PHEBESS's SparkPeople Blog PHEBESS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Money Falling From The Sky! Today is the first full moon of the Myanmar New Year. There have been monks speaking all weekend in front of the hotel, and today the monks collected their donated food items and toiletries. <BR> <BR> Then people tossed money from the upstairs apartment, and it was pandemonium as people tried to catch the bills as they floated down!!!! It was completely crazy and so funny! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>5/money-from-sky.html </link> <BR> <BR> And here are a f... Sat, 2 May 2015 08:48:36 EST Scuba diving video I've talked about our diving in several locations - here's a short video of scuba diving in Thailand. Very similar to our dives in Myanmar, the Solomon Islands, etc. Except each dive site is different, each dive is different. And I've never seen a manta ray, which would be beyond way cool. <BR> <BR> Enjoy! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>40285949&set=vb.392387640822484&type=2<BR>&theater </link> <BR> <BR> Fri, 1 May 2015 01:49:40 EST Scuba diving - in the Bay of Bengal! We did a two tank dive on Sunday. Well, really two dives, each with a single tank, and a 45 minute break in between. <BR> <BR> Lionfish! Clown fish! Nudibranchs! All kinds of coral, tons of fish, plus the SP fitness tracker claims I burned 1200+ calories during the two dives! (The first dive was about 45 minutes; our second dive was much shallower, so we were down there for maybe an hour.) I'm not sure I really burned that many calories, though diving is a tiring activity. But absolut... Wed, 29 Apr 2015 00:32:30 EST At the beach - at the Bay of Bengal!! We had quite the adventurous time getting to the beach - our flight was cancelled and we were put on a different airline. But didn't get this information until we were on the way to the airport. And of course the new flight was about 2 hours BEFORE the original flight. <BR> <BR> Exciting times! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>4/ngapali-beach.html </link> <BR> <BR> And my favorite Ngapali Beach photo, which doesn't even show the beauty of this place - it's just... Sun, 26 Apr 2015 11:27:01 EST We visited the Myanmar synagogue - wow! Really, who knew there was a synagogue still functioning in Myanmar? We sure didn't! <BR> <BR> Beautiful building, amazing history, and we're planning to attend services on Friday evening. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>4/from-torahs-to-tomatoes.html </link> <BR> <BR> We also walked through market streets - I love the fruits and vegs! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeo... Thu, 23 Apr 2015 02:35:43 EST Lunch With The Monks We didn't really eat with them, we arrived just as the monks were leaving - but we had a traditional Myanmar New Year lunch. And made a donation to the monks, who then wished us prosperity and good health and all that stuff. It was quite interesting! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>4/21-april-2015-weve-been-busy-but-the<BR>res.html </link> <BR> <BR> Now we're in Yangon (Rangoon), enjoying the colorful street vendors, and golden temples! <BR> <BR> <img src="ht... Tue, 21 Apr 2015 13:21:31 EST Inle Lake, a wonder of artsy industries Had a great day on the lake, motoring around in a little longboat and visiting cottage industry workshops - silversmiths, weaving, boatswains, and even the women who wear the rings around their necks. It was fascinating, and I like supporting the artisans who make these wonderful items. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>4/17-april-2015-were-staying-in-town-o<BR>f.html </link> <BR> <BR> And I love the monks in the boats! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.spark... Sat, 18 Apr 2015 00:59:47 EST Water Festival - Wonderful Insanity! Oh my - I was right out there dancing in the street under a spray of water, shooting up in the air from a fire hose! This is one of the funniest and craziest festive occasions I've ever seen - and in 100 F (35 or so C), it really is refreshing to get soaked with water by complete strangers! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>4/water-festival-little-bit-crazy-whol<BR>e.html </link> <BR> <BR> And I think this one photo sums up the whole experience! <BR> <BR> <img s... Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:36:36 EST Sightseeing is my favorite exercise! We're in Bagan, Myanmar - this is the place with some 3000 temples, pagodas, and stupas. Plus monasteries of Buddhist monks and nuns. We're in a gorgeous (and inexpensive) hotel, temperatures have hit 108 F (42 C?), and the water festival starts later today. So I spent yesterday visiting the temples, pagodas, and stupas that make this city famous. It was gorgeous, incredible, surprising, and uplifting. (Plus I walked over 6 miles, most of it barefoot, and including climbing steep and tal... Mon, 13 Apr 2015 01:44:31 EST Adventures in Travelling I had a most interesting tour around the outer parts of Mandalay - watched 1300 monks line up for lunch. And saw monks who were graduating from being novices. Saw countless Buddhas. Even took a ferry, and toured an island on the back of a motorscooter. Saw 600 year old Buddha statues, and temples that were even older. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>4/hes-myanmarian-rhinestone-cowboy.html </link> <BR> <BR> Plus I got in over 12,000 steps! <BR> <BR> Sat, 11 Apr 2015 14:10:21 EST Thai dancers, Prince Charming, and Mandalay It's been a busy day - I found lovely young women getting ready for a traditional Thai dance at our hotel. Then I met Prince Charming at the airport. And then, we flew to Mandalay, city of legend and mystery. Where it really is just very dusty and hot. But there are elephants on some of the currency! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>4/i-met-prince-charming-on-way-to-mand<BR>alay.html </link> <BR> <BR> And here are my lovely dancers: <BR> <BR> <img src="http:... Tue, 7 Apr 2015 08:41:05 EST Washing fish in Bangkok We weren't washing the fish, we watched the hotel staff washing the koi. I think the koi enjoyed it. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>4/koi-washing.html </link> <BR> <BR> We also have a great view of the city skyline. And watched the lunar eclipse tonight, which has been going on for several hours and is just about finished now. The moon rose mid-eclipse, which was a really odd sight! <BR> <BR> <img src=""... Sat, 4 Apr 2015 10:07:13 EST Lotus Blossoms! Not our most exciting week, but the flowers at our hotel are gorgeous! (I can always find something to enjoy, even when I'm sick. Always positive somehow.) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>4/lotuses-with-breakfast.html </link> <BR> <BR> And my favorite shot of the flowers in the lobby: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Thu, 2 Apr 2015 11:34:33 EST A Gorgeous Beach, and Dengue We went to Otres Beach, a quiet and mellow and GORGEOUS beach, and had a wonderful day. Hoped to get back, but I came down with dengue. (Mosquitoes love me.) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>3/beach-time.html </link> <BR> <BR> And who can resist sunset on the beach? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Wed, 25 Mar 2015 22:41:51 EST We made it to the beach town, Sihanoukville It just started drizzling, but we're by the beach, the air is warm and filled with floral fragrances, and life is relaxed and wonderful! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>3/beachy-atmosphere.html </link> <BR> <BR> And we had a great view of the big temple in Phnom Penh on our way out of town: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> No weird food on the trip, and I managed to avoid the mango-tainted fruit at the "co... Sat, 21 Mar 2015 00:39:13 EST Banana flower salad I've been talking about banana flower salad, which seems to be a SE Asian specialty. Wonderful salad for the hot hot days here in the tropical weather. <BR> <BR> But the restaurant today was all out of banana flower salad. I ordered something else. Which turned into a major food misadventure. Or food disaster. That was quite funny. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>3/misadventures-in-eating.html </link> <BR> <BR> And this is what banana flower salad with ch... Thu, 19 Mar 2015 11:33:15 EST Strength Training Comes In Handy!!!! We've found wonderful places in our neighborhood, including the open air market, and a chocolate shop. And I fought off a would-be purse snatcher - YAY for strength training! Really, I'm 60 years old but managed to yank my purse back out of the hands of a young guy on the back of a motor scooter as they accelerated away! I'm fine, just a bruised wrist and thumb. But I still have my purse! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>3/a-sad-day-in-neighborhood.html </link> ... Mon, 16 Mar 2015 11:56:48 EST Rural Cambodia We hired a car to go from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, which gave us several hours through rural Cambodia. Lovely stilt houses, frequent temple gates and glimpses of the temples behind the walls, and the occasional wedding banquet along the way! <BR> <BR> We're now in Phnom Penh, and enjoying a little urban time. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>3/14-march-2015-we-left-siem-reap-town<BR>.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a golden lion by the river: <BR> <BR> <img src="ht... Sun, 15 Mar 2015 02:20:59 EST The Angkor Wat Blog I did the three day temple trek, visiting nine temples in the Angkor region of Cambodia. Of course I went to Angkor Wat, the best known. But also eight other temples, each interesting and beautiful in their own way. <BR> <BR> I also managed to walk about sixteen miles in the three days! And lost track of how much water I drank. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>3/temple-tour-of-angkor-wat-angkor-tho<BR>m.html </link> <BR> <BR> Normally I add photos, but there a... Thu, 12 Mar 2015 05:13:57 EST The longest mural in the world - really! Hanoi has a 4 km long mosaic mural, commemorating the 1000th anniversary of the city. Built on a 900 year old dyke along the Red River. I walked about half of it (and back) - how to get your exercise and art all at once!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>3/the-worlds-longest-mosaic-mural.html </link> <BR> <BR> Just a few sample photos. Really, these are made from tile!!!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR>... Fri, 6 Mar 2015 11:27:12 EST Dragon Heaven on Earth We spent three days in Ha Long Bay, an incredibly gorgeous place in NE Vietnam. It's a huge bay full of weird rocky islands and pillars, absolutely beautiful! <BR> <BR> And full of floating villages, where people fish, grow mollusks, all kinds of interesting stuff! <BR> <BR> THIS is the kind of cruise to go on! Way cool!!!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>3/ha-long-bay-where-dragon-descended.html </link> <BR> <BR> The blog is full of photos, but this is one o... Wed, 4 Mar 2015 10:43:52 EST Hong Kong Retrospective We had a great two weeks in Hong Kong - and found a few more interesting things going on during the first few days of the Year of the Goat. <BR> <BR> Plus we had two Chinese roommates who were a source of amusement and introspection. Not that they meant to be. No, they didn't know how to use a shower curtain, and they locked themselves out of their own room. Phebe and Richard to the rescue! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/farewell-to-hong-kong.html </link> <... Wed, 25 Feb 2015 03:35:21 EST Fireworks Extravaganza!!!!! This was, hands down, one of the all time best fireworks displays we've seen! Three barges blasting fireworks into the sky over Victoria Harbor, with some huge percentage of Hong Kong's 7.2 million residents packed along the coastlines watching and oohing and aaahing in a medley of languages! <BR> <BR> The whole thing was like fireworks on double time, and the grande finale was an endless explosion of sound and color!!!!! <BR> <BR> Absolutely wonderful! <BR> <BR> <link>rollingluggagers.... Sat, 21 Feb 2015 09:56:21 EST Lunar New Year Parade! So, along with not knowing if this is the Year of the Goat, Ram, Sheep, or whatever, it doesn't have a number. Not like 2015, for example. Or 5775. But it definitely is the year of the Fuzzy Animal With Horns! Also the Year of Cute Children in Brocade! And the Year of the Dancing Dragon! <BR> <BR> As well as the Year of Phebe And Richard Can't Find The Parade, LOL! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/what-year-is-it-really.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src="htt... Fri, 20 Feb 2015 02:37:00 EST The New Year is almost here! The shopping frenzy continues - not us, the people around us! Tons of pop up markets on the side streets, flowers everywhere, and people rushing to finish getting ready for the Year of the Goat. Or the Year of the Sheep. Or maybe the Year of the Ram? Or the Lamb? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And his mama: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here's the full story: <BR> <BR> ... Wed, 18 Feb 2015 09:39:13 EST Peach blossoms, temples, fans, and where to eat We're having fun in Hong Kong, exploring our general neighborhood and learning about the history of this place. As well as celebrating Valentine's Day and gearing up for the Lunar New Year. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/from-valentines-to-new-year.html </link> <BR> <BR> Some Valentine's cookies that are almost scary: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Me pretending I can fly with fans: <BR> <BR> <img sr... Tue, 17 Feb 2015 10:27:59 EST The BIG Buddha We went over to another island in the Hong Kong group, and visited the giant Buddha statue, some 34 meters tall. Gorgeous views, amazing Buddha, and just an interesting experience. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/that-is-really-big-buddha.html </link> <BR> <BR> Here's a view of the Buddha from a distance: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And while I don't pose for photos very often, the giant Lucky Cat w... Sat, 14 Feb 2015 05:04:50 EST Hong Kong! We've walked 10 miles in 2 days, taken the subway, train, ferry, and tram, and covered only a fraction of this fascinating city! Things are gearing up for the Chinese New Year, and we're excited to be here! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/hong-kong.html </link> <BR> <BR> And my new favorite photo: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Wed, 11 Feb 2015 11:53:25 EST Good bye Vietnam We're packed and ready to head to Hong Kong for two weeks - meeting friends who will be there, and then celebrating the Chinese New Year (called Tet in Vietnam). Should be exciting! <BR> <BR> Here's the wrap up on Hanoi, until we return later this month: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/flowers-flowers-everywhere.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a few photos, because I can't resist a little kid in a bear outfit! <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sun, 8 Feb 2015 23:55:35 EST My New Career If we retire to Vietnam, I can be a fruit vendor! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Yeah, I was just an innocent bystander, and this happened to me: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/i-may-have-found-my-second-career.html </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wed, 4 Feb 2015 06:12:20 EST Oranges on the Road It's chilly, but people are gearing up for the Lunar New Year - Tet in Vietnam, the biggest holiday of the year. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/driving-orange-tree-down-road.html </link> <BR> <BR> And this was our view while riding in a taxi to the medical center this morning: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Tue, 3 Feb 2015 09:04:23 EST Working on getting over pneumonia Yeah, this is a drawn out process - best antibiotic is an IV drip, which takes forever. <BR> <BR> But Vietnam continues to delight and intrigue us, so despite my forced regimen of med center/hotel/med center, it isn't as horrible as you might think. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/aligning-flag-of-five-elements.html </link> <BR> <BR> And one of my favorite street scenes: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 11:53:12 EST Published story - more fashion! Another fashion blog - just so you know what to wear when you visit Malaysia. (We REALLY liked Malaysia!) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>n-malaysia/ </link> <BR> <BR> Just a note, these aren't my photos, she just used my narrative. The clothes I put together as samples may have been unavailable. (I liked the dress I picked better, though, LOL!) Thu, 29 Jan 2015 07:54:52 EST Couples Are Like Chopsticks At least, that's a Vietnamese proverb: "Wife and husband are as inseparable as a pair of chopsticks." <BR> <BR> The need to work together, right? Can't pick up anything with just one chopstick! <BR> <BR> I had a wonderful visit to the Vietnamese Women's Museum, dedicated to the lives of women in this country - one entire floor dedicated to fabric arts and ethnic clothing! (Fashionista heaven!) Another floor to heroines of the country and the revolution. Another to child bearing and edu... Wed, 28 Jan 2015 04:33:09 EST A Mango Emergency Yeah, not the kind of emergency where I needed a mango. <BR> <BR> No, I'm horribly allergic to mangoes. Anaphylactic shock and all that. Not good. <BR> <BR> It took us two different hospitals and several taxi rides, as well as 4 hours in the ER, but things are all okay and I'm alive and breathing. Taking a day off to rest and recuperate. <BR> <BR> Full story here: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/malicious-malevolent-mangoes.html </link> <BR> <BR> These ... Mon, 26 Jan 2015 03:58:27 EST Hanoi! We've been in Hanoi for a few days, have seen either a real or fake or practice wedding as well as a few temples, walked around a lake twice, wandered the night market, and enjoyed the charm of this lovely old city. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/25-january-2015-we-arrived-in-hanoi-<BR>on.html </link> <BR> <BR> And if that was a real wedding, these are the bridesmaids. We think. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <... Sun, 25 Jan 2015 05:24:22 EST Hué, the old capital Had a wonderful three days in Hué, including a visit to the Imperial Palace and Forbidden City, a cruise on the Perfume River in a dragon boat, and walking around another bridge designed by Gustav Eiffel and company. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/dragon-boats-on-perfume-river-hue.html </link> <BR> <BR> Then a 15 hour train trip to Hanoi - but that's another blog. <BR> <BR> This is the view from the train: <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 23 Jan 2015 12:26:32 EST A Fire-Breathing Dragon! Here's the full story on our Dragon Bridge, complete with his history, how he was built, and photos (from a distance) of him breathing fire!!!!!! Major excitement! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/dragon-fire.html </link> <BR> <BR> Dragon close up: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And the fire: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Mon, 19 Jan 2015 06:23:10 EST A wedding, a museum, a bodhisattva Finished our time in Danang - had an interesting museum visit, bumped into a wedding, and found another temple with wonderful statues. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/danangs-west-bank.html </link> <BR> <BR> And my favorite statue of the day: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 18 Jan 2015 09:59:11 EST Danang, Halfway Up/Down the Vietnam Coast We're having a great time exploring this smallish city, which is located on the Han River. Interesting history, lovely museums, amazing bridges, and friendly people! This place is full of color and culture, and we're having fun walking everywhere - including across some of those bridges. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/danang-and-amazing-technicolor-dream<BR>.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a few scenes of my favorite bridge, at night: <BR> <BR> <img src="http:/... Thu, 15 Jan 2015 09:43:47 EST Our visit to Nha Trang, Vietnam Had a great time in Nha Trang, though it was too cold to swim. But a beautiful town right on the beach. <BR> <BR> We're now in Danang, and busy exploring this small city with technicolor bridges. I need to blog about all of that, but here's the Nha Trang blog: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/sculpture-by-beach-nha-trang.html </link> <BR> <BR> And here's a preview of Danang at night: <BR> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 13 Jan 2015 11:59:27 EST Train trip from Saigon to Nha Trang Finally got the blog written - I took close to 3000 photos on the 7 hour train trip, so had a WHOLE lotta culling and editing to do! In between exploring a new town, seeing what's exciting and interesting, walking the beach, getting in my steps. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/where-dragonfruit-grow.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a cute little rural temple, in a rice field. Looking colorful, quaint, and just so Asian! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkp... Sat, 10 Jan 2015 09:21:57 EST The Eiffel Bridge in Saigon We got in a good walk going over to the Eiffel Bridge, walking across it, and walking back. Met some interesting people, watched some people fishing, and saw a few brides and grooms posing for photos, both on and off the bridge. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/eiffel-bridge-is-alive-and-well.html </link> <BR> <BR> And my favorite photo taken from under one end of the bridge: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Mon, 5 Jan 2015 23:29:25 EST I'm ready for Sports Illustrated, swimsuit edition DH doesn't often take a good photo of me, but this one is a keeper. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Fri, 2 Jan 2015 11:17:33 EST New Year's Eve Fireworks, Vietnam style We had a crazy time climbing over a mass of motor scooters to get to the river, where we watched New Year's Eve fireworks in Saigon. <BR> <BR> And, following the new trend, the fireworks were shot off the top of a building, so it did that exploding building look. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/new-years-eve-in-saigon-2015.html </link> <BR> <BR> No photos for you, but links to some youtube videos from last night! <BR> <BR> Thu, 1 Jan 2015 11:33:20 EST A MOST Adventurous Morning Walk Two days in a row I had adventures while walking the beach. One day I was battling the sea to get great photos of our dad's hat on some sea stacks, and trying to talk to a Russian rock climber. All while I didn't have my shorts on. <BR> <BR> The next day, I helped fishermen haul in their net and examine their catch. Sort of. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/photo-and-fishing-adventures-on-phu-<BR>quoc.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkp... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 12:07:32 EST Junior Santa At The Night Market Had a nice day on the beach, got in some walking, and met an adorable little guy. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/junior-santa-at-night-market.html </link> <BR> <BR> Here's my adorable little buddy: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Thu, 25 Dec 2014 10:36:33 EST Christmas Eve on Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam We have no idea if this is a Vietnamese or an island tradition - but they light big beach bonfires on Christmas eve!!!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It was kind of crazy! But romantic after dinner, sitting on a beach lounge snuggled up with DH and watching the fire. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/phu-quoc-christmas-eve-druid-solstic<BR>e.html </link> <BR> <BR> Though I think I like the beach better... Wed, 24 Dec 2014 11:26:30 EST This might be my fave menorah ever We're on the island of Phu Quoc - haven't seen it in daylight, but the photos we've seen all show white sand and aqua seas. So we're in a bungalow just a 2 minutes walk from the beach, and we'll see what it looks like in the morning. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/chanukah-in-sand-phu-quoc-vietnam.html </link> <BR> <BR> And I improvised with a menorah, because I didn't want to bother bringing the menorah for just one night. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos... Tue, 23 Dec 2014 10:39:32 EST Holiday Cheer in Vietnam Santa babies on motorscooters. Glowing arches. Santa security officers. Plus a museum, flower delivery on motorcycle, coffee coffee and more coffee. We're having a great time in Vietnam! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/21-december-2014-our-time-in-saigon.<BR>html </link> <BR> <BR> And here are a few of the people we've met in yesterday and today: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://pho... Sun, 21 Dec 2014 11:11:43 EST