Thursday, May 15, 2008

Beijing and Vietnam!

Oh it is so good to get the internet!! I wanted to give you all a quick update and let you know that we're safe...not yet sound, but getting there and having a ball!

Day1: We had a fun 12 hour flight to Beijing Monday morning. We arrived in Beijing around 6pm and met up with our friends Brian and Callie Hill (who we are traveling with for about 4 weeks, they have been here for 2 with her aunt that lives in Xi'an....which is where the earthquake was a couple of days ago...luckily they only rocked for about 2 minutes and no damage was done close to them). It was a miracle how we met up...long story but there have been several occasions where it is just amazing how vivid the Lord's hand is in our trip and decision making. He is surely watching out for us and guiding us along the way. No doubt. So we found them, and decided to head straight towards the Great Wall. We got to a small town called Mutianyu around 9:30pm and found a really cheap "hotel" for about 30 yen...only about $4 per person!! It was sweet...well, the price was...not the hotel. This picture actually makes it look a lot better than it was. It was pretty funny actually but we didn't care. The worst part is the toilets. Horrible little squatting grounds to which I am NOT at all skilled. I won't go into it, but this is not for me. We tried to sleep, but with thin walls, loud Chinese neighbors, a loud dog barking all night, and jet lag...we didn't get much sleep. We finally got up around 3am and just walked around outside. Our friends woke up around 5:30 and we immediately started backpacking towards the Great Wall. It was an awesome walk and we got there around 6:30am. We had a huge hike up to the wall, got there at 7am and we were the ONLY ones there for 3 hours!! No joke. We walked the wall for miles. From tower to tower. It was so amazing. (Those of you who know Ben and me and our "one month anniversary cop" story...we have another awesome place on our list!) The weather, the greenery, the fog, so awesome. People started coming around 9:30am and we togaggoned down the Great Wall!! It was so sweet. Then we headed back to town, slept on some grass, played with some kids, ate some ok food, and watched people...tons and millions and billions. With their babies and their little slits in the back of their pants so that they can "go" whenever and wherever they diapers! AH! At the end of the day, we had a flight at 8pm to Bangkok, took it, slept, arrived at 2am, got on another flight to Hanoi Vietnam at 6:45am and arrived here at 8am.

Day 2: We immediately took a bus (3 hours of fun and mostly head on in the other lane of traffic, no joke. They are the most crazy drivers I have EVER seen) to Ha Long Bay...where we are right now! It is amazing!! We are RIGHT on the beach, just ate a $1.50 dollar meal, and are sleeping in a $15 dollar a night hotel room for all 4 of us! Totally awesome how cheap everything is! We love it! We just walked around, chilled and relaxed today and took a shower! We felt like we hadn't been clean for weeks! We feel like we've been out here forever! And it's only been 3 days! We've been everywhere already!! We dropped like logs at about 8pm last night and slept like babies. It was so awesome and felt SO good.

Day 3: Today we woke up refreshed and ready to go. We met this man from Singapore who just bought us all breakfast. We had banana pancakes. We have one more friend meeting us in about an hour here and then we're taking a boat out to CatBa Island where there are 3,000 islands off this coast and we will be kayaking and eating and staying the night on a boat. Sweet. Can't wait. But we are LOVING it here. The people, the culture, the weather, the life, the landscape...everything is amazing and surreal. The Lord is certainly with us. We couldn't feel more safe. LOVE YOU ALL!
(Pictures asap...or I'll just have to add them in when we get home)


Doug said...

You are crazy and inspiring...The Great Wall of China!?!?! Awesome!!!

Jill Revell said...

You guys are so adventurous! I love it!

Candalyn said...

Keep the posts coming! I'm loving hearing all about your crazy adventures. Except for the Great Wall of China... seriously?! Ha ha! Don't catch any diseases!