Blogs from North Central Coast, Vietnam, Asia


Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast May 16th 2015

Ha Long Bay, which translates to Descending Dragon Bay (as supposedly the karst formations were formed by a crash-landing dragon sent by the gods to protect the country from an invading army), is a 3-hour drive from Hanoi. We passed lots of rice and vegetable fields, sometimes with tombstones in the middle. Along the way we stopped at an embroidery factory that employs children born with deformities because their parents were exposed to Agent Orange, and also a cultured pearl factory. As we drew closer to the coast, the flat terrain was punctuated with limestone hills. As we lunched aboard our boat, it chugged amongst the small, limestone islands of the bay that rise vertically from the sea in interesting shapes and sizes. After lunch there were small boat rides around islands and through a couple ... read more
Ha Long Bay
Hang Sung Sot
Ha Long Bay

I suppose I had always intended to write this blog after every stop off on our journey. The truth is I haven't so much as suffered writer's block as severe motivational issues. I have a journal in my pocket so the writing has been happening but I guess that when you decide to take time out of an office the idea of sitting at a computer typing away seems to defy some of the point. A multitude of things bring us to Vietnam - or at least to this little break from the treadmill of life. None are really relevant to anyone reading this; suffice to say the principle aim has been to escape from any sense of normality and to try and immerse ourselves in a culture so very different from our own. I cannot ... read more
coconut water

So apparently I managed to sleep though a massive thunderstorm during our final night in Hanoi. We had to be up at 6 to make it to the airport for our 9am flight down to Hue (pronounced hway) so I’m pleased I got so much sleep in! I then also managed to fall asleep on the plane while we were still sat on the runway and not wake up until we began our decent into Hue! We found our way to the bus into town by following a couple of Canadians and were told that the driver would drop us at our hotel. On the drive in we passed about 7 or 8 wedding parties being held along the street. We later found out that because of the time of the lunar month it’s meant to ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Ha Tinh May 5th 2015

......... Why did I return to a place I didn't like the first time I was here? Two reasons, one I believe in second chances and two, I knew it would be easy to get a short contract here to get back to my ultimate goal....Latin America again.......Eventually, if nothing else comes up to sidetrack me lol I'm in a much different location than last year, but still the same shitty food options same ridiculousness in regards to the sun same organizational many of you know from reading my blogs regularly I have a distinct disdain towards Vietnam and the absurdity of the culture. Many will simply ask "well why are you there? You're a glutton for punishment" point taken, but as I stated above I do believe in second chances and unfortunately it hasn't ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thanh Hoa April 25th 2015

Hanoi Early morning today as we had to catch a plane to Hanoi this morning. Flight was around 1hr and the bus ride from the airport was around a 40min trip to the hotel. After checking in we went out for a late lunch. We all had lunch on the footpath across the road from the restaurant which was great fun. The food was bought over to us across a busy intersection on trays and was absolutely great. After that we walked down through the old quarter and had a look at some of the shops. Some of us wanted to see the Hang Long Water Puppet show so we purchased tickets for later that day. In the meantime we went to a coffee shop who knows where and had another great cup of coffee. After ... read more
building architecture
Huc (rising Sun)  Bridge on Hoan Kiem Lake
installing extra power lines

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thua Thien - Huế April 24th 2015

Hue Have added photos from The Citadel as left them off in yesterdays post. Enormous place and hopefully it will be restored. Photos don't due it justice. See next post for fun day on a motorbike.... read more
3 bronwyn imperial palace
230415 imperial palace
230415 remains of wall after bombing

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thua Thien - Huế April 24th 2015

Hue, Fun, fun, fun today. Got to ride on the back of a motorbike. We rode around who knows where but I am sure that is part of the tour going through all the laneways and alleys. We started off by visiting the Thanh Toan market which is on every day where everyone sells everything including raw meat, fish and live baby ducks. (see pictures) Once we had looked at the markets we were give a demonstration on how rice is made and what type of beds were used in the past. All very physical and this was shown to us by a very elderly lady. At this place they have a bridge that was built in 1776 and is called the Thanh Toan Tiled - Roofed Bridge. We all had our fortune told by the ... read more
230415 baby ducks for sale
240415 local scenery at markets
240415 old lady at markets

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thua Thien - Huế April 23rd 2015

Hoi An to Hue Left Hoi An and drove north to Da Nang. Da Nang is Vietnam's third biggest city and has the coolest bridge called the Dragon Bridge. See picture. It is becoming a major tourist and holiday destination due to the beach. Along the way we stopped At China Beach which is a really nice beach. They don't get big waves and it is very clean with lots of deck chairs laid out. From the beach you can see a statue called the Lady Buddha. Took a picture but it looks like she is floating in mid air due to the haze that was around that day. Moving on we continued to travel north over the Hai Van Pass (21km) of winding road. Great views and up the top are the ruins of a ... read more
230415 china beach
230415 hai van pass
230415 lady buddha

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thua Thien - Huế April 22nd 2015

Day in Hoi An Spent the whole day in Hoi An shopping and walking around looking at everything. Cooler today but nice for walking around. Easy to spend money here as there are lots of clothes, shoes and just about anything you would wish to buy. I thought we were quite restrained and only managed to buy so much. Have to think about what we need to add to our luggage. Had lunch at a nice little restaurant with coffee of course. The coffee is just so great in Vietnam. Had a swim in the hotel pool and went back out to find this Tea Room which is run by a group that provides opportunities for deaf and non speaking women. Very peaceful atmosphere and great tea and coffee with great homemade biscuits. We visited their ... read more
220415 River
220415 view from hotel at breakfast
220415 wall sculpture hoi an

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thua Thien - Huế April 12th 2015

Our train from Hanoi took 12 hours to reach Hue...and we arrived on time! I've been on many night trains from Saigon to Nha Trang in the last century...yes, that's like 15 years ago! Smile! So I was pretty happy to discover that the 4 sleepers carriages have been fully renovated. Nice! Hue has the reputation to be a pretty cloudy place, with a lot of rain....well, we had one of those morning. On arrival, no rain, but full grey sky. We dropped our bags at La Residence. This must be the nicest place to stay in town. We just left them our bags, and came back later for a pretty nice lunch, having the restaurant only to ourselves! This is my first visit to the Imperial City of Hue. This was the "capital" from around ... read more
Hue Imperial Citadel
Hai Van Pass...the pass in the clouds...

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