Blogs from Vietnam, Asia - page 9

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Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast March 1st 2014

01/03/2014 12 hour Train journey from Hue to Nha Trang Up bright and early for our taxi to the station. We had a bag full of food as previous experience of Asian train food in Indonesia had meant I spent a night in the bathroom so taking no chances. Bananas from breakfast bar, biscuits, bottles of juice and (non)-iced tins of coffee all to hand. We were glad of them later when we saw exactly what was served on the trolleys which passed us about 3 times during the journey. Glad we were sticking to biscuits. Half way along a local, after a discussion with his fellow travellers asked us why we were not eating dinner. I politely replied we weren’t hungry ! We had booked the soft seat option on the train, all air-conditioned. Train ... read more
Train from Hanoi coming into Hue
Meal trolley on the train. Eeer no thank you
First part of the journey was along the coast

Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Lam Dong » Da Lat March 1st 2014

Just 5 days in Saigon and we were moving on knowing that we would swing back through the city on our return. We booked seats on a bus to Da Lat in the Central Highlands. We had been here before and that was half the reason we were going back. Saigon and Da Lat are as different as night and day. While Saigon his noisy and frenetic; Da Lat is a lazy, quiet place famed for its food markets and the surrounding farms. Terraced fields and green houses of extraordinary size fill every available square foot of arable land. Coffee is a major product so coffee bushes proliferate up to the edges of the roads. We were riding on an overnight bus which had started out in the Mekong Delta. Overnight buses do not have normal ... read more
Da Lat Lake
The Chinese Temple
Cable Car

Asia » Vietnam March 1st 2014

1st mar - Saturday From the outset we were determined to visit Sa Pa and for good reason. It's stunning beauty has surpassed our expectations. The view from our hotel balcony, taking in the high Mountains and the lower hills and valleys in the cloud base below, are breathtaking. We leave with much regret but our schedule is now too tight to linger. We are going by coach to visit Can Cau near the Chinese border in the northern Highlands. It is renowned as a horse and buffalo market with traders travelling across from China to buy and sell. The local people are the Flower H'mong Tribe, as apposed to the Black H'mong who we met in Sa Pa. Our journey, as usual, is not without incident. We leave the hotel at 8am with two Black ... read more
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The breakdown.

Asia » Vietnam March 1st 2014

1. Houses are swept from front to back, always. You do not want to sweep,the good fortune out of the house. This is a fact, I have observed it several times, not just homes, also shops. 2. The Perfume River starts way up in the mountains. There are many fruit trees (peach and cherry) and cinnamon trees in the area. So, the water is very fragrant, hence the name. Not sure if this is fact or fiction, but it is a lovely story. 3. In the north, the rice must be transplanted, and they can only grow two crops a year. In the south, they do not need to transplant, and they can grow three crops a year. Hance, mamy from the north Mooie pave south, sometimes entire villages will migrate as one. 4. North Vietnamese ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thua Thien - Huế February 28th 2014

What a lovely day for a boat trip. Glorious blue sky all day and winter is definitely over now in this part of Vietnam. We can almost see the leaves coming out on the trees as we watch. They will look fantastic in a month’s time when all the blossom is out. After breakfast we took a taxi back down to the Dragon Boat station and found our boat, number 0367. We wholeheartedly recommend this boat and the family which owns and run it. We have promised the daughter (named Jolly Tran we think) that we would tell people to book this boat and we are doing so. Our friendly boat owner’s daughter came running up as we found the boat, she had waited to go to school until we were safely arrived. Her dad got ... read more
Children from the Hue Perfume River boat station
Cat in a Hat
Dragon Boat racing ours on Hue Perfume River

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Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi February 28th 2014

COCKROACHES AND EXPATS IN HANOI . THEY COME OUT AFTER DARK I have been in Hanoi since 1999. There again, I have been in Saigon, Devon, Medan, Devon, Veneto, Devon, Saigon again, Devon, Haiphong, Devon, Kalimantan, Devon, Khartoum, Devon, Bournemouth and Devon since 1999. Maybe the other places helped me or maybe being a village boy helped. I don’t know the answer but I go to the market here and, I swear, I am the only westerner they ever see. Evidence? - they tell me so; either in words or by calling everyone’s attention to the appearance of the alien. That would be unsurprising except that I keep seeing these very tall people with big noses appearing out of the alleyways about the time before English classes start or before the football is on tv in ... read more
van ho meat
van ho eggs
thanh xuan market

Asia » Vietnam February 28th 2014

27 feb - Thursday Sa Pa Trekking with the H'Mong Overnight train was quite decadent compared to our last trip to Hoi An. We had fresh bedding, teak wooded walls, bottles of complimentary water and even a basket of plastic flowers! Journey took longer than we thought, set off at 9.10pm and arriving at Hanoi 06.30am. Our mini-bus Drive lasted an hour and wound up, up and further up into the mountains. The sky was overcast and before long we were encased in swirls of mist, bringing visibility down to around 30 foot. Our trek was not going to give us the spectacular views we had anticipated, but we were going to give it our best shot. After down-sizing on luggage, dumping all but immediate necessities at the Hotel Grand View in Sa Pa, where we ... read more
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Asia » Vietnam February 28th 2014

28 feb - Friday Woke early and rose at 7am. Just in time to see our surrounding area. Momentarily, the mist has lifted to reveal stunning pine-covered mountains, in fact highest mountain in Vietnam, Fan Si Pan achieving 3,143 metres above sea level, is across the valley from our Homestay. Decided on clean teeth and scrubbed hands/faces, will have to leave showering till the Hotel later. Our guide has arrived for another day of trekking. Waiting for our younger fellow Trekkers to wake-up, amazing how much sleep they can enjoy! Looking forward to Pancakes this morning, after which our morning trek will take us to Giang Ta Chai village where the Red Dao Tribe live. After a lunch stop we trek onto Ban Ho Village. Transferring by road back to Sa Pa late afternoon, we are ... read more
Homestay Breakfast
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Asia » Vietnam February 28th 2014

Flying into Nha Trang was amazing. The landscape is desert, with huge sand dunes. At the coast, yiu. Oiled see miles of white sand beaches and blue/green water. I was very excited to check this place out. First clue this was an odd place came at the luggage carousel...I was looking at the signage, and commented that it looked like all the signs were in Vietnamese and Russian...why would that be, I wondered. Bags arrived and we met our guide. He told us, even before we were out of the airport that Russians love Nha Trang, they come for the sun and the beaches. There are five flights daily, yes, daily, from various cities in Russia to Nha Trang. English tourists are a definite minority, in fact, Vietnamese are almost a minority. When we went out ... read more
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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




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