Blogs from Hoa Binh, Northwest, Vietnam, Asia


Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh June 24th 2021

Hoi An, this little city was once considered the best port city for trade by Chinese and Japanese merchants. The Hoi An lantern festival is very popular but during the current Covid situation the number of lanterns and visitors were much reduced but despite that it was still very magical and with a boat trip along the river where Hieu & Spring set two lanterns into the river, giving special offerings and good wishes to particular members of the voyagers on board. A very poignant moment. This tradition started centuries ago, where on the full moon people from all over the region would come to participate. Our tour ended in a beautiful coffee shop where we had views across this ancient town.... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh January 19th 2020

We arrive from the overnight train journey about 930am. My first opinion of Hanoi is that despite being large city, full of Vietnamese people who drive like psychos, it's still a lot more chill and quiet than Saigon (Ho Chi Minh). We check into our hotel, my room's on level 8 - the elevator only goes to level 7.. AGAIN. I'm not quite sure how they designed these hotels, but what a fucking ball ache. We do some sight seeing to see: Long Bein Bridge, The Literature Museum, One pillar pogada, outside of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, his house and then the biggest waste of time ever - the crashed B52 Plane. It looks like someone had a fight with a can opener. It was an epic walk through a narrow alleyway full of shops ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh » Mai Chau November 6th 2019

Mai Chau dalen en langstrakt dal hvor der bor flere af de i alt 54 forskellige etniske minoriteter. For at få et indtryk af de forskellige minoriteter besøgte vi flere familier og blev inviteret ind og se deres beboelse. Husene var bygget på pæle da der i flere tilfælde har været oversvømmelse i dalen. Denne byggestil er blevet udviklet over mange hundrede år og bruges af flere forskellige minoriteter. Første besøg var en frokost hos en Hvid Thai familie. Efter frokosten fik vi lov til at gå op på første sal for at se deres beboelse. Den består en sove afdeling og et familie alter og et skab med TV og familiens få egendele. Efter besøget gik vi en smuk tur langs rismarkerne hvor man er i gang med at afslutte høsten og vandbøflerne for lov ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh » Mai Chau April 18th 2017

We left Hanoi for the four hour drive to Mai Chau on a small tourist bus, US$18 a seat, and it was not the most comfortable trip as the seats were small, made for tiny Asian frames. And they are small people. Even in today's modern world with different eating habits and more money they all are lovely and slim. The rest of the passengers were young backpackers on a two day tour to the region - as usual they slept all the way or fiddled with their phones. Not that there was a lot to see for the first couple of hours as we were just driving along the main highway. The Mai Chau valley is 135 klms from Hanoi and is renowned for its' stilt houses and rice fields. The small town of Mai ... read more
The lovely hills surrounding Mai Chau
One of the tiny roads between villages.
Colourful floral and embroidered apron squares

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh February 6th 2017

As I gaze out of the doors across the paddy fields my thoughts remain indistinct. Gauzy, flimsy and somewhat opaque - like the mosquito net covering our mattress in the communal stilt house in Mai Chau. Not quite the homestay I had imagined but is anything what we really imagine? Yesterday we had cycled 14km around the local villages and paddy fields ending up in the market, a bustling, thriving centre for Tet purchases. We had bought baskets of goodies for our homestays back in Hanoi, joining in the spirit of things, watching the locals stock up on food for the four day celebration. We ate com lam, a winter delicacy of sticky rice rammed into a bamboo holder and grilled until cooked served with peanuts and salt and sipped dark caramel flavoured Vietnamese coffee. At ... read more
Tet goodie bags
Com Lam
Rice seedlings

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

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
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 bus ... read more
Pom Coong Village
Old Vietnamese Banknotes
Mai Chau Market

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