Retired and having fun travelling far and wide in Tandy, our Motorhome.

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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City March 7th 2014

Writing this a little retrospectively as now back home in the UK. Didn’t manage to finish this while we were away, just too busy. Not quite as early a start today though 8.30am is quite early enough when you’re on holiday. We really have been quite hectic this trip, good thing we have had the two relaxing days at the beach. As yesterday our little coach collected us from the hotel reception and we set off for a 90 minute trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels. We were heading for Ben Dinh which is quite close to the Cambodian border and also the Saigon river. The 75 miles of very narrow tunnels allowed movement between the two countries and also had exits to the river. They were used extensively by the Viet Cong during the Vietnamese ... read more
Orchid transporters
Can never get far from scooters when travelling through Saigon
breakfast  anyone ?

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta March 6th 2014

Early start for our Mekong Delta day trip which for ease we booked through the hotel. The 20-seater coach picked us up from the hotel at 7.30am and we stopped at a couple more hotels to pick up the rest of the passengers. Our guide was Tommy, a Vietnamese with excellent English, a wicked sense of humour and a very expressive face especially when he winked. He entertained us along the way with humourous snippets of information. We stopped after a couple of hours to “sing a song”, as he referred to it, at a Craft complex of course. Stop was really not long enough for any serious shopping and indeed, if we had intended souvenir shopping this trip, we would have been disappointed as Tommy kept us on the move past quite a number of ... read more
 Mekong Delta
Honey tea in the Mekong Delta
Local musicians entertained us as we ate fruit

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City March 5th 2014

A day in the city, exploring, as next two days are reserved for trips out and about. We had intended first of all to visit the Reunification Palace which is in the park a little way up from the hotel. A check of the guide book showed it was closed 11am to 1pm and our timing was out so we decided to leave it for another day. A little odd when we headed out in that direction, right along the park where the map showed it to be, we couldn’t see it. The invisible palace. Our first stop was the Cathedral, very French in design of course as it was built during the French colonial period and the same for the magnificent Post Office building, built and decorated in an altogether grand style. A popular tourist ... read more
Sahdy tree lined boulevard in Saigon
first of the Saigon wedding photos of the day - not a real wedding we think
Saigon Cathedral

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City March 4th 2014

Not much to today. Got up, had breakfast, packed our bags and checked out. Realised later we must have left the little camera somewhere – that room had a lot of cupboards and drawers. Not worth asking hotel to post it on as postage probably cost more than camera is worth. May email Nha Trang and Hue hotels to see if they found it when we get back to Jane’s. We hadn’t checked but had expected the airport to be a little inland, back from the sea. nstead we headed south following the coast. Spotted a few luxury style resorts and the road was all laid out with flowers down the centre, for miles, along the way. Drive was about 30 minutes and we were well in time for our flight. Far too well as it ... read more
Airport to Saigon
Airport taxi to Saigon
First experience of Saigon scooters

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast March 3rd 2014

Though we were having 2 lazy beach days we still wanted to see a little of the town so we set off along the promenade, checking out the wonderful long, pristinely clean sandy beach all the way, heading for the river estuary. Here the fishing boats are moored but we were at the wrong time of day to watch any boats coming and going. There were plenty bobbing about in the water with their round woven traditional coracles, which they use for getting ashore and between the boats, fastened between them. A colourful scene. We walked to the next bridge along and then turned left back towards the town. This was a very busy road with lots of interesting things to see, as always in this country. Everyone is very friendly with lots of smiles and ... read more
Nha Trang beach
Nha Trang beach
2 local lads enjoying being sprayed by a road washer van

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast March 2nd 2014

Our two days at the beach were planned as relaxation time as we knew the other days in cities would be hectic. Woke to a view of the sea through the bedroom window and the sun was streaming in. We had a leisurely breakfast and then took a stroll along the rather superb, wide promenade which runs right along the seafront through the town. Not many people out on the street at this time as really, as we discovered, it was a little bit too hot for walking in the open, full sun. Back to the hotel to change into swim wear and we went down to the beach to find a sunbed. Our hotel has a designated little stretch of “private” beach which basically means the sunbeds in that area are free to Novotel guests. ... read more
Sea view from the Novotel
Lovely view across to some of the islands in the bay
Always have one photo of Bob and the map each holiday

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 » 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

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thua Thien - Huế February 27th 2014

Today according to the plan is a Culture day. So after breakfast we headed across the bridge to the Imperial City and the Citadel. On foot as not very far to walk from our hotel at all. Once there we were accosted by a hoard of Cyclo drivers all offering to take us round the city, very cheap, too far to walk etc etc. We smiled and waved them all away but then one, a little more persistent told us we needed a ticket to get into the Citadel and we thought he was taking us to get one. He and his friend were wearing an official uniform and had a pass so we presumed they were genuine. Ha ha, the Salts were badly duped this time. Yes the first part of the agreed one hour ... read more
Me, Bob and a cyclo driver
Ornate gateway in Hue, old city
Monk's quaters in a pagoda in the old city

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

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