MORE FROM COURTNEY SCHMIDT AND HER SEMESTER AT SEA:
The month of February has been very busy! Since leaving Japan, I have been to China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, and Myanmar. I haven't had a whole lot of time to email because we've only had about six days of class on the ship in February.
Here's some of the highlights:
Hiking on the Great Wall and and seeing the Terracotta Warriors in China:
In Vietnam, I saw the Cu Chi Tunnels used by the Viet Cong. Crawling on my hands and knees through 100 m of one got a little claustrophobic. In Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), motorbikes run rampant. The few traffic laws present are definitely not followed. If you don't start walking right in front of traffic, you'll never cross the street. The photo below is the biggest break in traffic I saw.
Cambodia was an amazing country. I saw about twelve hours of it by bus. We also explored a lot of Hindu turned Buddhist temples. Angkor Wat is the most famous one, built in 1113 AD. We got up at to go see the famous sunrise over Angkor Wat...there was no sunrise because it happened to be cloudy that day.
We were only in Singapore for two days. I tried this traditional dish called loksa. It was a delicious, spicy coconut soup with unknown seafood mixed in. Unfortunately, it also gave me a really bad stomach ache. That combined with standing outside for eight hours in 100 degree weather for my English class made Singapore a less favorable experience. It's got great architecture though.
Myanmar/Burma (I still don't know what to call it) may be my favorite port so far! Everything about this country surprised us! We took an overnight bus to an area called Kalaw where we spent a lot of time hiking through very rural mountain villages. We slept in a Buddhist monastery before hiking to an elephant camp. Next we went to Inle Lake where all the people row their fishing boats with their feet. It was a great country!
It's been quite the month. It'll be nice to have a few more days between countries to catch up some sleep and school. In four days I'll be in India! I hope you all are still enjoying winter weather. It's hot hot hot on this side of the world!