Megnut

The SE Asia high low

I don't usually think of things in terms of "best" and "worst." Actually, that's untrue. I often say "best" or "worst" but I don't really mean it; everything's "best" with me whenever I have any regard for anything, prone as I am to exaggeration. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I usually don't do any kind of comparative judgment and actually mean it. But Mr. Noodlepie asked us during lunch one day in Saigon about some of the highs and lows of our trip, and I've been thinking about it ever since.

So now that I'm back, I thought I'd give a little high-low summary:

HONG KONG
Low: The crab dinner at the Shanghainese restaurant. I think it also qualifies as the low point of the entire trip for me.

High: Our visit to the Big Buddha on Lantau Island at the Po Lin Monastery, eating yummy salt and pepper shrimp on our trip to the outlying island of Cheung Chau.

BANGKOK
Low: A Friday walk to Chinatown. Most guidebooks and people will tell you that Bangkok isn't really a walking city, but we're stout walkers and we endeavored to walk as much as possible. One day that was nearly my undoing as we walked (for what seemed like forever) along exhaust-choked avenues filled with racing cars. At every intersection we had to deal with crossing the smoggy street with no crosswalks or in many cases street lights. By the time we reached our destination, I was ready to call it quits and head to the air-conditioned breathability of our hotel room.

High: A tie between our visit to Jim Thompson House and our Thai cooking class. Also high: the food in Bangkok, from street to fanciest hotel, it was amazing and delicious and I wish I had some right now! Bangkok was my favorite of the three cities we visited, and the cooking class probably was the highlight of the entire trip for me.

SAIGON
Low: There was no particular low in Saigon, though when Jason hit his head, "into a metal box hanging off of a pole" that was not so great.

High: Our day in the Mekong was really nice. Also all the yummy French food. Saigon didn't have the highs or lows of the other two cities. Perhaps I was more in the travel groove? Or perhaps I was more out of the travel groove and ready to come home? Not sure. I didn't enjoy Saigon quite as much as I'd expected to, though I have a feeling I'd like visiting the Vietnamese countryside, and some smaller cities like Hue. I would like to return and find out.

All in all, a good first trip to Asia. I look forward to going back another time, once the four-movie-watching looooooongness of the fifteen+ hour plane rides have faded from memory.

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