Let me begin by thanking Hurley for the photo and videos in this post – the photos that look professional and perfect are Hurley’s – the photos that look basic and boring are mine. If you are at all impressed by what you see (you will be) definitely take a moment and check out his work:
And yes, this is the same guy who made the incredible Time Lapse of Ho Chi Minh video.
At the time, this is the fastest and furthest I have driven. To get to or Cần Giờ we had to take a ferry to the island. We got lost quite a bit so how long it was supposed to take and how long it actually took is lost to me. On the way to the ferry I saw some absolutely beautiful open areas of Ho Chi Minh that left me feeling serene and elated to finally be out of the city. Those feelings immediately dissapated at the sight of a woman taking a shit on the side of the road for all to see. Like actually taking a poo.
Looking back on my day I believe the speed at which I was driving, combined with the pressure to not crash, the aggressive wind, seeing the woman shitting on the street………..and my elbow was really itchy caused me to somehow hit a man while on the ferry.
Honestly, I still don’t know what happened. I’m not even sure why my motorbike was still turned on at that point. I thought I was comfortably pulling up next to Megan, when all of a sudden my bike was flying into the man in front of me. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t even sitting on my bike at this point. I am almost positive I was standing on my two feet just gripping the handlebars and hitting the throttle. The worst part about all of this is the man’s bike had slammed into the side railing on the ferry barrier and was repeatedly bouncing against the railing and had begun to tip over. The mas was pissed. I would be too. I know that feeling of your world being turned sideways out of nowhere. I couldn’t even keep a straight face as I tried to apologize because Megan was sting next to me almost in tears because she was laughing so hard, which in turn caused me to cry of laughter as well. It was a mess. To make the situation even more awkward the ferry was still docked. I HAD TO REMAIN BEHIND THE MAN FOR THE TWENTY MINUTE RIDE. To say it was uncomfortable is the understatement of the year.
getting onto the ferry
After exiting the ferry accident-free we drove for about 30 minutes to what we believed to be THE Monkey Island. After meandering around this forest area without a single sighting of a monkey we came to the conclusion that we were at the wrong location. Lo and behold the giant billboard with monkeys plastered all over it meant nothing–we were at a mangrove forest.
Whatever, I loved the mangrove forest
I saw a ton of trees, houses that float, brown water and huge pigs.
M o n k e y I s l a n d
We very quickly got an idea of how the monkeys were going to behave based on the behavior of the first monkey we encountered on Monkey Island. He/She was chained to a pole not too far from where we were purchasing our tickets. I knew there was a damn good reason he was chained to a pole — he had obviously done something to deserve it. We were all trying to get a great photo but keep our distance at the same time. Eric got a little too close and the monkey tried to take a swipe at him! Mean little fucker. I can only imagine what he did to the poor person who crossed his path when he wasn’t on a leash.
“Cần Giờ is a coastal suburban district of Hồ Chí Minh City, Southeast region, Vietnam. The district is located 50 km from downtown Hồ Chí Minh City. As of 2010, this district had an area of 704 km², population of 70,697, comprising Kinh people (80%), Khmer Krom and Cham people. Cần Giờ is home to Cần Giờ Mangrove Forest, a biosphere reserve listed by UNESCO.” — Wikipedia
I also discovered that it also has monkeys that are vicious as fuck as well as crocodiles that you can pay to feed. The monkey area was a bit smaller than I imagined but I must admit I’m happy. The monkeys were menacing and constantly waiting for you to let your guard down to attack. One of them hopped on Hurley’s back and tried to take his sunglasses right off of his head! We had to have a staff member with us who carried a slingshot with him that he would pull back when the monkeys got too close. Thank gawd.
The coolest part of the island was definitely being able to feed the monkeys. The guide would hand us peanuts and the Monkeys would freak out. You can see for yourself in the video at the end of the post. The monkeys looked adorable but at the sight of a peanut they would become vicious. Survival of the fittest I guess.
Here’s a video of our day in 1:12 — made my Hurley, of course. Enjoy!
Song of the moment: