Dizzy Swallows

Asia Part I: Vietnam and Sparklers

Asia Part I: Vietnam and Sparklers

January 9th, 2012 2 Comments

Hello from the world of the living! As the crush of events has become so massive as to preclude any kind of coherently enjoyable discourse (both in the telling and the reading), my next few posts will consist primarily of photos. Jacob and I made it back safe but far from sound, with a nasty stomach bug that for me lasted 9 days (4 in transit from Cambodia to Seattle, including boats, taxis, buses, planes, and 1 cancelled flight from Tokyo to Seattle necessitating New Year’s Eve in an airport hotel), during which I lost a whopping 7 pounds (every one of which I could ill afford), and required 2 types of antibiotics to knock out.

Crushing illness notwithstanding, it was an absolutely unforgettable trip. And should memory fail us, there’s always the 1,882 photographs I took. Ya know, for posterity’s sake. There was one very special event in particular I’ve been dying to share. Read on…


Our first stop was Saigon, aka Ho Chi Minh City, a riot of color, noise, and humanity. Speeding along on a great swarming flotilla of scooters.


We visited the central market, the National Art Museum, and the Presidential Palace.

tree saigon



projector seat

From Saigon, we hoped a propeller plane to the beautiful island of Pho Quoc, just off the south-western coast of Vietnam. The island was an oasis of tranquility after the bustle of the city.

on the rocks

This being the luxurious leg of our trip, we stayed at the posh Mango Bay Resort and enjoyed the sanctuary of our very own bungalow.

mango bay

We were meet by the welcoming committee. I stayed a judicious six inches away, but you get the idea.



If you’ve ever traveled in Southeast Asia, you’ll understand what a welcome sight our clean, outdoor bathroom was.


That first evening, Jacob and I watched the sun go down over appetizers and scrumptious cocktails on the edge of the water.

j on the rocks

d on the rocks



corical at work

And then, dear readers, he asked me to marry him.

engagement smooch

I said yes, naturally!


Ah, happiness in paradise.


For you ladies, here’s another look at that sparkler.

ring pic

The beach was nothing to sneeze at either. Yes, life was rough.




beach walk

beach life

Jacob amused himself on his slackline.


He soon made friends with the curious staff, one of whom had his own idea of how things ought to be done.

walking sticks

hat tip

We didn’t starve either. A few favorite feasts were vermicelli, amok curry, and seafood hotpot.




Mango Bay also keeps a butterfly sanctuary. Here, a hapless gecko was fooled by the species display.

gecko lunch


With the engagement, the beach, the food, massages, and our lovely bungalow, we ended our stay on Pho Quoc in a deep state of contentment.

evening jacob



Thank you to all our well wishers! We couldn’t be happier or more excited for this next chapter in our lives.

Travel tales and photos to be continued in Part II…

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2 Responses to “Asia Part I: Vietnam and Sparklers”

  1. Kate Herring says:

    It looks so beautiful there! I know I said it before, but I’m so happy for you both 🙂 Can’t wait to see the rest of the pics/stories of your journey.

  2. Cameron says:

    Awesome photo’s! Pity about the Koh Rong plague lasting that long though… 🙁