Blogs from Vietnam, Asia - page 10

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Asia » Vietnam » Northeast February 27th 2014

HA LONG BAY Monday 24th February It was and early start for the 3.5 hour bus trip to Ha Long Bay. Wake up call at 6am, bags out at 7am and on the road at 8am. Monday morning and the traffic was incredible! Fortunately it was far worse for those going into the city than for us. It was our first real look at the rice paddies and vegetable gardens that followed the road all the way. The weather was still foggy and damp but the temperature a mild 17-18c. On the way we had a ‘happy room’ stop at a large complex set up to employ disadvantaged young people. They made most of the product available for sale and the quality was very good. The complex was modern and ... read more
Fruit Carving
Bat Cave on a Ha Long island
Rhonda in Ha Long Bay

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast February 27th 2014

Salut! Ouh, la, la, vraiment beaucoup de retard sur le blog... Nous voilà maintenant à Hoi An, ancien port de commerce et jolie "petite" ville de la côte est du Vietnam, perdue entre mer et rivière. Nous avons commencé par chercher une guesthouse. Nous avons dégoté un petit hôtelp à 15$ pour deux. Chambre très correcte et accueil très sympa. Je ne pense pas avoir encore parlé des homestays au Vietnam. Beaucoup de familles ont des grandes maisons qu'ils ont transformé en petits hôtels de charme (ou pas), un peu comme les gîtes ou maisons d'hôtes chez nous. On y est toujours bien accueilli, avec un autel des anciens (tradition vietnamienne qui rend hommage aux ancêtres de la famille) et parfois une photo de la famille au grand complet. Nous avons négocié le prêt de bicyclettes ... read more

Asia » Vietnam February 26th 2014

Hoi An was the place everyone we spoke to before leaving Australia said 'You must go there!' It was easy to immediately see why. The ancient town centre has been well preserved with lots of beautiful old buildings, at night the little walking bridges across the river are lit up, and each side of the river is lit by hundreds of colourful fabric lanterns. Photos just can't do it justice. Hoi An is a town that revolves around tourism. I was told by the owner of a beauty salon that there are 300 spas (massage places) in town, and Lonely Planet says there are about 500 tailors! We've taken advantage of both. I'm being a bit restrained with getting clothes made because I plan to come back to Hoi An later in my trip ... but ... read more
Postcard perfect!
Lantern, Madam?
It's a Hard Life!

Asia » Vietnam February 26th 2014

26 feb - Wednesday Up fairly early 0600 hrs, need to redistribute our baggage for the flight to Hanoi, as on arrival we go straight to Sa Pa by Sleeper train for 3 days trekking near the Chinese Border. We will leave all but essentials in Hanoi.We are both paranoid about heights and are keeping our fingers crossed that we don't have to traverse too many rope bridges, could just be too exciting for the pair of us. In the hours before our flight, we took a walk through Hue's market area, Dong Bu, which lies to the South East of the Citadel. All manner of grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, including raw meats being butchered. Plenty of pig's trotters, snouts and all sorts of unidentifiable bits being hawked. We are still amazed by the fact ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Bac Kan February 26th 2014

The Czechs have a charming way of describing someone who is peculiar or off their trolley: “he is special.” The kindest thing I can say about the majority of women in Bac Kan is that they are special. If I want to buy bread at breakfast time, I have to pass three chemists1 and four hairdressers2. One of the main monthly expenses for the Bac Kan household is mum’s hair. As a good old fashioned chauvinist pig I am happy to note that the women take care of their appearance but there is a slightdrawback: they spend all day with their crash helmet on. In banks, offices, restaurants, walking down the street, selling, buying ….. high heels, puffy jackets, cloth smog masks and a crash helmet. img=http://photos.travelblog.org/Photos/264840/828765/s/7911574-ng---i-ph--n--ngu-ng--c-2-0.jp... read more
người phụ nữ ngu ngốc 3

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Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Khanh Hoa » Nha Trang February 26th 2014

After we had once again had another sleepless night on a sleeper bus from Hoi An. we arrived in Nha Trang at a rather small bus station a little bit further on from the main touristy area.......not that we knew this at the time because we thought we were at a different station and so opted not to take a taxi to our next hostel, and so soon we found ourselves on a rather long walk to the part of Nha Trang which we needed to get to, and as it was still very early in the morning the streets were deserted so for a change we didn’t actually have taxi drivers shouting at us everywhere we looked. Just our luck....but we made it there eventually to our home for the next few days called True ... read more
Nha Trang
Grant at Po Nagar Cham Towers
Jade, Charlie, Sarah

Asia » Vietnam February 26th 2014

We are now in Hoi An. Drove here from Hue, through a mountain pass. It was lovely scenery. Of course, brat that I am, I kept thinking that the views and scenery were not as striking as Laos or gorgeous Bhutan. Still, it was a nice drive. We stopped briefly in Danang. Evidence of the American war is still visible...there is a HUGE airbase that is now vacant and derilict. It sits must across the road from five star ocean view resorts. There are at least 15 of them in a row, one after the other, lining the beach. Most of the guests are European or Russian. Not a pretty place. Danang does, however, have the most amazing bridge I have ever seen. The supports are shaped like a dragon. The photo does not do it ... read more
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Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thua Thien - Huế February 26th 2014

Left Hanoi, which we had enjoyed so much and took the hotel taxi to the airport. Flight book-in with Vietnam Airlines was a vast improvement on our previous one and we were checked in, baggage dropped within 15 minutes. Had not been quite careful enough with my packing and my nail scissors, as they often do, had found their way from my suitcase sponge bag back into my handbag. Confiscated. Oddly, they failed to find the liquid ice-packs which Bob had accidentally left in his carry on bag and I’m sure they were far more of a potential security risk than our bottle of water which we also had to leave behind ! Flight to Hue was only an hour and it took off exactly on time. At Hue it was strange not to have to ... read more
Our 7th floor view of Hue
On the pavement surgery. Not sure if it was dentistry or an ear operation
cycling blind

Asia » Vietnam February 25th 2014

Today was the day the group spilt. We had till half one till some of the group had a flight to catch. Dave took.us.to a.little cafe which looked.like any othrr clothes shop.but if.you go to the back it had a.rooftop cafe with views.of Hanoi. This is.what has been amazing.about the tour as he knows so.many little spots that you wouldnt find on your own. We all chatted and reminised about the trip. Had an amazing iced coffee with yogurt. Dave did a.speech and.actually got a.little bit.emotional as we gave him a card and a tip. We then headed back for goodbyes. Was sad because we had spent 20 days together which.may.not sound alot.but that was from.five am somedays till midnight so you got to find out alot about each other.once.goodbyes were over there.was eight of.us left. ... read more

Asia » Vietnam February 25th 2014

24th feb - Monday Up with the mopeds, but spent an hour enjoying home brewed tea (Paula's ) in our comfortable room. After a reasonable breakfast with as much fruit as a body can take, We leave on foot for the Imperial and Forbidden City, fighting off persistent offers of Taxi, Bike,Rickshaw Cyclists, we finally reach the Island and enter through Ngo Mon Gate. The colours and architecture are very impressive. The Citadel itself had been badly damaged through the ravages of war, but with help from the UN and other Charities, the City is slowly restoring some of its short but colourful history under the Nguyen and French Dynasty. We ambled around without a guide, but absorbed the flavour of the site, which we found very peaceful. Upon reaching the Mandarin's audience room, there is ... read more
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Emperor and Empress, Korean-style?
Two old relics together




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