Blogs from Northeast, Vietnam, Asia - page 5

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Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Mèo Vạc October 11th 2014

There are no words to adequately describe the amazing region around Ha Giang and Meo Vac except STUNNING... A land of incredible karsts, deep valleys lined with terraces, tiny wooden or mud houses scattered everywhere, brightly dressed ethnic women, waves and smiles from grubby happy children, water buffalos, a surprising amount of cows, ducks, chickens, cats, dogs, dusty towns, rock hard beds.... We had an amazing three days travelling along the couple of hundred kilometers of winding narrow road in this area. No speed limits were broken - Tuin was a fabulous driver. He had a hard task as the roads were very busy and he never knew what was around the corner. Every motorbike and many of the cars drove straight down the centre of the road which accounted for a few gasps from Jerry ... read more
Old house in Cao Bang
One of the many valleys enroute between cao Bang and Meo Vac
Gorgeous scenery around Meo Vac

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Cao Bang October 10th 2014

We were heading to Cao Bang where we were to spend the next day which was around 100 kilometers away. Again it was really picturesque with endless karsts, rice fields, valleys of terraces below the road and tiny villages. The fields were busy with the rice harvest in full swing - some appeared to being cut by hand but most were using tiny machines. The rest of the process though was being done by hand. The rice sheafs were being bundled, tied together with another sheaf and left standing upended to begin the drying process. From above many of the fields were patterned with the different shapes and sizes of the bundles. The women were wearing long black skirts and purple blouses. At 11.30am the roads became busy with streams of school children riding bikes home ... read more
Jerry and I in front of the falls on the Vietnamese side
Lots of little pigs off to the market...
Looking towards the falls

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast October 9th 2014

Hanoi is sheer chaos after the orderliness of Taiwan streets were they have road rules and follow them! The best way to cross the streets in Hanoi is to close your eyes and go... As long as you don't stop or change your pace the hundreds of motorbikes manage to manoeuvre around you. Though it is definitely much busier than it even was last year. And the touts are still annoyingly persistent. It's a hard way to make a living I guess. Hanoi still remains one of my favourite cities though. A modicum of traditional living still thrives in the old town despite the immense change that tourism has bought. It is always fun to poke around the quieter streets which circle the core of the old town, explore the busy daily market and visit some ... read more
One of the many colourful displays at the Ethnic museum we visited.
A traditional house from central Vietnam which was on display in  the grounds of the museum.
Wafer thin sheets of wood drying beside the road

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay August 31st 2014

After spending a month back home seeing family, I headed to Vietnam with some friends. We spent a 16-hour layover in Hong Kong before landing in Hanoi. The first night in Hanoi, I grabbed dinner at a local restaurant. Sitting on stools on the sidewalk, the busy nightlife of Hanoi came alive. After some delicious meats on a skewer with some beer, my buddies and I headed to a local rooftop bar. The next morning I headed to Halong Bay on a private car. The ride took around four hours. After an hour wait at the port, I boarded a ferry to Cat Ba—the biggest island in Halong Bay. The ferry took under an hour and provided the first beautiful views of the rock formations in Halong Bay. The ferry dropped me off t the north ... read more
Cool Rock
Hong Kong
Arriving at our resort

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay August 21st 2014

We arrived in the Halong Bay Harbour around 2pm where a tender boat picked us up and brought us to the Legacy Boat. The boat has 12 rooms and housed 20 people. It was definitely a more relaxed crowd with a mixture of honeymooners, families, and older couples, but it was perfect for what Victoria and I wanted which was a tranquil trip on the bay. We had an amazing lunch of crab cakes, stir fry, shrimp, rice, fruit and more and then got ready for a full day of activities starting with a kayaking trip around the bay. After kayaking we did some swimming in a small cave area which was so refreshing in the humid heat on the bay! We then did some exploring of the natural caves which were absolutely amazing. After that ... read more
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Asia » Vietnam » Northeast August 15th 2014

We awoke the second day in Sapa to find that it was raining and very cloudy. We had been told by our guide the day before that if it rained it would be very slippery under foot and would be very slippery, and we would be walking down hill, so,we really didn't fancy it. Added to,the fact that Lindsay was feeling a bit under the weather. We saw our guide at breakfast and told her that we didn't want to go trekking and she was ok with this and went off to do her own thing. So we asked reception what time we could check out and they said 1pm - bonus! So,we headed back to the room and chilled out, watched telly, slept and did some admin. We checked out at 1pm and then had ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Ha Giang July 29th 2014

As you may or may not know, Ha Giang city is the capital of Ha Giang province which is the northern most province of Vietnam and it borders with China. Having lived in Hanoi for almost 2 years now, I have heard whispers and great stories of this province. I finally got my chance to come explore this area by accepting a short teaching contract for some summer classes! What I didn’t know is what this city had to offer. Most only do a brief stop off before and after the “Ha Giang motorbike loop” which goes from HG city, to Quang Ba, Dong Van, Meo Vac and back to HG city. This loop is for the adventurous and those looking for something more authentic than the over developed Sa Pa. The scenery here is arguably ... read more
Thon Tha
The way to Thon Tha
The way to the "other villages"

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Cao Bang June 10th 2014

You want to spend 5 days traveling, taking tours, seeing wonderful caves and waterfalls, and drinking your nights away… all for $80?! It’s not impossible. Follow me and I’ll show you the way. The setting in Lunar New Year, or Tet as the Vietnamese call it. It’s the biggest celebration of the year and most have 2 weeks off to travel to the homeland to visit family and make offerings to God’s and ancestors. Most everything is shut down, especially in the big cities. As an English teacher in Hanoi, I have at my disposal the plush scenery of northern Vietnam. Pick your posion: Cuc Phuong/Ninh Binh, Cat Ba island, Ha Long Bay, Sapa, Mai Chao, Ha Giang, Ba Vi, and Tam Dao to name a few. What we chose to do was head straight up ... read more
wildlife
off the beaten path
Trung Khanh

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay June 1st 2014

From Ha Noi we traveled around 130km east to Hạ Long Bay. I was really excited about this trip. When I first researched Viet Nam I came upon the famous images of the limestone karsts and islets perched like pearls in the emerald waters of the bay. The karsts are the big draw, they have been worn down by the sea into pillars and interesting shapes and the water has teased caves and archways into them. I'd wanted to see them for years and had high hopes for the Unesco World Heritage site. Hạ Long Bay is gorgeous even from land but the best way to experience it, we'd been told, was by boat. Tours abound from day trips on rustic fishing boats to luxury week long cruises and everything in-between. Matt booked us a 2 ... read more
Ha Long arch
Ha Long sunset
Ha Long sunset

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay May 7th 2014

I returned to Hanoi in mid April after spending 6 months in southern Vietnam and 8 months in Australia. I was happy to go back home and met my family as well as eating my favorite food. My sister from Sài Gòn (HCM city) also went back home with her husband and son during our national holiday, so we made a 4-day trip to Hạ Long bay from 30 April to 3 May 2014. My Swedish brother in law had never been to Hạ Long bay even though he has been living in Vietnam for 3 and a half years. He wished to see the bay so we organized the trip for him. We rented a 16 seater car with driver and the 11 of us arrived in Bãi Cháy city at 7pm. This city is ... read more
My nephew and niece at Hạ Long bay
Hạ Long bay
Kevin played with a plastic eagle




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