Page 4 of CallMeBecs Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Lam Dong » Da Lat November 22nd 2012

We wanted to travel to Dalat to get away from the coast a bit and see a different side of Vietnam. The medium sized city of 200,000 is located in the Central Highlands of Vietnam at around 1500m altitude. The climate is much different from the coast with most days not going above 25 celcius and the evenings getting as low as 10 celcius. Dalat is the honeymoon capital of Vietnam so it is usually full of local tourists. It has also been referred to as Le Petit Paris due to its French Colonial influence that is evident in the abundance of French Colonial architecture and streets of French villas. Our early departure from rainy Nha Trang meant we would get to Dalat in the early afternoon and still have plenty of time to explore before ... read more
Hilly streets of Dalat
Xuan Huong Lake
Train Station

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Khanh Hoa » Nha Trang November 18th 2012

Nha Trang wasn't originally a city we planned to stop in on our trip through Vietnam. However, after loving the beaches we had seen so far, we decided to add it to our itinerary. We had taken another uncomfortable overnight bus from Hoi An which arrived at about 7:00am. Once again we were dropped off in the middle of the backpacker/hotel area. Adjusting to the bus pick up and drop off convenience in Vietnam has been really pleasant after China. Since it was so early, many hotels appeared closed and it took us a while to find a place to stay. When we had checked in to Mai Huy for a couple nights, we went to find some coffee. Right across the street from our hotel was a wonderful lady who served us large strong coffees ... read more
View from Po Nagar Cham Towers
Columns leading up to the towers
The two biggest towers

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Quảng Nam » Hoi An November 17th 2012

We arrived in Hoi An after the sun had set and it was raining a bit, yet again. Lucky for us it has usually only rained in the evenings, overnight or early mornings; our days have been full of sun and blue skies. This time we refused all hotel touts in search of our own place. We were happy with the first place and agreed on a nice cheap price ($8/night). The darkness always makes it feel later than it actually is so we hesitated to go out before realizing it was barely 7:00. Out we went to explore the Old Town. There were beautiful lanterns lighting our way through the old streets, over the bridges and along the river. Immediately we knew we were really going to like this place. The following morning we were ... read more
An Bang Beach

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thua Thien - Huế » Hué November 14th 2012

The overnight bus from Ninh Binh was pretty horrible. We were the last to get on the bus and got shoved in the back corner by the toilet with a really nice guy named Triss (could have been Tryst, he was English, maybe... It's hard to keep track of who's from where). After a restless 11 hours we made it to Hue (minus Rebecca's flipflops which got eaten by the bus) and conveniently got dropped off right in the middle of the tourist area. It was about 7:30am, raining and we weren't 100% sure where we wanted to stay so we just let one of the guys (waiting to take people to his hotel) take us to his hotel. The room was okay and we decided to stay – it was still raining and far too ... read more
Monk on the way to the temple

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Ninh Binh November 12th 2012

We had similar bus/boat/bus transportation from Cat Ba to Ninh Binh that was just as simple/complicated and again took about 5 hours. As usual we were swarmed getting off the bus by men encouraging us to stay at their hotel. We had accepted the card of a guy who strategically hopped on the bus a while before it stopped at the station and headed right for Queen Mini Hotel. For $8/night we got a great spacious room with a balcony, AC, wifi and clean bathroom. It would be perfect for the one night we wanted to spend in Ninh Binh. There isn't anything too spectacular about the city itself, but the surrounding area has some of Vietnam's top sites. We knew exactly what we wanted to see and do and immediately started asking around to compare ... read more
5-coloured langur
baby golden-headed langur
Female white-cheeked gibbon

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong » Cat Ba Island November 12th 2012

Our transportation to Cat Ba was simple yet complicated. Simple because we paid for one ticket that got us from our hotel in Hanoi to Cat Ba Town; complicated because it involved a number of modes of transportation. First we were taken by xe om (moto-taxi) to the bus station. It was about 7am so the traffic wasn't bad thank goodness. Next we hopped on a bus that took us to Haiphong. Haiphong was hit pretty hard by the typhoon; trees and electrical lines were down all over the place and some roofs were missing, but they seem to be sort of used to cleaning up and dealing with this sort of thing in South-East Asia. Everyone was working together to clean up the typhoons mess. From the centre of Haiphong (we had switched onto a ... read more
View from the Hospital Cave
Inside the Hospital Cave
Railing protecting us from death

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thua Thien - Huế » Hué November 7th 2012

We have been in Vietnam for almost two weeks and I haven't even given you a full “holy crap I'm in a new country!” report... what a slacker. Well Vietnam has been full of pleasant surprises. Before coming to this country we heard a lot about how unwelcoming the locals can be; luckily we have received only smiles and helpful advice. The locals are generally our main source of information when it comes to food we should try or places we need to visit so their kindness has been greatly appreciated. Some things I have learned since we arrived: the coffee is very strong, I really don't like caves, riding on the back of a moto-taxi isn't as scary as I suspected (and is a very cheap way to get around) and Vietnam is just as ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi November 6th 2012

We made it to Vietnam! New country, new language, new food and so much more! We have been re-energized and feel like we may have been slacking the last couple of weeks in China (in regards to blogging) so you can take this as our renewed commitment to provide every little detail of our days. Does this mean more blogs? Probably not, but it does mean that we will be more thorough in our writing and hope to add more photos for your enjoyment. Now... Hanoi... Hanoi was our first window into what Vietnam was going to be all about. The guide book describes it as 'The Old Dame of the Orient'. It is an ancient city of about 7 million people. It has survived many wars and colonial rule and has tons of character to ... read more
Prison Cell

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi October 28th 2012

Okay, so I wrote the three month blog late and this is being published early but I am making up the rules as I go so read on... As I'm writing this I'm looking at a wall of random thoughts people have written. We find this type of thing at many guesthouses or hostels along the way. One bathroom stall in Xi'an in particular was pretty amusing. Some of the things I'm reading: “Be curious, not judgemental” - Walt Witman “May your life be filled with experiences and humbleness instead of money and pride” “Life is like a wild tiger you can either lie down and let it put its paw on your head or you can get on its back and take a ride” “Happiness is a choice” “A mormon girl was here” “If you ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing » Tian'anmen October 28th 2012

Beijing – Pingyao – Xi'an – Chengdu – Kangding – Xiangcheng – Qiaotou – Naxi Village (Tiger Leaping Gorge) – Halfway Guesthouse (Tiger Leaping Gorge) – Qiaotou – Shangri-La – Shaxi Village – Dali Old Town – Caicun – Dali Old Town – Kunming – Xinjie – Pugaolao – Kunming – Yangshuo – Nanning We spent just under two months in China. As part of the bigger picture, it was less than 1% of our entire lives. How can such a tiny fraction of our time on this planet have been so life-altering? Here is a brief summary of what the last two months looked like, if this only describes about 1% of our trip, imagine how truly amazing China really is: Beijing was slightly hectic. We saw so much in our first few days in ... read more

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