The last week of my trip has been rather uneventful. Most notably, I took a trip to Halong Bay. The trip had its ups and downs. The kayaking and caving were great and I met some fabulous people, but the real point of it for many on board was booze. Lots of 18 year olds, drinking games, writing with marker on each other, etc. There are lots of opportunities for things like this in SE Asia, I’ve just avoided them until now. But hey, I saw what it was and it gave me the idea to write a piece on alcohol tourism for Westerners in Asia. And I was with a lovely group of people: two couples from England (Dave, Hailey & Hannah, Ant), Joy (who is from Naperville- small world!, who I originally met in Cambodia) and Patrick, also from the UK. They kept me entertained and engaged!

As for the bay itself, I really wasn’t as knocked out as I’d expected. I mean, it was beautiful- hundreds of rock formations rising out of serene waters, but as Robin, a nice Californian who I met put it, “shit, are you kidding? There’s stuff way more beautiful than this. Just wait until you get to Bali.”

Which, by the way, is where I am! And so far, it is more beautiful. I left the morning of the 15th for the airport, flew to HCMC then Singapore and finally Denpasar. It took about 15 hours! I never think about how far Indonesia really is as people traveling talk about it like it’s right around the corner.

I have spent the last four days lounging around at the home of a family friend, sleeping, reading, eating, sleeping some more, just as the doctor ordered. Today I went to the first half of a cremation ceremony, which I will write about in a separate post, and tomorrow I move to the Travel to Teach house. I’m ready to teach again, to have a home, a set place of residence.

I am beginning to feel slightly homesick but I’m hoping that a new phase will be just what I need!


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