Blogs from Son La, Northwest, Vietnam, Asia

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Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Son La January 22nd 2013

The aroma of spicy breakfast floats through our window. It is 7am and we are leaving Hanoi today. Down on the street we are served steaming Pho sitting on our little plastic chairs. Pho seems to be the national dish served out of every shop front and street corner. It is boiled noodles with meat, spices and a variety of salad vegetables. Very yummy! We are travelling west today, up The Black River Valley, which winds its way up through the mountains to the Laos border. It sounds all very exotic and as matter of fact it is. The bus takes 12 hours but being the flash packers we are we have hired a car and driver for 2 days. Thai is the driver’s name who is supposed to speak beautiful English which may be so ... read more
off to market
pig in a bag
back door view

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Son La December 3rd 2011

Xin chào everyone, Last time I was in Hanoi, but I decide after 4 days to do a tour of the north west of the country. But I will go back to Hanoi after the tour, because there are still a lot of thing I haven’t since yet. I started my tour by Mai Chau, a little town at roughly 3 hours bus from Hanoi. This is a little town with a lot of villages around and that is in one of them that I found my bed for 2 nights. I stay in a little village named Ban Van. This is a village I’ll say about 70 stilt houses surrounded by rice plantations and mountains not far from Mai Chau. This is a quiet village with nice people… almost. There is a difference between here ... read more
2-Ban Van
3-Street of Ban van
4-My guesthouse

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Son La July 18th 2011

This is kind of a long story - and a bit of a shaggy dog one at that. While planning for this trip, I had the usual "bucket list" of places I'd not been to yet ... places such as Angkor Wat, Saigon, Phnom Penh, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Mekong Delta, Beaches, Vientienne, Luang Prabang, Irrawady Mekong River Dolphins, etc. While researching and planning for the trip, I realized that 3 weeks was not enough time for everything on the bucket list, so I compromised to visiting the south east of Vietnam and the southern parts of Lao before finishing off in Angkor Wat. That meant no Hanoi, Halong Bay, Vientienne nor Luang Prabang. Since the initial travelling was going so well, I changed my original plans from crossing into Laos after Hue to going north to ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Son La July 18th 2011

This propaganda is not disguised as news, entertainment or advertisements.... read more
Street propaganda
Saigon Street
Street propaganda

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Son La July 18th 2011

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Son La July 18th 2011

I think you'll figure out why I called this entry trash talk. The talk part is a T-shirt slogan I read on the street, but wasn't quick enough to snap a shot of it. The T-shirt said, "Art is what the artist can get away with." The pictures are of various trash bin disguises and the occasional road sign.... read more
Dong Que Ho Te?
Trash disguise
Trash disguise

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Son La November 3rd 2010

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Son La May 5th 2010

April 30 and May Day were our national holiday, plus weekend, so we had a long holiday this year. Myself and two Vietnamese girls rented a 4 seater car with driver and traveled 192km to Mộc Châu highlands in north west Vietnam. Mộc Châu is a district in Sơn La province and this place is off the beaten track. It's also home of some ethnic minority groups such as the Thai, H'mong, Muong etc. At altitude 1050m, Mộc Châu has cool climate and it's good for diary farming and tea plantations. Mộc Châu milk is a famous brand name in Vietnam, along with Vinamilk. April 30, 2010 - We left Hanoi at 7:30am and traveled along the National Highway No. 6. When we were going up mountains, at one section, it was so foggy that the ... read more
Two H'mong boys in Mộc Châu
Skirt of blue H'mong women
At a house near the tea plantation hills

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Son La January 5th 2010

Hi there ladies and gents! Sorry for always taking a long time to post a blog. This blog will describe my adventures in Phu Tho Province about 100K"m from Hanoi in the Highlands of the northwest. I spent over two weeks here in the highlands which is up in the mountains with Muong (ethnic minority) for my studies. I was grouped together with Brad and Valdis (both classmates) and we did some analysis of options for starting up a waste management program in the village we were studying - Chieng Mot (1). Our conclusions show that at present an organized system is not feasable... But apart from that we had a great time with the help of our interpreter Lien who was fluent in English to translate everything for us during our interviews with about 10 ... read more
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Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Son La June 10th 2007

The second part of my trip to Viet Nam was to go and do some research. This a quick overview of the area that I got to see. I am not sure why, but instead of getting permission to be in the highlands for 2 weeks, I ended up with only part of a week. My goal was too see the highlands near Son La to observe their farming practices. The landscape is severe, with steep slopes all along the way. (There is precious little flat land in the valleys.) There are many fields with 60 degree or more sloped areas where people are on the edge of survival. Due to my time constraints, I was only able to do a some interviews, and due to the rain, I was not able to really explore ... read more
Development is coming fast
a local bike shop in Son La
Caphe sua: coffee with sweetened condensed milk




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