and could dock there 7 days max. Most of the boats were heading across the sea to Borneo.


Organized Chaos

Was a fun tour and off to lunch/dinner. I’m not a late eater and I think Jeanette is (still don’t know after 39 yrs. marriage). So we try to eat before 5p. At dinner, submitting a video of how they drive, were on the 3rd. floor with a window.

All these drivers seem to know what they are doing.

Pure entertainment watching 2 guys hustling, stopping other cars while letting their car thru and getting some form of payment. Some guys gave them a coin…others didn’t. Cars going every which way. Our own driver in his little tutt-tutt turned back into oncoming traffic for about 50 yards (till he turned onto our hotel street), the oncoming cars didn’t honk, nothing. Jeanette and I were laughing, he dropped us off and we all started laughing again.

XOXO – John


Sent 1/1/18

Monkey Tricks in the Monkey Forest – Bali

“Monkeying Around” in Bali!

Had our driver (tour guide) for 2 full days. Had a great time at the Monkey Forest. For “x” amount of rupiads you could buy a banana (from a worker) hold your arm out (turn away from them), a monkey would jump on your shoulder grab the banana and start eating it. What got interesting was if another monkey wanted it also. They never hurt you, but the screeching and the one with the banana would jump off you and take off with the other in pursuit. Happened everywhere. The younger juveniles kind of had their own play area…non-stop wrestling.

If the monkeys got tired of the humans they had their own rest area that was off limits. The monkeys probably had a 6 ft. fence around parts of the enclosure. We asked the attendant “what happens when the monkeys venture outside their compound, which they do,” he says “monkeys smart they know what time feeding time is.”

Was a lot of fun dealing and watching them. Girls and women were definitely more afraid of them than the guys. One sat on Jeanette’s shoulder, one put his hand in my t-shirt pocket looking for food. These monkeys were pretty cool.

Beware Of The Wild Monkeys

Let me tell you about some other wild monkeys. Went out to see a couple temples 1) was built on a 200 ft. cliff and the other ( about 1/2 mile away) when the tide came in became and island. Tons of people there. If you ever want to see anything special try not to do it on Christmas break for the kids.Even though they don’t celebrate Christmas, a Christmas theme and music is everywhere.

About the temples, they were blocked off, except for special functions. You could see them, just couldn’t enter them. We’re told by our driver to be aware of these monkeys. Didn’t know they even had monkeys out here. Never said anything about the previous day venture .

Anyway found out soon enough as we started walking to the 1st temple. A gent was walking by with his family and told me I should remove my glasses. Showed me his, had a bite Mark and said the Monkey grab it off his face. Took mine off and put them in my pocket. 4 people that we saw had their glasses taken!

On our way our to the waterfalls, all these little communities have their own worshipping temples. I had to wear a sarong to enter them.

Jeanette came up with this explanation

The monkeys probably don’t get the treats that the monkeys do at the Monkey Forest. So they’ve learned a pair of glasses will get them a great. The attendants along the trail make hat and glasses wearers aware that the monkeys will take them. When the Monkey grabs something the attendant comes over and takes out a treat from a satchel, tosses it to the Monkey who had to use both hand to catch it and drops the glasses or whatever. The attendant has to climb over the block wall ( remember there is a big drop-off)and retrieve the item. Then, since you’ve been warned he will charge you 100,000 rupiads=$7.31 U.S. That is Jeanette’s explanation. These monkeys have everything in their possession, candy bars, full water bottles. Watch your belonging around these guys. Their good. Haha

Serene Waterfalls

On one of the tours in Bali, and a fun part was driving there. It was crazy but nobody has any dents on their cars. We headed out to a waterfalls (that was included) that will never be mistaken for Yosemite Falls, but non the less we had a fun time. Climbing down and getting some pictures taken by the local boys (friendly, helpful) and crossing the (bigger than a stream, but not as big as a river) water. Definitely didn’t want to fall in. Climbed up the other side, really a nice place to be to escape the hustle/ bustle of the city. Relaxing, when it rains it pours.

Going back to the hotel, both sides of the car have motorscotters heading the same directions we are. When it starts raining, they all pull over (not a scotter on the road) to wait out the rain, or put on rain gear and move on. For a moment there it’s like a normal street. Lol. For refreshments, it’s like a dry country. No wine that Jeanette was willing to pay that much for. Only thing that seems to be expensive. You really have to look.

Waterfall heart
Our own personnel heart at the falls!


XOXO John”


Sent 12/29/17

Monkey Forest Ubud

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