We took nine days to drive to Ha Tien and back. Our original goal was the southern-most tip of Nam, but as with most things, changes and mistakes were made. We rolled with it and eventually got to some good biz. We visited many of Vy’s family and family friends along the way. Josh accompanied us for about half the trip. No injuries occurred, which is great. My bike did have a piston failure, but it was a quick, cheap fix. The pictures are pretty neat. Enjoy!
Josh checking his gear status as we set out.
A couple of hours otutside of HCMC, tragedy struck. My piston had a soft seizure and required a new head and rings.
When I’m sufficiently hot, I look like a drag queen getting ready for a big night.
Josh looks like a skinny Theo.
Vy’s pants can give you seizures.
This motherfucker tried to sell us an Icee.
Stuck in this town overnight due to my bike troubles, we made do and walked through a park that evening.
Us waiting for 7 hours at a cafe for a repair to happen.
Fear not, the repairhappened. And it happened by this man’s hands. Wait. That man’s hands. On the right.
His hands. He refused to smile, but I made him do it. I’m a dick.
A house behind’s Vy’s Ba Noi’s house. Looks like a Swiss thing.
Us walking around the neighborhood near Vy’s Ba Noi’s.
A gate. Oh, yeah, this shit is all near My Tho.
Josh and I walking in the distance.
The tally man was coming to tally these coconuts.
Josh and I walking down a street.
A really Chinese-looking house.
Josh eating cold ice cream. I’d like to point out that Josh doesn’t wear diapers or require adult supervision. All of the photos I’ve posted of him so far from this trip are not flattering. I’m sorry, Josh.
Vy and her grandma. Ba Noi is tearing squids up like they’ve wronged her. I’d never seen a squid gutted. It was weird.
Josh looking normal. There you go. A normal photo of Josh.
Vy relaxing on a boat tour of the islands around Ben Tre.
A writhing bee orgy.
Vy communing with bees.
These fuckers were docile. Which is weird.
This banana tree’s flower stalk made me feel inadequate.
Salome, charming the snake.
Vy was way more freaked out by this snake than she let on.
Skin detail. This beefcake was huge.
He was really gripping my neck and shoulders. It’s weird how powerful boas are without appendages. I would have assumed that they could only grip when coiled around something, but they use their body as leverage against other parts of their body.
This poor, put-upon horse.
Josh letting small horse dominance wash over him.
This is the actual dog from The Little Rascals. He’s undying.
I wore this non-ironically for several minutes.
Vy is asian.
She thinks she’s better than you.
White people naturally feel guilty when wearing regional clothes for “fun”. I don’t know why people slap these on people. I mean, in this situation, we needed the sun protection, but you know what I’m talking about. An Egyptian tour guide slapping a turban on you for a photo is far more likely to elicit shame than fun.
This man puts the grind to the coconut.
He doesn’t drink ’em both up, though. He takes this coconut meat/shell slurry and wraps it in cheese cloth.
Then he squeezes the whole biz.
Then he takes the resultant sauce and slowly heats it while folding the mixture.
The biz is then dried and chopped up, like so.
Then these ladies sit ALL DAY LONG and fold thousands of these things up into candy packages. Surely, a robot could do this way faster and less cruelly.
Finished product! You can’t smell the labor!
This is an aborted attempt at a Bond-villain’s lair. The pictures don’t do it justice in terms of conveying the Bond-villain bit. Take my word, keep an eye out if you’re on this tour and imagine what kind of machinations a place like this could conjur in a body.
A tree. With ribbons on it. It is lucky because of the ribbons, before you ask. Because the ribbons.
Something meant to foil Bond’s efforts or perhaps launch an earth-threatening satellite?
Something about something.
A giant column on a topographical relief map made by a mad man.
This dude is cooking “dragon’s eggs” which are hollow balls of rice. I ordered one, but never recieved it. Ah, Vietnam, your service industry sucks more than any other country’s service industry. VN#1!
Cooking these weird spheres.
Tongue kissing a jack fruit. Upon reflection, I wonder: was the jack off?
A flash-fried fish. You can see the look of surprise burned onto his little face.
This is a coconut grub. It was so sweet! Really delicious, but not warm. It would have been better warm.
Hydration is key.
Josh with woman contemplating a jewelry purchase in the background.
This is Vy’s mom’s buddy. He was cool.
Josh displaying his fruits.
These fruits are called “boobs” or something in Vietnamese.
These fruits provided us with several minutes of infantile fun.
This bitch is heavy with child and ready to pop.
Vy’s Uncle Hoa and his wife, Hong. They were really nice and took excellent care of us!
We went out for breakfast in the morning and ate on a boat.
This is the coffee shop that Hoa and Hong own and run. The boy is Louis, our nephew.
Josh is 100% comfortable with this.
Everybody. Josh is doing a standard VN pose.
a shot of us approaching the suspension bridge between Vinh Long and Can Tho.
People parking on a fucking suspension highway bridge. I can’t begin to describe the lack of attention paid to safety by the mentally deficient people they give licenses to here.
Kites for sale!
Sitting beside the river and shooting the shit.
Sundown over Can Tho.
Josh and I looking at photos of a roadtrip we took several years ago.
Us searching alley ways for a small, private boat.
A boat we passed on the way to the floating market. It’s fucking 5 in the morning, by the way.
We got a floating breakfast.
This lady made soup, which seems like something not suited for eating on a small boat, but everybody was donig it and you know me.
These images fail to capture how small and frail our boat was.
This boat tried to kill us after this shot. It tried to smash us between another giant boat.
These are the floating market at Can Tho.
People hawing bananas and coconuts and biz.
Really cool shot of a boats propeller.
I got obsessed with propellers.
This lady making a coconut wrap-up thing.
Steaming the coconut paper.
Here’s a wrap thing in the process of being rolled.
These are delicious.
These are the finished wrap things.
Teddy bears have picnics. Corocdiles have orgies. It’s just how nature works.
Vy was entranced by the nippled on this bitch.
Dog racing, VN style.
These pigs are for racing, not eating. Though, they probably get eaten eventually.
This is called Sewer Bread, in Vietnamese.
This is how it’s made.
This is our breakfast the next morning.
Josh had to cut out back to HCMC to get to his wife.
We had a good trip with Josh. Unfortunately for him
This was our first stop after getting out of Can Tho. It’s a giant lake with some temple stuff around it. There was a 50 degree vertical road that I wanted to drive the scooter up, but my wife was too much of a puss. Being married only sucks when you want to do something and your spouse doesn’t. If We were dating, I’d have just broken up with her until we got to the top, then, after she finished crying out of fear for her life, I would have unbroken up with her. She would have been fine with this.
More sexy tree. Je t’aime, tree. Je t’aime.
Notice the satellite dish stuck to the old column.
These glacially deposited rocks were complete beef cakes. If I were a rock, I would want to be these rocks, but I’d likely be some lame, sickly rock with a large nose I inherited from my mother. Fuckin’ rock mom.
Driving around farmers rather than THROUGH farmers is a good life skill. Farmers kill.
Vy at a bánh xèo place. It was, handily, the best bánh xèo I’ve ever had.
Vy’s happy because the bánh xèo is so good.
The drinks were only okay.
The lady running the place talked for an hour (no exaggeration) about how great she was. Had the bánh xèo not been good it would have been intolerable.
She grew all the veggies (more than I’ve ever had before at any restaurant in my entire life) in her yard next door. It was late when we were eating, but behind Vy there is a garden. That’s where all this delicious shit comes from. Awesome.
Vy and I went to Tra Su forest. It was rad.
The boat was giong at a nice clip and I was enjoying myself.
This is either a Titanic thing or an omage to Michael Jacksons “Black or White”
At the top of a firewatch tower. There was a little coin operated binnocular thing that was non-functional and a Vietnamese government worker sleeping while his busted’ass’d cell phone speaker blared out embarrassingly shitty VN ballads. The forest could be actively engulfed in flames and all of those things would still be true.
Vy doing something on a trail or something. Maybe fire ants were biting her ass?
We drove to Ha Tien and took a stretch break at the docks. Really pretty.
This gutted ship was rotting in a small man-made inlet.
This trash eddy is a uniquely third world thing. This is super countryside. There aren’t many people out here. But the people who ARE out her hate not having trash in the water. They fucking hate it.
A catholic church.
They were doing some serious rebuilding. It looks like the entrance and steeple are all that’s original. Everything else was beign rebuilt.
Cool dock behind some houses.
The beach at Ha Tien. That broken rock pile on the left is the shattered remnants of the “Father nd Son” rock (or whatever it is called). It collapsed in 2004.
Some dried ocean chunklets.
Vy on the beach.
I like this photo a lot.
Another boat carcass. I’ve never seen so many dead boats just left to rot. It’s fucked up that somebody would just leave that shit. So fucking selfish.
Vy waiting for me to get back to the bike. I’m standing on a pile of discarded shells next to a shanty restaurant. The shell pile is easily 5 feet high as the shanty owners have been dumping their trash in the same place for years. It’s a feather’s throw from their restaurant. Such…. what is wrong with these people?
Vy waiting for some meat. She flipped about this shit.
She was really excited to eat as we were both quite hungry.
A weird “fun” place for kids.
A dog approaching me on the street.
Some loudspeakers for the morning communist message and a bunch of fucked up wires.
This lady making us Nuoc Mia.
Vy waiting for Nuoc Mia.
This Buddha is a friend to children.
Even children who’ve put their fingers where they shouldn’t have been and are now sniffing their sin.
If they’re going to make hundreds of the same statue, I’m going to at least post two identical pictures, damnit.
Eyebrows: Condition Red
Storage facilty for rogue Buddhas.
This lady has a lot to do.
I am a friend to children. They either hate or like being up that high.
This lady was getting her incense on.
Neon lights are the classy direction to go for statues. Brothels, bars and Buddhas, I say.
This weird disco cave is a temple.
Weird writhing baby statues.
Picking a nose or keeping a secret? You decide.
Such toys! These are for sale at a temple. These and huge piles more of toys. It seemed really weird to me to have so much commerce in a temple.
Some weird alien egg drink.
This is Ha Tien bay.
I’m poking around some caves, here.
And… poked. Ah. That’s better.
Ships moored in weird places.
Vy giving me the guns.
Flashing the shit out of an area with a tripod.
Humping R2D2’s cousin.
This was taken in Diamond Cave after the power went out. There was no light whatsoever. Had we been without flashlight, we’d have been fucked. Great job, VN Tourism!
Climbing out of DIamond Cave, covered in human sauces.
Crabs. Fried crabs.
Trying to cool off.
Kind of a futile task in VN.
Wind chime alley, apparently.
Our rack broke and this dude was so kind as to weld it.
Initially, he tried to arc weld it, but that just torched the thin metal. He soldered it and then arc welded it.
Mantis shrimp are weird. Even weirder than regular shrimp, which is a powerful thing to say.
C’thulu eggs. Do NOT mix these with the C’thulu jizz. The bible has a whole chapter about this. Also, don’t mix fabrics or trim the hairs on the sides of your heads. But, most importantly, never mix C’thulu eggs with C’thulu sperm if you happen to find both or be in a situation where you’re given the opportunity to do something like that.
This lady had some chickens she needed to make gone.
Chaly! For some reason Ha Tien was the world locus of Chaly activity. I’ve mever seen more Chalys in my life. Probably about 20% of all bikes in this town were Chalys.
Vy gearing up to enjoy some giant snails.
Vy enjoying breakfast the next morning.
A kid outside a temple cave.
Some giant cave lizards and their eggs.
Me walking away.
That giant dong-shaped rock above my head is a thing.
This kid didn’t notice the thousands of bats above all the buildings inside the cave. I blew his mind and possibly prompted him to become a bat-based superhero/villain.
Me getting abducted.
Light flitting, as it does.
White people are great.
This French dude wrote his name here in 1944. That would have ben just around the time the French were getting right and truly fucked in the region. Their power was waining due to WWII and they didn’t have the resources to secure VN.
Here’s some natural beauty. Lets fuck it up!
This is the ground above an overlook. The Vietnamese fucking love throwing trash. It’s like people sometimes buy things simply for the joy they derive from hunking shit on the ground. Fucking slobs.
More swallow nests.
A Shaft of light. No one understand this Shaft but his woman.
Vy by the interior temple.
This dog had an overbite. It would have been embarrassing for a non-dog.
Shoving dolls at dogs.
I took some rock HDRs and other shots throughout our cave time. So, check them ou. They’re all pretty.
This is a huge mountain-cave complex. It was, apparently, a big deal during the American war as VC hid in here and stored supplies and weapons here.
This cave had a creepy curtain in it.
Long exposure of curtain with flash. I think the decoration is for the bats. Trying to make them feel classy.
I like this and the next image, but I couldn’t decide which was better.
This shelf is a full-on shelf.
Cistern used during the war for water.
Vy next to a Buddha.
Stairway to Hobbit Heaven.
Walking around all the caves around the comlpex.
Sweating super hard at this point. Hot as fuck!
Climbing into a non-entrance.
Vy and I disagreed whether a 10,000 Dong note at the bottom of this crvace was real. I insisted it was fake because it looked to big, she insisted it was real.
This is me climbing back up. Vy was right. It was real. We stole 10,000 Dong from the gods and lived to tell about it.
Trying to start a fire with no luck.
The ferry home. We rode all along the Cambodian border.
Waiting for the ferry to dock.
Some barges dredging sand from the bottom of the Mekong.
Us on the highway back into HCMC.