Blogs from Red River Delta, Vietnam, Asia - page 5


Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi October 24th 2014

Our base for this leg of the trip has been right bang in the middle of the bustling old quarter of Hanoi. Fortunately we had arranged a pick up, we would never have found the hotel otherwise. Places like this need time to wander round in order to get a sense of where you are. The old quarter is what it says on the label, the original Hanoi. Narrow streets, jam packed with people, shops, pavement stalls and vehicles. Movement is almost by negotiation, weighing up what is going where before making your move. Arriving on a Saturday meant that in addition to normal business there was the night market also, with the middle of the roads occupied with market stalls. Obviously mostly geared up for the tourist business with all the usual tat. It's amazing ... read more
Carol trying out the street vendor's kit
Families live in the dwellings next to the railway line; harsh!

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta October 24th 2014

In our quiet time in Hanoi Carol had been checking out options for the three days that we had originally put aside for Halong Bay. This area features prominently in the reviews for this part of Vietnam. Key features are coastal, many limestone islands and pinnacles, served by a vast range of boats of all sizes (and conditions). Some of the reviews mentioned that the area is almost at capacity with the number of vessels on the move, which are in a sense beginning to spoil the natural environment that they are there to experience. So, we opted out of Halong Bay and into Cat Ba Island. Essentially the same beautiful landscape, but as yet, less exploited. After a bit of good old Googling Carol found Blue Swimmer Adventures. Presented as an Eco friendly outfit, focusing ... read more
Not a bad place to stay
Halong Bay

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Ninh Binh » Tam Coc October 18th 2014

Je joins les photos et la contribution de Simon ! Bizzz Laurence ------------- Salut tout le monde ! Je me décide enfin à écrire ces quelques lignes et comme Laurence a très bien décrit nos différents points de chutes, je n'ai pas grand chose à rajouter quant à notre parcours. Je vais donc principalement vous faire part des éléments qui ne sont peut-être pas essentiels pour la compréhension de notre itinéraire, mais qui permettront de vous faire partager un peu plus notre expérience. Premièrement, ces quelques lignes ont été difficiles pour moi. Non par manque de choses à raconter, mais parce que j ai entrepris cet exercice dans notre premier sleeping bus vietnamien, dans la campagne de phong nha. Un sleeping bus vietnamien, c'est un bus classique doté de trois rangées de deux étages de couchettes, ... read more
Da Nang

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi October 15th 2014

During the first 24 hours in Hanoi we booked our trip to Ha Giang province and got our bearings one again around the streets of the old town. We arrived around lunchtime after a two and half hour flight from Kaohsuing and caught a taxi into the city. We were in Hanoi last year but didn't even notice the long colourful mosaic wall which lines the highway into the old town. It is four kilometers in length and highlights the culture and history of the country in a brightly coloured mosaic tile banner. We were welcomed warmly at the Hanoi Guest house (we stayed there last year) and after dumping our bags set out to rediscover the chaos which is Hanoi old town. Of course we got totally lost - we were trying to find Hoan ... read more
Part of the 4 kilometre  mosaic tile wall leading into the old town
The little street we sat in each night whilst we enjoyed late afternoon drinks
Old lady with bamboo fan

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi October 10th 2014

10 October 2014 - Today we celebrate the 60th anniversary of Hanoi’s Liberation Day. On 9 October 1954 the French troops left Hanoi and the war against the French was going to an end. Next day the Vietnamese soldiers came into Hanoi from different directions and they were happily greeted by the Hanoians. There are many activities in Hanoi these days and I saw many foreign tourists around Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi's center. Some Vietnamese students approached to talk with them. The streets are decorated with flowers and colorful lights at night as well as flags everywhere. You can go to see photo exhibitions, music concerts or fireworks at 30 different locations in and around the city tonight. On this day 4 years ago I walked around Hanoi with an English friend. It was the ... read more
Watering flowers by Hoàn Kiếm lake in Hanoi's center
Turtle tower on Hoàn Kiếm lake in Hanoi's center
My parents and their 60 years in Hanoi

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi October 9th 2014

Hanoi is a 1000 year old city that served as the political center of Vietnam during most of its history. It is the national capital, main city in the north, a big railroad junction and a good starting point for some of Vietnam’s most spectacular destinations. The city itself lies on the banks of the Red River and its branches, surrounded by mountains on the north and the west. Unlike its southern competitor (Ho Chi Minh City) it has specific traditional mentality, which is probably the reason why its economy still lags behind. What this two cities have in common, though, is a regular control of order and peace by the police, something that smaller cities have mostly managed to avoid. Urbanism The form of Hanoi is determined by the direction of the Red River and ... read more
Street vendors
One pillar Pagoda
The Old town

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi September 18th 2014

I basically rushed to Hanoi from Koh Rong (a small island in the south of Cambodia) because my bestie would be there, the reason why I stayed a whole week. Which is about 4 days too much, if u ask me. I took the public bus from the airport into town because I'm stupid. Like an idiot I felt that 10pm would be a good time for an adventure. You see this was the first time I arrived at a place alone. So I was feeling ballsy. I got onto the first bus I could find and asked the driver if he went near the cathedral (the old town). It was pointless because no one understood a thing and before I could ask a second time, he drove off with me still trying to format the ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi September 8th 2014

8 Sep 2014 - Today is our full moon day or Mid-Autumn Festival. It is 5 years since my last blog about the Mid-Autumn Festival in Hanoi which I published in 2009. One week ago I took my nephew and niece to visit a big market in the Old Quarter where traditional lanterns and toys are sold for this event. In Vietnam, the Mid-Autumn Festival is considered as the festival for children and we buy them lanterns or toys as well as presenting each other moon cakes. On the 15th of August based on our lunar calendar a big party is organized for children and they parade with lanterns or watch lion dance. We walked along some streets in the Old Quarter and enjoyed great atmosphere there. It has been a long time since I went ... read more
My nephew next to a lion head
A lantern indicating our love for Vietnam's islands
Star shaped lantern

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi August 21st 2014

We arrived to the Especen Hotel early on Saturday the 16th ready to explore the city. Our small and quaint hotel is located on a quiet street in the cathedral district and the staff was more than helpful in recommending places to visit and eat during our stay. The hotel was only $12 a night and Victoria and I both had queen beds and shared a balcony with a view of the cathedral. What a great deal! We put our stuff down and went out to a restaurant that our concierge recommended called An Ngon where we had a great lunch of fresh spring rolls, fried rice, and of course some pho! Afterwards we walked to the Hoan Kiem Lake in the center of the city and went over the lake bridge to a small temple ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi August 20th 2014

So today was my last day in Vietnam and the end of my time in SE Asia! It seems to have gone by so fast only seems like yesterday when I arrived in Thailand. So many miles covered, things seen, experiences and people I have met. It's been pretty amazing and in many ways I'm sorry to say goodbye to it all. However the next chapter awaits so it's off to China I go :-) As it was the last day it was. Kind of hang around and kill time kind of day. Up and showered, breakfast, checkout and then a bit of retail therapy with Lindsay and Melita, lunch and then a minibus ride to the airport. It's about $17 to the airport normally but as there was around 14 of us all hiking at ... read more

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