Blogs from Vietnam, Asia


Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 August 8th 2019

It’s the last day of our holiday today, so we thought we would get ourselves in the right frame of mind (it’s now that we could do with those early morning tai chi sessions - see ) and go out to do battle with Ho Chi Minh City’s eight million mopeds again. It was raining again first thing in the morning, but, again, it had stopped by the time we came to leave our hotel. Our guide book had recommended the Jade Emperor Pagoda. Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon is split into a number of numbered districts, which sounds a bit Hunger Games-ish. Our walk to the pagoda took us out of the apparent security of ‘District 1’ and into the wilds of the untamed ‘District 3’. It seemed pretty much the same to us, ... read more
Jade Emperor Pagoda
Ho Chi Minh City Footpaths
Running Bean

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 August 7th 2019

Our hotel room is on the 20th floor with a view over the river, but that wasn’t high enough to dilute the constant sound of horns below all through the night. In the morning, it looked very overcast outside, but it wasn’t until we got to nearer the ground that we saw just how heavily it was raining. We still went out, armed with our raincoats, but the rain stopped almost immediately as we left the hotel. Our first stop was the Ben Thanh Market and to say that that was full-on would be putting in mildly. From the moment we walked in, “You want shoes?” “You want bags?” “You want scarves?” “You want watches?” “You want purses?” “You want t-shirts?” “I show you Gucci.” “I show you Nike.” “I show you Calvin Klein.” “Why you ... read more
Ben Thanh Market
Independence Palace
Main State Room

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi July 31st 2019

There were a few, distant lightning flashes in the night, but nothing in the league of the storm that hit yesterday morning. The morning started early with a lovely sunrise, which I was the only one on deck to enjoy, along with the peace and quite of the bay. It wasn’t long before the boat pulled-up its anchor and started to head off to another location, and then it was time for our the early morning Tai Chi. Compared to yesterday, this definitely seemed like the advance class. There were three of us again. This time the guy hosting it was in his proper silk Tai Chi outfit and went through three very complex stages. My balance is awful, I’ve got no coordination, my joints are inflexible and my knees are shot. I could take up ... read more
Museum of Vietnamese History
Restaurant With a View
Mad Mopeds

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay July 30th 2019

We were woken at about 4.00am by a massive bang and we looked out to see a biblical storm going on. Thunder and lightning, which was extremely close and extremely loud. We could see the flashes of light, but not the lightning itself as there were thick, grey clouds and rain was pelting down. It wasn’t looking good for the rest of the day, particularly as we had been warned that if the lightning got too bad, we would be going back to port and the day would be a right-off. We went back to sleep and were woken by some more noise at 6.00am, but this time it was our alarm (yes, we are getting up at 6.00am on holiday) as there is Tai Chi on the deck for everyone who gets up in time. ... read more
Cat Ba Village
View Over Cat Ba
Halong Bay Beach

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay July 29th 2019

We’re leaving Hanoi today, but it is not “goodbye” yet as we will be back again in a few days. We do love the independent travel, but it is something less to worry about when there is a transfer car waiting for us again to take us to the next location, Halong Bay. Like the car from the airport, there is both a guide and a driver, just for the two of us. Apparently, also (and this must have been lost in translation), they will wait there for us for three days to take us back to Hanoi. It took a while to get out of Hanoi, taking on all the mopeds. Despite the chaos, however, we have not seen a single accident since we have been here, although there were a few times people were ... read more
Rich People’s Road
Halong Bay
Boat Deck

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi July 28th 2019

Later in our holiday we are going on a boat and apparently the mornings will start with some Tai Chi. We could do with this now in order to get ourselves in a state of serene calm to be able to face the traffic without having a nervous breakdown. I’m sure the best way to cross the roads is to just close your eyes and walk. We headed for the Temple of Literature, which sounds like my daughter’s idea of hell. She would think we were either deliberately trying to ruin her life or having some sort of joke at her expense. It was a huge 30,000 Dong to enter, but I keep forgetting that that is just over £1, hardly denting my vast wad of Dong. I’ve noticed that there a no coins here, but ... read more
Citadel of Thang Long
Vietnamese Pancakes

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi July 27th 2019

I had heard that these Dreamliners change the colour tone of the cabin lighting to help you adjust to where you are going and the time of day. This plane was just showing off though, as we awoke to it cycling through all the colours of the rainbow, followed by a rainbow. There were no problems at immigration, although we have had more friendly welcomes to a country. Sadly, we then had to wait an absolute age at the baggage reclaim as the bags all trickled through over a period of 50 minutes, not helped by the return of the vast number of shrink-wrapped boxes that we had seen being checked-in in London. We did get to see quite a nice sunrise out of the windows by the baggage reclaim whilst we were waiting. Hopefully the ... read more
Dreamliner Light-show
Airport Sunrise
One Million Dong

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Phu Tho July 24th 2019

Motherhood is possibly the best and most memorable experience of life. But the journey is not always a smooth one, and the path can be even difficult for single moms. But where is a will there is a way. Children are the rays of hope of mothers. Their smile makes every task easy to accomplish. Road trips are things all children love and enjoy. For a single mother, a well-planned road trip can bring ultimate joy and precious moments. Why plan a road trip with your kids? Road trips ensure you get to spend some quality time with your kid. Taking some time out from your busy schedule and indulging in some family time will make your child happy. Road trips are great ways to connect with children. A long conversation will enable moms to learn ... read more

Now that I'm smack bang in the middle of the tourist trail, the Vietnam adventure just keeps getting better. After a fabulous spell on the beach at Nha Trang, it was time to keep on rolling. Although the famous resort town is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, it's surprising how far one has to travel to get to Cam Ranh airport. Granted it's an accident of geography, but a taxi ride from Nha Trang is around 50 kilometres from town, including having to navigate a winding hill pass. But once travellers arrive at the clean and modern airport, it's easy to bliss out under the luxurious air conditioning. Vietjet airlines check in and subsequent flight proved smooth sailing, and before long I landed in wonderful Hoi An. As discussed in the ... read more
Gorgeous temple
Lovely Hoi An

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Khanh Hoa » Nha Trang July 2nd 2019

The Vietnam adventure is really clicking in to top gear, as I commence a second week travelling in this diverse and fascinating country. Just a few hours out of Ho Chi Minh city is the coastal town of Vung Tau, and I thought it worth a visit as this destination hadn't figured in the previous trip to Vietnam. So it was time to climb aboard a coach for the morning and journey on down to the city. Granted It's been several years since my last visit to Southeast Asia (and I'm not sure if it's also a trend in other nearby countries) but the coaches I've been on feature a bizarre reclining seat set up as the only option. I can tell you, as a six foot tall foreigner the configuration is a total nightmare. Travellers ... read more
Vung Tau park
Nha Trang
Nice restaurant

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