Blogs from Northwest, Vietnam, Asia - page 8


Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Yen Bai July 28th 2012

This is Part 4 and also the final part of my 7-day solo trip in the North West of Vietnam by local bus and motorbike. Friday morning (July 20), I got a mini bus from Lai Châu to Lào Cai at 9am (115km). On this section I went on Hoàng Liên Sơn pass (altitude 2,030m) which is one of the most dangerous passes in northern Vietnam. The pass is 45km in length and shared by both provinces Lai Châu and Lào Cai. It was so misty on the Lai Châu side, while the sun was shining on the Lào Cai side. The mini bus also passed by Sapa which is a popular tourist destination in the North West region. I have been there twice, so I decided not to visit it on this trip. After I ... read more
On the way from Sapa to Lào Cai
Thịt trâu cuốn lá lốt (buffalo meat)
A boat on Thác Bà reservoir

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa July 28th 2012

Sapa The Intrepid group is no more and we have all gone our separate ways. It was sad to say goodbye to my American friend Darra this morning as we had had so much fun together and been there for each other over the last two and a half weeks. She was heading off to Bali and Lombock for another Intrepid trip with lots of sunshine and cultural experiences before flying back to Denver, Colorado. She will be sorely missed as I finish my travel without her presence. As I still had the whole day to fill in in Hanoi, I decided exercise was in order and headed up to the French quarter of the city as here is where many of the sightseeing places are such as the museums and the mausoleum that houses Ho ... read more
Back wall newly built in prison museum
A beautiful valley in Sapa
The slippery tracks

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lai Chau July 27th 2012

This is Part 3 of my 7-day solo trip in the North West of Vietnam by local bus and motorbike. Wednesday afternoon (July 18) - I missed the bus from Mù Cang Chải to Than Uyên at 12am and another bus would come 4 hours later. After waiting for a couple of hours, I decided it was enough and I would travel by motorbike (40km). The landscape on the way was so beautiful as I was passing by mountain rainges, terraced rice fields and houses of the H’mong ethnic minority people. I also saw waterfalls and streams going down from the mountains. When I got to the end of Mù Cang Chải district area, I saw a board with the words “Lai Châu”. It was an emotional moment because Lai Châu was the 60th province in ... read more
Landscape on the way to Than Uyên
Propaganda in Lai Châu town
Highway No. 32 to Than Uyên

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa July 26th 2012

2 whole weeks down and we've been busy. After Hanoi we spent 3 days in Halong Bay on a Castaway Island Trip joined by Jonny's cousin Dan. After cruising through a few of the thousands of limestone hills and stopping for some brief acrobatic diving from the boat, we arrived at our private island and were greeted by the previous tour group who were a day ahead. A large dinner was followed by some drinking games and dancing and once everyone was drunk enough we went swimming in the phosphorescent waters to a lethal pontoon (due to the barnacles on the sides). We later found out that the phosphorescence was due to plankton in the water lighting up like fireflies when given energy from your movement. In Pitch black under the cloudy sky it was quite ... read more
Boat Acrobatics!
Our private beach
Me and Dan

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Yen Bai July 25th 2012

This is Part 2 of my 7-day solo trip in the North West of Vietnam by local bus and motorbike. After leaving Suối Giàng, I traveled by motorbike to Nghĩa Lộ town. On the way I passed by Mường Lò rice field which is the second largest rice field in the North West of Vietnam. There were farmers working on the fields and I could feel good smell of the rice. The first thing I did in Nghĩa Lộ town was to check out timetable for the bus to Mù Cang Chải on the following day. After finding a good guest house, I spent time walking along the National Highway No. 32 toward Mường Lò rice field, but I coulnd’t walk too far as it was getting dark. Tuesday morning (July 17) - I got a ... read more
Inside the bus from Nghĩa Lộ to Mù Cang Chải
Bánh cuốn chả (steamed rice cake)
Painting of terraced rice fields


Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh July 25th 2012

So Arrive in Hanoi no less than 24 hours (ish) late. The taxi driver was waiting for us though (good day!) got to our first hostel however and they had given our room away and the taxi driver didnt work for the company he was just a dodgey guy. (who would have known) found a second hostel though and when we arrived there down a tiny little alley te people were so nice (too ice maybe) (at this point in the story id like to say my unhappieness was back and I am now grumpy) This didnt last long however (yay) I thought the room was really good air con and it worked out really well.Nam howeer upon arrival is loud noisey smelly and the roads are amazingly difficult to cross. for people who havnt been ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Yen Bai July 23rd 2012

This is Part 1 of my 7-day solo trip to 3 provinces (Yên Bái – Lai Châu – Lào Cai) in the North West of Vietnam by train, local bus and motorbike (from 15/7 to 21/7/2012). On Sunday afternoon (July 15) I got a slow train from Hanoi to Yên Bái city. The train ride takes 5 hours as it stops at many stations. It was so pleasant to see Hanoi and the countryside landscape from the train, although the train windows are fixed with metal screens. When I got to Yên Bái city, it was 6pm. I went to the center of the city, but then decided to go back to the railway station and stayed overnight in this area, as it was easier for me to get a bus next day and go to ... read more
Landscape on the way to Suối Giàng
A little H'mong girl standing on tea tree
Skirts of Red H'mong women

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Dien Bien » Dien Bien Phu June 30th 2012

Stardate: 22062012 Captains log: We arrived in the system of Hanoi today. It is a crowded place, with lots of people on two-wheeled motorised machines, zipping up and down. They seem to live of a soup called 'pho', which consists of a noodle broth with pieces of unidentified meat in it. The centre of the town is a place where species from many systems live together. There are many young men and women with big backpacks walking around. They stay mainly in a few places where they congregate to eat food from their own home, and drink a yellow liquid called beer. The strange thing is that even though they can get much cheaper food and beer only a block a way, they nevertheless decide to eat in the most expensive places in town. My conclusion ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa June 3rd 2012

Bree punching one in the face and almost kicking the same lady as she made a rapid descent down a muddy slope. As fate would have it, out of 511 hotels available on agoda in Ha Noi, we chose the same as Dennis and Nicole who we said goodbye to in Hue. They happened to be planning the same as us, a trip to Sapa in North West Vietnam, with some quick rearranging of our accommodation thanks to Tim our desk man; we booked into a 2 day trip leaving the following night. We piled the majority of our luggage into the corner of the hotels main dining room. We weren’t leaving on our overnight train until 9.50pm so we thought it would be a good idea to grab a $4 bottle of vodka and kick ... read more
Terrace Outlook
H'Mong Grandmother
H'Mong Girl

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa June 1st 2012

So we headed to Hue but only stayed there for two nights. We booked a tour along the river to visit some tombs as this was the tour recommended to tourist. We set off the following morning to the boat where we bumped in to a few friends that we have been bumping in to all over Vietnam. So we had good company for the trip at least. The boat trip was enjoyable, floating along the river watching the world go by. However the tombs weren't that great and our 'guide' insisted on purchasing our tickets himself so I think there may have been a bit of scamming involved. After the trip we went for dinner with our friends and relaxed. The next day we headed to the Citedal and tried to find the market, we ... read more

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