Alone Time

[Tiếng Việt ở phần dưới]

In the midst of the current endless noise in the living room where I’m writing this article, I feel lucky to have just achieved the quietness I need as I got into the swimming pool this afternoon.

I was only planning to swim 150m at first, and comparing my exercise performance with previous ones, I did not expect that I would be able to enjoy the 300m strides in a quiet environment that made me dream of a mountain lake like I was in Mounigou, Huanglong, or the sound of rain falling down the Siguniang mountains.

The silence alone in that space made me forget to count while swimming (a bad habit to break), but instead I began to imagine myself in another place, and my ears beginning to hear the sound of water like the sound of nature (the sound of streams flowing or the sound of rain falling in the forest).

I then started thinking about making a master plan file for next year, as well as a balance sheet. In addition, I also thought about how to have more quiet time alone to increase productivity because I’m still affected by noise despite constant schedule changes.


Thời Gian Một Mình

Giữa tiếng ồn ào bất tận hiện tại ở phòng khách mà tôi đang viết bài này, tôi cảm thấy mình đã may mắn khi vừa đạt được sự yên tĩnh mà mình cần khi xuống hồ bơi thể dục chiều nay.

Lúc đầu tôi chỉ dự tính bơi 150m và so thành tích với những lần thể dục trước, tôi không ngờ mình đã có thể tận hưởng 300m trong một môi trường yên tĩnh làm tôi mơ đến hồ trên núi giống như tôi đã ở Mâu Ni Câu, Hoàng Long, hay tiếng mưa rơi trên núi Tứ Cô Nương.

Sự yên tĩnh một mình trong không gian đó làm tôi quên đi việc đếm sải khi bơi (một thói quen khó bỏ), mà thay vào đó tôi bắt đầu tưởng tượng mình đang ở một nơi khác, tai tôi bắt đầu nghe tiếng nước như tiếng âm thanh thiên nhiên (tiếng suối róc rách hoặc tiếng mưa rơi rả rích trong rừng).

Rồi tôi bắt đầu nghĩ đến làm file kế hoạch tổng thể cho năm sau, cũng như bảng cân đối thu chi. Ngoài ra, tôi cũng nghĩ làm sao để có thêm thời gian yên tĩnh một mình để tăng năng suất vì thay đổi thời gian biểu liên tục nhưng vẫn còn bị nhiều tiếng ồn khác ảnh hưởng đến mình.

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APRIL 5, 2021

Lòng như gương soi, không vướng bụi trần.
སེམས་ནི་མེ་ལོང་བཞིན། ཐལ་རྡུལ་མི་དགོས།
If your heart is like a mirror, it won’t provoke dust.

P.s.: Picture taken in Mounigou, Aba Prefecture, Sichuan, China in 2019.

Continue ReadingAPRIL 5, 2021

10 Days With The Most Steps In 2019

According to Pedometer app, I walked the most steps in my Sichuan trip:

1. July 5: 31,497 steps ~ 15.12 km* (in Chengdu)
2. July 6: 29,337 steps ~ 14.08 km (in Chengdu)
3. July 3: 28,849 steps ~ 13.85 km (in Mt. Siguniang)
4. June 24: 23,878 steps ~ 11.46 km (in Dujiangyan and Chengdu)
5. June 26: 23,233 steps ~ 11.15 km (in Songpan and Mounigou)
6. June 30: 20,196 steps ~ 9.7 km (in Langmusi)
7. June 27: 20,136 steps ~ 9.67 km (in Huanglong)
8. May 18: 19,550 steps ~ 9.38 km (in Wulingyuan And Fenghuang Old Town)
9. Nov 5: 17,348 steps ~ 8.33 km (in Shanghai)
10. Jun 23: 16,136 steps ~ 7.75 km (in Saigon, Hanoi, and Chengdu)
* My normal stride length is 48 cm (80% of the number in the app 60cm).

Continue Reading10 Days With The Most Steps In 2019

Ngawa Tibetan And Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Day 5: Huanglong

Because it was raining when we started for Huanglong, we decided to take the cable car to halfway. On the way to the top, I saw some precautions of health and oxygen, but didn’t experience any breathing problem if I walked slowly enough.

The view from the top lake was astonishing. If Mounigou was all lakes with crystal clear water, Huanglong had an incredible calcified scenery.

Finally, I did record some videos when the driver passed through the mountain tunnels.

I thought I was a picky girl over food, but turned out I could have anything that was convenient. There was nothing better than a beer over some barbecued food for a rainy evening. And those barbecue restaurants were near, too. Luckily, the Dien Bien girl finally agreed to go with me tonight. And she was kind enough to treat me.

From WeChat, I learned that the driver didn’t really go to Huanglong even though he was born here. I told him it was beautiful and he should go there in autumn.

Continue ReadingNgawa Tibetan And Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Day 5: Huanglong

Ngawa Tibetan And Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Day 4: Mounigou

I didn’t have a good night sleep with people coming in and going out. Why did they have to make so much noise at night? I envied the other 2 Hanoian girls having their own room yesterday because there weren’t enough beds in the dorm rooms. And I found out the Dien Bien girl also had to work again early in the morning. What a nuisance having to work so hard on her vacation!

First I only intended to buy some tea, then I found myself buying some baozi for breakfast, too.

The driver took us to Mounigou Valley. The 2 Brits surprised me when they said they were students. They looked older. However, what I meant to say was they paid cheaper for the tickets here. We went to the Zhaga Waterfall for starters. My legs were so numb I didn’t climb all the stairs, just waited for them to go outside later. Turned out they took longer than I thought.

Before reaching the second place, the driver took us to a stop at a secluded monastery called Tara around 10:40AM. I walked inside with the driver and 2 Brits then walked around outside a bit. The driver seemed to be friendly with the monks here.

At 11:30 he drove us to the Erdaohai Scenic Area. There were more tourists here. Thank God the walkway was not as steep as the waterfall. I stopped after getting through the gate to have the leftover baozi for lunch.

The more I went inside, the more beautiful this place was. So many crystal clear lakes. I thought this place should have been more beautiful than Jiuzhaigou which were somehow ruined by the earthquake in 2017. But I wouldn’t know, as Jiuzhaigou was still closed at the moment.

At 2:30PM, I reached the top calcium lake because I saw people resting their feet inside. It wasn’t hot as I thought, but it turned out cold instead. When we walked out, it was just 3PM. In the morning, I helped the Brits tell the driver to come back late, but it turned out this place was not as big as Huanglong they’d seen yesterday.

I finally had to wash my clothes after 4 days in China. Because I couldn’t take a nap, I decided to buy tickets for Zoigê (Ruoergai) the day after tomorrow.

The four of us drank some beer in the garden. I then listened to my music on the phone, from Chinese to English to Vietnamese songs. Later, an old man with a guitar joined the fun with his singing Chengdu and some old Chinese songs I hadn’t known of, except for “Dang Ni Lao Le”.

Continue ReadingNgawa Tibetan And Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Day 4: Mounigou

JUNE 26, 2019

Chờ một người nghĩ rằng tôi là người quan trọng nhất trên thế giới.
等一个 觉得全世界我最重要的人。
Waiting for the one who thinks that I’m the most important person in the world.

P.s.: Picture taken in Mounigou, Aba Prefecture, Sichuan, China in 2019.

Continue ReadingJUNE 26, 2019

Ngawa Tibetan And Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Day 3: Chengdu To Songpan

I woke up early at around 4AM to be present at the nearest metro early. Turned out I was a lil bit early because I was there at 5:50AM just to find out that the metro would only be open at 6:06.

I took more than half an hour to reach the Chadianzi Bus Station (line 2 of the Chengdu Metro) at 6:45. My destination of Songpan didn’t appear in the ticket machines, then I had to ask for help from the help desk. She wrote something on the paper so that I could buy tickets at the counter.

7 hours on the bus without any traffic delay, I was at Songpan around 3PM. Earlier than I thought. As we descended from the bus, a lot of drivers asked to take us to a nearby hostel, or to Huanglong or Mounigou. But I decided that I should spend the rest of the afternoon strolling the Songzhou Ancient City nearby first.

As I booked the Youranju Hostel while on the bus, the hostel owner thought I was Thai. (Maybe it was because I used a Thai sim card for roaming here). I arranged with her for the 4 of us to visit Mounigou tomorrow in a rented car with other 2 British travelers living in the same hostel. This place had a nice garden with blossom flowers, flag decoration, and some maps on the wall. Especially, some tables and chairs outside were really inviting people to sit down and enjoy the atmosphere.

As we were all hungry, we decided to have a late lunch at the hostel restaurant beside.

When we headed for the ancient wall, the main gate was closed for renovation(?!) so we took a longer way around the wall. Some of the wall look rusty and a bit scary. Along the way, there was even a close gate which made us turned around. Too much walking until we went inside and saw some touristy shopping streets near the Songpan Bridge. It must have been the busiest place of this town. But there weren’t many travelers around here. (In fact, from the hostel, I saw more people leaving than coming).

Inside the ancient city was a big playground. Here I saw the largest crowd of people square dancing at the same time in my life. 3 of my companions joined them in some parts. Next to it was some kids playing basketballs and other sport activities. Maybe you could learn why middle-aged and old women liked plaza dancing so much in my video below:

On the way back, I saw sunset around 8PM. When it got dark, it got colder, too. My body was too tired that I took a Tibetan massage at a place next to the hostel with a price of 78 yuans for 1 hour, much cheaper than I thought. To my surprise, the girl didn’t apply any oil in my skin. There was no hot stone, either. In fact, she didn’t even ask me to take my clothes off. She massaged kind of every millimeter of my skin and comforted me to relax when she knew I was hurt. I hoped I’d feel better tomorrow.

15 degrees celsius outside and in order to sleep, I had to put on my hat with ear flaps, 2 layers of shirts, 2 layers of blankets and even had to turn on the electric mattress.

Continue ReadingNgawa Tibetan And Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Day 3: Chengdu To Songpan