Blogs from Northwest, Vietnam, Asia - page 3


Asia » Vietnam » Northwest June 12th 2013

The other side trip that I had planned to do from Hanoi was to a place called Tam Coc (no sniggering please!) which has some similarities to Halong Bay, except its huge limestone rock formations jutted out of rice paddies on the side of the Ngo Dong River, instead of out of the sea as at Halong. It actually bears a remarkable similarity to Guilin in China, except the Ngo Dong is much narrower than the Li River in Guilin, and we were transported in row boats rather than mechanised steamers. Given my limited ability to move around, I had succumbed to the prospect of doing a day package trip straight after arrival in Hanoi off the overnight train from Sapa. However, the hotel screwed up my booking and the tour left without me. With not ... read more
Side view of 'foot rowing'
Working the rice paddies in knee-deep water
Exiting one of the caves

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa May 22nd 2013

Please feel free to watch the video before or after if you would like to see the day in some live action shots. When we emerged from the doors of the Friendly Guesthouse Lily stood and smiled and we could feel excitement radiating from the glowing expression on her face - the day previous when she had thrust her tiny notebook of testimonials into our hands, a half dozen hand-written messages, presented to us upside-down in an inadvertant testament to the fact that she did not know what they contained, we had caught a glimpse of the stake her family held in bringing guests to the village - yet it was more than a thirst for a few of America’s finest greenbacks that lit the timeless expression on Lily’s face. What we found in this ... read more
Lily's Kitchen
Working the Paddies

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest May 22nd 2013

The impetus for my sudden decision to take off on a brief trip around Vietnam and Laos was a ‘promotional’ air fare from Air Asia, which allowed me to get there and back for an amazing AUD400. And by flying out on a Saturday and returning on a Wednesday, I was able to get in a 10 day visit while only needing cover for 1 week of my Thursday/Friday teaching. While each flight certainly fell into the ‘no frills’ category, and the need to transit each way via KL was a bit of a pain, in general all flights were relatively painless. While I had been to Hanoi a couple of times previously, and had done the Halong Bay bit, I had never been to Sapa and had always had a desire to do so, so ... read more
Super Hmong Guide Chu
Mechanism hasn't reached Sapa yet!
A red-hatted Dzao lady

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa May 13th 2013

If Sapa is the phantom presence you can never quite grasp, one whose impending absence haunts you even as you sit in the soft, quaint majesty of it's powerful mountains and sprawling valleys, then what hope is there for those of us who have come and left - can such longing ever be quenched? or will there always be a sense of emptiness for that which once was and may never be again. But that is now, sitting over the glistening lake at the entrance to the city, a lake which strangely enough we had been so busy that we had heretofore yet to acknowledge it's noble existence, now being only hours until our departure - our entrance five days earlier was much less triumphant, no great trumpeteers to mark our entrance as our somber parade ... read more
A Young Boy in Cat Cat Village
The Backpacker Guesthouse Fiasco
Looking Over Cat Cat

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest May 9th 2013

Wow, after 3 weeks in China I hadn't realised how much I missed talking to English speaking people! It has really made me realise just how few Westerners I didn't see in China. I made my way to Vietnam by bus, a 8 hour journey crossing the border, I was so excited as Vietnam has been on my hitlist for so long and I have heard so many great things about the country, culture and landscape. The journey was as interesting as always, I got chatting to the Vietnamese girl next to me who translated everything the driver said which was good especially when the army got on to check passports! We drove to the Chinese border, got out and got ushered into a bigger version of a golf buggy to go to immigration, passports stamped ... read more
The streets of Hanoi
Fish anyone..eel?
Me and the girls!


Asia » Vietnam » Northwest May 9th 2013 read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa April 22nd 2013

Next up was Sapa and I'd been looking forward to it for a long time. I took an overnight sleeper train from Hanoi, which is an experience in itself. I paid a little extra (still only about £20) for an 8 hour train ride to the cold, mountanous region of Sapa. I shared a cabin that was supposed to hold four people with a family of 6. There was the grandmother, the mother, her two babies, her cousin and her sister. I though the babies would ruin my sleep, but it turns out I was the problem. In the morning, they let me know in no uncertain terms that I'd snored all the way through the night. The train takes you to Lao Cai, from where you have to take a minibus to to Sapa. If ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa March 15th 2013

Summary: Home Stay - H'mong villiage Read more...... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest March 14th 2013

After months of research for our second road trip through Vietnam we decided on the following circuit. Saigon 3 nights : The Evergreen Hotel - great, clean, location location, helpful staff, upgrade and interesting for meandering. Park outside. Dal Lat 3 nights : Dreams 1 - Domestic flight with VASCO one way - clean, brilliant breakfast, jacuzzi is a bonus, location ok, good for meandering 2 nights would be enough. Picked up with for 4 day pillion back through the highlands down Cambodian border back to Saigon......Lee, Chau and Quang were brilliant with us old foggies. Use this company it is very good and Lee helped with the Dreams booking for me. Saigon 2 nights : The Four Roses Hotel - love this place in district 3. French theme but old fashioned character very house ... read more
Suoi Tien Theme Park
Suoi Tien Theme Park
Suoi Tien Theme Park

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa March 14th 2013

Summary: Hanoi to Lao Cai Read more...... read more

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