Crohn’s Chronicles III

I am thrilled to note that during the course of my four and a half month trip around the world, I did not have to start a cycle of prednisone. I did become a bit more symptomatic at certain points throughout the journey, and I almost brought myself to call my GI and get his approval to start on prednisone. Thankfully, these mini-flares (possibly due to my stomach adjusting to new foods, etc) went away just in the knick of time. I certainly did not want the powerful mood-affecting steroid to impact my experience. Continue reading

So long, Saigon

 

An old gunner fort on the left, a stunning view to the right, and some Vietnamese kids that have put our difficult history in the rear-view mirror. Welcome to Vietnam.

It is with some sadness that I say goodbye to Vietnam. When we arrived in Vietnam about three weeks ago, I was anxious about how we could adequately see this county without feeling rushed. But we did it. Between the beautiful land and the exceptionally friendly people, I was blown away by the vibrancy of Vietnam. Continue reading

Rendezvous with the ‘rents

 

Bui Vien street is the spot for all the best bars in town. We spent lots of time here.

A couple weeks ago, my dad was at CVS talking to a pharmacist while on the phone with me. He told the woman that he was speaking with his son in Vietnam, to which she responded, “My son is in Afghanistan!” My dad reminded her that the war was over in Vietnam, and that I was in the country simply to travel. It’s amazing how Vietnam still has this connotation. My dad, who was too young to be drafted during the war, has always been fascinated by this misunderstood country. My three weeks in Vietnam was a perfect excuse for my parents to finally make the trip.

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All suited up

 

I got two suits and six shirts for about $300

Every traveler in Asia knows that you should spend three days in Hoi An, but not because of the charming ancient town or the pristine beach. Hoi An is famous for its skillful tailors who make custom clothes for a ridiculously cheap price. In fact, just about every single storefront in this city is a tailor’s shop. Continue reading

I had lunch with a Vietnamese family

 

The only photo we have of our BBQ lunch with a local family

On our way from Hue to Hoi An, we pulled our bikes over at a place called Elephant Falls to take a dip in some natural pools. It was crowded with locals who were eating, drinking, and swimming at the falls. One family saw the three of us in the water and tossed us some beers. Next thing I knew, I was being force fed Vietnamese barbecue and crushing beers with our new friends.

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Fast and furious

Motorbiking from Hue to Hoi An is a dumb idea. With awful road conditions, shitty old bikes, and notoriously dangerous traffic, such a trek is not for the faint of heart. Nevertheless, every backpacker will attest that biking down the long coast of Vietnam is necessary to really experience the natural beauty this country has to offer. So we rented bikes, strapped on helmets, and drove down to Hoi An.

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