Blogs from Northwest, Vietnam, Asia - page 4


Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa March 9th 2013

Allo tout le monde J'ai quitte le Vietnam le 7 mars avec une pointe de nostalgie. J'ai beaucoup aime le pays et j'aurais aime rester plus longtemps mais de nouvelles destinations m'attendaient! Avant de partir, nous sommes alles a Sapa passer 3 jours. On a pris le train de nuit et en arrivant, on avait booke une randonnee de 2 jours dans les petits villages autour avec nuit chez l'habitant. C'etait vraiment magnifique! On se promenait a travers les rizieres en terrasses. Le seul hic, c'est qu'il n'y avait pas de riz qui poussait snif snif, moi qui croyait que j'allais enfin voir ca. On etait trop tot, le riz est cultive seulement une fois par annee dans cette region puisqu'il fait plus froid. Je devrai donc revenir entre mai et septembre :) Dans la journee, ... read more
Dao rouge

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa February 5th 2013

We woke to an amazing breakfast of pancakes, honey and banana - such a great way to start the day. Then our 6km trek began and this was very different to yesterday's walk! Thanks to the rain yesterday, and the already uphill route, we were in for both a treat and a challenge! My friends this time were Mo and Chi, Chi was 27 and Mo was 60 and my god these women are unstoppable! The trek was very muddy and slippery in much of the path and when you step in the wrong section of mud, you sink deep (from experience!). They show you where to put your feet, they pull you up high sections, they help you balance along the thin rice paddy ledges and hold your hand most of the way. And they ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest January 29th 2013

Bo and I had bought "hard sleeper" tickets to the train from Hanoi to Sapa and expected - and kind of hoped for the experience as well - wooden beds, which unfortunately wasn't the case. Instead we discovered, that the only difference between "hard" and "soft" sleeper was, that there were 6 people instead of 4 people in a room in a "hard sleeper" and the beds was a bit wider in the "soft sleeper". But the "hard sleeper" was nice and comfortable, so we were happy with our choise, eventhough we didn't get the wooden benches, that we had hoped for. In Sapa Bo and I chose to do two different trips, one of them was climbing "Mount Fan Si Pan", which I had planned on doing, even before I left Denmark, the other trip ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Dien Bien January 23rd 2013

There is no chilling sound as the squealing of a pig. Especially at 4am when one is in a deep slumber. But I guess if you want to be one with nature, there are drawbacks. Does it have to be followed up with the barking of dogs and the crowing of roosters? Leaving Son La behind we head further west to Dien Bien Phu, passing through some of the most amazing valleys I have ever seen. Everywhere you look there is a photo. I have run out of superlatives to describe it, so you can just look at the pictures. The tribes people here are long ,thin and elegant as opposed to others I have encountered. All are exceptionally friendly and beautifully dressed in their local costum. Arriving at Dien Bien Phu, we separate with our ... read more
the village
ladies and Thai

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Son La January 22nd 2013

The aroma of spicy breakfast floats through our window. It is 7am and we are leaving Hanoi today. Down on the street we are served steaming Pho sitting on our little plastic chairs. Pho seems to be the national dish served out of every shop front and street corner. It is boiled noodles with meat, spices and a variety of salad vegetables. Very yummy! We are travelling west today, up The Black River Valley, which winds its way up through the mountains to the Laos border. It sounds all very exotic and as matter of fact it is. The bus takes 12 hours but being the flash packers we are we have hired a car and driver for 2 days. Thai is the driver’s name who is supposed to speak beautiful English which may be so ... read more
off to market
pig in a bag
back door view


Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa January 16th 2013

Hello Friends and Family! Hope everyone's holidays treated them well! As I was incredibly lazy last year and failed to post a blog about our Philipines excursion, I am getting this blog out of the way before we head off to Thailand in a couple of weeks because if I don't, I'll become even more backed up in my Travel Blogging duties! First, a little bit of information; back in the summer time, Brian and I had aspirations of returning to visit the states during our 2 week February TET holiday, therefore, we were planning on going to Thailand for our Christmas holiday. As we got to talking, and planning out all the places we wanted to see during our final year in Vietnam, it became apparent we simply would not have the time to see ... read more
Kaye and Hana
Ride out to Ship
Towel Elephant!

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest January 15th 2013

The day of the epic bus journey has arrived..... Most of the morning is spent getting together some warm clothes (can't believe I've had to buy a jumper!!) And lots of food supplies for the trip. Lunch time calls for one last visit to our favourite restaurant and you guessed it fried rice with shrimp and pineapple, I could live of this dish. Whilst eating we meet two lovely ladies from Melborne, Julia and Andrea. Swapping emails we say our good and hope to look them up when we head to Australia I do get a take away of my favourite dish for the journey, couldn't resist! The day seems to drag as we are waiting 5 o'clock to come around, sitting in the hotel lobby we are entertained by one of the owners daughters, she's ... read more
Laos boarder
Beautiful scenery from the bus

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai January 9th 2013

We caught the overnight train (ET Pumpkin $35 each 4 berth soft sleeper) from Hanoi to Sapa. The train was comfortable enough though it was obvious that the advertising photo was out of date! Our fellow cabin mates were two lovely German women, both older than us, who had some wonderful tales of travel to share. The train was an express therefore didn't stop very often and we arrived on time in Lao Cai at 5.30am. It was dark and very cold and we were feeling slightly hungover from lack of sleep. The train got very hot and stuffy during the night and it's movement was jerky enough to prevent a good nights sleep. Most of the tourists on board had transport up to Sapa prearranged but Jerry and I boarded one of the waiting mini ... read more
BBQ buffet
BBQ for lunch
View! What view?

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa December 25th 2012

A few days before Christmas, Scott and I began our journey toward the mountain town of Sapa by taking an overnight train from Hanoi to Lau Cai. Despite the bumps and occasional wafts of cigarette smoke making its way through the air vents of our berth, we managed to get a fair amount of sleep before our arrival at 5:00 a.m. From the train station, we'd been told to catch a public bus to Sapa because that's the cheapest option. This proved to be difficult, however, since as soon as we set foot outside the train station we were swarmed by a mob of locals trying to offer us a ride. They followed us around as we walked from one unmarked, empty bus to the next until we finally found a bus with people in it ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh » Mai Chau December 19th 2012

From December 16 through the 19, Scott and I decided to venture slightly south to the small village of Mai Chau rather than spend a few more days in Hanoi waiting for our Christmas excursion to Sapa. We called ahead and booked 3 nights at a traditional homestay with stilt houses and bungalows, located a little off the beaten path from Mai Chau's "city center" - basically a few shops, street-food restaurants and a gas station. We planned our journey, intending to take an 8:00 a.m. public bus, but, after taking a taxi all the way across town and arriving at the bus station, we were informed that the bus had left earlier than we thought, and the next one wasn't leaving until 1:30 p.m. Great. With no other choice aside from camping out in the ... read more
Stilt house/ common area
Water lilies

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