Blogs from Hoa Binh, Northwest, Vietnam, Asia

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Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh December 16th 2014

Which Hue? So I get off the train coming back from Sapa, and I have a very chilly motorbike ride back to the hotel. I get some warm tea there and await my taxi to take me to the airport for my flight to wait. I don't know much about hue, except that it was the ancient capital of Vietnam, and has a lot of ancient ruins. On the airplane, I see a guy wearing a Detroit Tigers hat. Therefore I ask him, "Are you really a Detroit Tigers fan?" He replies, "No, but I'm from Michigan." And I say, "No way, I'm from Kalamazoo!" And crazy enough, not only is he from Grand Rapids, he moved to the Bay Area seven years ago, and now lies in Oakland. This is so ironic, since I moved ... read more
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Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh December 15th 2014

Následující kapitola pojednává o tom, jak se naši výletníci konečně vymaní z gravitační sféry Hanoje a zamíří na jih. Po několika desítkách kilometrů rovně mezi banány zahnou doprava opět do kopců mezi národnostní menšiny. Tentokrát zamíří mezi Muongy a Bílé Thaje, v jejichž tradičním obydlí na kůlech stráví noc. V této kapitole dojde rovněž k jednomu nečekanému a dramatickému zvratu. (Sledujte bedlivě fotodokumentaci.) Když jsme z Viet Tri (čti Vietči) dorazili do Hoa Binh, byli jsme ohromeni monumentalitou zdejší socialistické architektury (jde o hl. město celé oblasti) a tvrdostí našich sedel. Abychom ulevili otlačeným zadnicím a namoženým kvadricepsům, rozhodli jsme se zůstat ve městě 2 dny a navštívit nedaleké vyhlášené termální prameny. Vyrazili jsme tedy nalehko nějakých 30 kiláčků boční silnicí ... read more
orba rýžového pole
podobných šťastných výjevů tu míjíme bezpočet
večerní trh s prasečíma ušima a jinými laskominami

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh December 11th 2014

Čtvrtá kapitola pojednává o tom, jak se Eliška se Štěpánem probijí mlhou a bahnem do kopců a zase z nich sjedou do údolí, přespí v honosných socialistických ubytovnách i skromnějších hodinových hotelích, nacpou se nudlovou polévkou pho, až se jim boule za ušima nadělají a především ujedou svých prvních 180 km po Vietnamu vlastními silami. Vietnamci na nás často spustí vietnamštinou a když se tváříme nechápavě, mluví na nás pomalu - vietnamsky. Naše slovní zásoba je však dosud omezená na několik základních slov: polévka, rýže, dobrý den, děkuji, pivo, kolo a autobus. Z pozorování posunků je ale zjevné, že výkřiky a otázky Vietnamců jsou vesnici od vesnice podobné: No teda, ty jsou vysoký! Proč nejedete na motorce? Co to má ta ženská na hlavě? Právě to je nejvíc zajímá - výška Štěpánova sedla, jeh... read more
smažené tofu v housce a smažená rýže s ukrytým masem
kopečky
typické obydlí

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh September 22nd 2014

Weekend 12 to 14 September 2014 - My father organized a 3-day trip for our family and his friends to Kim Bôi hot spring which is located in northwest Vietnam, 80km away from Hanoi. It is exactly 6 years since my first trip to this place and I was happy to go back and see how it has changed. Kim Bôi hot spring is a popular destination for north Vietnamese from September to December, when the weather is cooler. Its mineral water is suitable for drinking, bathing and useful in medical treatments. It’s not an open air stream. The mineral water is pumped into public or private pools and you choose the pool. A ticket for public pool is VND 50,000 (about US$ 2.5). There are private pools for 2 or 13 people and they are ... read more
At a shop outside Kim Bôi hot spring
Ethnic minority girls singing songs
My father and nephew at the end of the trip

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh » Mai Chau November 17th 2013

And so a few more weeks into my Hanoi Holiday and I've found the time and energy away from my vietnamese classes on the weekdays to embark on another provincial escapade during the weekend. Last time round i headed south towards Ninh Binh, so this time round I decided to head west towards Mai Chau. Now although I'd never been there before, thinking about the destination brings back some memories because I still remember looking at the map and wondering whether I could go there en route during the Lao-Vietnam border crossing I did late last year, from Vieng Xai to Na Meo. That was a painful, near 10h bus ride through the winding highlands, all the way to Thanh Hoa, Unfortunately, the detour to Mai Chau was not possible, or at least not on the ... read more
Pom Coong Village
Old Vietnamese Banknotes
Mai Chau Market

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh » Mai Chau September 14th 2013

Moc Chau Während wir auf Jan's Visa warteten, packten wir die nötigsten Sachen für einen 2 Wöchigen Ausflug und liessen den Rest bei Hang und Sa stehen. Auf dem Weg Richtung Moc Chau genossen wir die schöne Landschaft mit Reisfeldern, Bergen/Hügel und die verschiedene Einheimischen. Wir haben in Vietnam bereits so viele Zuckerrohrdrinks getrunken und nun haben wir zum 1. Mal die Pflanzen selbst gesehen. Wir waren uns nicht einmal sicher, bis wir die Verkäuferin gefragt haben. Man muss das Zuckerrohr zuerst schälen, bevor man es benutzen kann. Wir haben ein ganzes Zuckerrohr für 10000d gekauft. Die Verkäuferin schnitt es in kleine Stücke für uns, damit wir einfach den Saft heraus kauen können. Auch sahen wir, dass sehr junge Kinder (ca. 6 oder 7) schon die Büffelherde bewachen. Ganz kleine Kindern werden in einem Korb hinter ... read more
Blick auf unseren Weg
Jan geniesst die Aussicht
Mai Chau von oben

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh » Mai Chau December 19th 2012

From December 16 through the 19, Scott and I decided to venture slightly south to the small village of Mai Chau rather than spend a few more days in Hanoi waiting for our Christmas excursion to Sapa. We called ahead and booked 3 nights at a traditional homestay with stilt houses and bungalows, located a little off the beaten path from Mai Chau's "city center" - basically a few shops, street-food restaurants and a gas station. We planned our journey, intending to take an 8:00 a.m. public bus, but, after taking a taxi all the way across town and arriving at the bus station, we were informed that the bus had left earlier than we thought, and the next one wasn't leaving until 1:30 p.m. Great. With no other choice aside from camping out in the ... read more
Stilt house/ common area
Bungalows
Water lilies

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh July 25th 2012

So Arrive in Hanoi no less than 24 hours (ish) late. The taxi driver was waiting for us though (good day!) got to our first hostel however and they had given our room away and the taxi driver didnt work for the company he was just a dodgey guy. (who would have known) found a second hostel though and when we arrived there down a tiny little alley te people were so nice (too ice maybe) (at this point in the story id like to say my unhappieness was back and I am now grumpy) This didnt last long however (yay) I thought the room was really good air con and it worked out really well.Nam howeer upon arrival is loud noisey smelly and the roads are amazingly difficult to cross. for people who havnt been ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh April 4th 2012

Friday, 30 March 2012 - My company organized a one day trip, so I traveled with my colleagues to Thung Nai which is located 100km northwest of Hanoi. Thung Nai means "valley of deer" as deer were coming to this valley in the old days. When Hòa Bình hydropower plant was built in the 1980s, the valley became a reservoir. The mountains were partly submerged in the water and they became islands, as a result the landscape is similar to Hạ Long bay. We left Hanoi at 7am and back to the city at 7:30pm. When we arrived at Thung Nai commune, we rented a boat (about US$60) and cruised on the reservoir. We visited a couple of temples and I saw some interesting things there. Along the way to the temples, the Mường and Dzao ... read more
View from our boat (stairs to Đền Trình temple)
Baking fishes over a wood fire
View from our boat (cruising on the reservoir)

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh » Mai Chau March 15th 2011

Wednesday 2nd March We are off to Mai Chau which is a district of Hoa Binh Province in the northwestern region of Vietnam. The district is located at about 160 km from Ha Noi. We are picked up by a 4x4 outside the hostel and already theres a Canadian lady and her daughter sitting tightly in the back two seats. We are now sitting in the middle with the tour guide and the front two seat are occupied by the driver and co driver who's role is still unclear even to this day! This is going to be a rough ride and its not long before we're hurtling down the bumpy highways towards our village in the mountains. Two hours later at the halfway mark has us at a grim roadside cafe where the toilets were ... read more
Mai Chau Valley
Mai Chau Valley
Mai Chau town




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