Page 4 of AmandaL Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Guangxi » Liuzhou April 9th 2010

Day 133: Friday, April 9th, 2010. Hua Shan to Liuzhou, China. Per Intrepid Notes, "Day 15 Liuzhou On day 15, we have a long journey ahead of us. Leaving Hua Shan in the morning, we transfer back to Ningming (approx. 1 hour) and board a public bus to Nanning (approx. 2 hours). From Nanning, we board another bus to our destination for the night, Liuzhou (approx. 4 hours). We have the afternoon and the next morning free in Liuzhou to explore the local markets or head to the centre of town for a more up-market shopping experience. In Liuzhou we stay in a comfortable and centrally located hotel. We will take an afternoon stroll near our hotel for a short orientation walk to find the nearest bank, internet cafe and local eateries." Should have doped myself ... read more

Asia » China April 8th 2010

Day 132: Thursday, April 8th, 2010. Hua Shan, China. After breakfast (I pass since we're about to do a 2 hour walk), we head out to explore our surroundings. We stop at the nearby town whose main part consists of maybe 5 mud and stone buildings. It's interesting to see the everyday lifestyle and, considering how the outside looks, I'm amazed when people emerge from their homes and they look clean and well dressed for the day. I don't see how anything around here can be clean. We see, from afar, the local school and we head back to our bungalows. We break for a couple of hours (Dick is the only one in the mood for lunch) and then we meet up again to go do a river boat cruise that will take us down ... read more
Dick, Ling and local guide.
Nice view from our table though.

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Hua Shan April 7th 2010

Day 131: Wednesday, April 7th, 2010. Cat Ba, Vietnam to Hua Shan, China. Per Intrepid Notes, "Days 13-14 Hua Shan On day 13 we again board a chartered boat for a direct transfer back to Bai Chay, then onto a private bus for a drive to the border of China (approx. 6 hours). Be prepared for some long waits at the Friendship Gate border crossing into China. We then travel on by bus via Pingxiang and Ningming to Hua Shan (approx. 1 hour). We spend two nights in a charming guesthouse, set near a little village of wooden Dong and Zhuang-style houses. Quiet and isolated, this is a great base for uninterrupted explorations of the magnificent mountain scenery. On the day 14 we meet with a local guide and explore the local villages and countryside by ... read more
Outside our bungalow
Our room
View from our Balcony

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong » Cat Ba Island April 6th 2010

Day 130: Tuesday, April 6th, 2010. Halong Bay to Cat Ba, Vietnam. Intrepid notes continued: "On day 12 we arrive at the beautiful and relaxing Cat Ba Island for one night. On Cat Ba Island we stay in a basic one-star hotel. There are options to trek in the national park, spend time on the beaches, kayak the warm waters, check out the local markets or watch the harbour activity. The lovely foreshore is a great place to sip an evening beer and watch the sunset. Upon arrival at our guesthouse we will take a short orientation walk, your leader will point out the best options for internet, cafes, restaurants and which way to the beach." The weather is much clearer (still foggy but not oppressively so) and, liter aside, it was a beautiful morning. I ... read more
P.O.N. Halong Bay
Oyster Farm
The gang contemplating Water Buffalo, the other red meat.

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay April 5th 2010

Day 129: Monday, April 5th, 2010. Hanoi to Halong Bay, Vietnam (Deja Vu anyone?) Per Intrepid Notes, "Days 11-12 Halong Bay On the morning of day 11 we travel to Bai Chay (approx. 3 hours) by public bus, board a chartered boat and embark on an overnight cruise through majestic Halong Bay, where 2,000 limestone peaks emerge dramatically from the sea. Halong Bay has been declared a World Heritage site and is the perfect start to our journey. While on board, we have the opportunity to visit spectacular caves, crammed with stalagmites and stalactites, as well as enjoy a scrumptious seafood feast on board. In warm weather, we can swim around the boat or even to nearby beaches. Our small boat on Halong Bay is basic but comfortable with private twin-share cabins and shared bathroom facilities."
 ... read more
View from one of our windows
Halong Bay
Captain's view

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi April 4th 2010

Day 128: Sunday, April 4th, 2010. Hanoi, Vietnam. Since I wasn't checking out until Noon, I went with Susan down to breakfast around 9:30 am. The remaining gang was all down there so we got to chat one more time. I said goodbye to them all again and went upstairs to try to catch up on the pictures and blog and to enjoy TV. This hotel was actually quite nice so I was able to sit back, relax, and not wondering about germs and critters. Susan took off around 10 am to do some last minute shopping so I was on my own for my final 2 hours there. I headed down to the lobby around 11:30 am and Rita had just gotten there as well. The desk clerk ordered us a taxi and we were ... read more
Our view.

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi April 3rd 2010

Day 127: Saturday, April 3rd, 2010. Halong Bay back to Hanoi, Vietnam. Per Intrepid notes, "Days 9-10 Hanoi We catch a bus to Hanoi and hope to arrive by lunchtime. The afternoon is free for you to explore this delightful capital city. Why not stop for a bia hoi (freshly brewed draught beer) at one of the microbars in the Old Quarter or relax at a cafe by one of the city's glassy lakes before meeting up with the group for one last dinner together? Our fully equipped hotel in Hanoi is centrally located near the historic Temple of Literature and has modern twin and double rooms, ensuite bathrooms and air conditioning. Day 10 is free for your own explorations but please be at the 6:00pm meeting where you'll get to meet your new travelling companions ... read more
Some tower pagoda island in Halong Bay
View from inside dining deck.
Morning in Halong Bay

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay April 2nd 2010

Day 126: Friday, April 2nd, 2010. Hanoi to Halong Bay, Vietnam. Per Intrepid Notes, i}"Day 8 Halong Bay Another bus ride takes us to the famous Halong Bay (approx. 4 hours), where we board our private boat and enjoy a sumptuous seafood lunch while cruising past some of the 2,000 limestone karsts that dot this World Heritage site. While here, you'll have the opportunity to swim in the bay's emerald waters, explore caves with incredible stalactites and stalagmites as well as enjoy the tranquility of this bay of wonders. Our overnight accommodation on Halong Bay is on a sailing junk with twin bed cabins that have air-conditioning and private facilities. There is also a dining room and bar where we enjoy a sumptuous lunch and dinner." We left our big bags in the hotel and packed ... read more
All of us in Halong Bay
Inside Sung Sot Caves
Gang (most of) in Halong Bay

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi April 1st 2010

Day 125: Thursday, April 1st, 2010. early morning train arrives in Hanoi, Vietnam. Per the Intrepid Notes, "Day 7 Hanoi We arrive in the morning in Hanoi. After freshening up at the hotel, we visit KOTO youth training restaurant for breakfast. This inspirational place, run by the energetic Mr Jimmy Pham, gives street kids a chance to learn skills in hospitality so they can build a brighter future. Following breakfast, you can take an optional tour of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex, which includes the One Pillar Pagoda, the stilt house Ho lived in as well as the Ho Chi Minh Museum. The rest of the day is free to explore the rest of Hanoi, one of Intrepid's favourite cities. We strongly recommend that you venture into the atmospheric Old Quarter to see the Vietnam ... read more
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Puppet Theater
Gang at "bar"

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi March 31st 2010

Day 124: Wednesday, March 31st, 2010. Hue, later with overnight train to Hanoi, Vietnam. This morning we took a riverboat cruise down/up/whatever the url= River. It was interesting to see everyday life along the river, but I don't think I'll join them on bathing/washing my clothes there. We get to the url= Mu Pagoda and take a look around. They have the car that drove "The Most Venerable Thieh Quang Duc" to the intersection where he set himself on fire in protest on how Buddhists were treated. They also had sign there sayin... read more
Ho Quyen Arena
Lang Tu Duc
Thanh Toan Tile-Roofed Bridge

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