Sunday, April 6, 2008

We're Into The Final Stretch...

So this may be my last post for the winter semester. The past four months have just flown by and we are now into exams. I can happily say that with all of my course assignments completed, there are only four exams that stand in the way between me and Asia. The next few days are going to be tough; I am not sure how I will stay focused on exams while at the same time finish up with preparations for the big trip. There are a few distractions that I am considering: there is a concert by the MUN School of Music next weekend and the Prime Minister of Iceland is also coming to St. John's and will be speaking at MUN next week.

Otherwise, plans for the trip are in full swing. Vaccinations are being taken and the infamous itinerary is near completion. With the details ironed out, here are some of the highlights we are planning for the trip:

Hong Kong: dim sum at Jumbo, all you can eat dessert buffet at the Grand Hyatt, high tea at the Peninsula Hotel, a tram ride to the top of Victoria Peak, taking in the sound and light show while floating on a junk in Hong Kong harbour, and visiting the largest outdoor Buddha at the Po Lin Monastery.

Vietnam: a visit to the Mekong Delta (the rice bowl of Asia), consuming copious amounts of Pho and delicious French pastries, biking around Hoi An to visit the various temples, experiencing the "American War" from the other side, seeing Mr. Ho Chi Minh himself embalmed and on display in Hanoi, and relaxing on a junk while cruising among the limestone karsts of Halong Bay.

Cambodia: enjoying the best (and cheapest) French cuisine outside France, watching the sun rise (along with hundreds of other camera toting tourists) over Angkor Wat, visiting the temples around Siem Reap that have since been consumed by jungle, and visiting the floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake.

Once back from the trip and into the swing of my final semester here at MUN, I am planning a few day trips out to take in the summer sights of Newfoundland. It's been a long winter and I am anxious to make the most of my last four months here. On my list of things to see are: a drive up to Twillingate and Fogo Island to do a little iceberg watching, driving down to St. Vincent to see humpback whales breach from shore, and mixing it up with the locals at the Regatta and Newfoundland Folk Festival. Should be fun!

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