Page 4 of Jon Plunkett Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa November 18th 2011

Vietnam - Sapa & Fansipan- No sleep and a bloody hard trek, not a great combination to reach the summit, but worth every second! After searching in Hanoi for a group of willing fools such as me to climb Vietnam’s highest mountain called Fansipan I found no takers. It left just one option, make my own way there and hope to find someone interested once in Sapa, I had my fingers crossed because to trek it on my own would be very expensive at $200 when it could be just $60 with a small group. I arrived in Sapa on a very comfortable tourist train complete with timber cladding and a flat screen TV I felt like I had jumped off the "roughing it" tourist ... read more
Sapa - Fansipan - The group at base camp
Sapa - Cat Cat Village
Sapa - Fansipan - The view from the top

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay November 15th 2011

Vietnam - Ha Long Bay - Mind blowing beauty, enough about me the trip was pretty good too! After a couple of hours trawling the tourist offices in Hanoi we finally settled on a 4* two night boat trip in Ha Long Bay. The choices on offer simply overwhelm you, there are so many tour operators all offering differing packages with prices all over the place and rumours of each others tours being nutritious for bad quality or being a rip off. We spoke to a multitude of people who basically said it seemed to be luck of the draw in relation to the quality of the tour, basically translated it meant good luck with your selection, great, I was not confident with my track record to date! In the end we opted for a tour ... read more
Ha Long Bay - Brads case made a good fridge!
Photo 14
Ha Long Bay - Brad relaxing

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi November 10th 2011

Vietnam – Hanoi – Motorbike madness with Moto and Cyclo! After arriving in Hanoi it soon struck me that it was going to be as crazy on the roads as Ho Chi Minh, on the way from the airport to the city I saw several accidents and it looked quite frightening and for once in my life I was more than happy to be on a bus. After finally locating my hotel I grabbed a coffee or two and waited for Bard to arrive from England, I was kind of interested to see his first reactions when he got out of the cab, it was fair to say it was one of WTF is happening here, why can’t I manoeuvre my suitcase across the road without fear of losing a limb! Welcome to Hanoi Brad! After ... read more
Hanoi - The bike that kept stalling!!!
Hanoi - View from the restaurant
Hanoi - Water Puppet Show

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Quảng Nam » Hoi An November 7th 2011

Vietnam - Hoi An - Why does it always rain on me?! With the combination of a ten hour train journey, a one hour bus ride and a thirty minute motorbike ride I was pretty knackered by the time I reached Hoi An, but I was anticipating good times because so many travellers had informed me it was a great place to visit. After trawling around for twenty minutes I finally found a hotel for $10, things seemed a little more expensive here but you could still find reasonably cheap digs if you looked and bartered hard enough. As you will all know I hate parting with my cash so needless to say I was prepared to look around for a bargain. I decided it was time for a quick stroll before having a late lunch, ... read more
Hoi An - The streets when I arrived
Hoi An - Yet more rain
Hoi An - Locals making their way across

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Khanh Hoa » Nha Trang November 6th 2011

Nha Trang – The calm before the storm and way too many air horns. Sadly for the remainder of Vietnam I will be camera-less because I stupidly dropped it on the floor in my hotel and it smashed to bits, not happy! So all I have now is my phone so some of the photos are less than perfect and there are far less of them because I’m not very brave when it comes to getting my phone out over a river or valley without a strap to hold on to. Nha Trang is known for its beaches and Islands and is the honeymoon location of choice for many locals. Sadly for me I seem to be chasing the rain around in Vietnam so conditions were not suitable for lying on the beach but there were ... read more
Vietnam - Nha Trang
Vietnam - Nha Trang
Vietnam - Nha Trang

Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Lam Dong » Da Lat November 3rd 2011

Dalat – A relaxing bike ride of two different varieties. After the chaos of Saigon I was really looking forward to heading to Dalat to explore the mountains and surrounding areas. There are a group of motor bike tour operators throughout the majority of Vietnam called the Easy Riders and like most things in Vietnam there are also many people pretending to be the Easy Riders. Once I located the original Easy Riders, well actually they located me within about 5 seconds of me stepping from my bus I arranged a tour for the following day. The tour was exceptional, one of the best tours I have done so far on my trip. My guide Lam was so knowledgeable, friendly and spoke fantastic English and the 7 hours on a bike flew by. I also don’t ... read more
Dalat - Snake rice wine and dead bird??
Dalat - Silk Facotry Tour
Dalat - Lam and a hand made basket

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 October 27th 2011

Ho Chi Minh City – The point where the bottom dropped out of my world, well actually the world dropped out of my bottom (Charles I have to confess I stole this one from your extensive jokes catalogue, just goes to show I did learn several things from you!) Good Morning Vietnam, well if only that was the case, I arrived in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) from Bangkok at around 7pm and shared a Taxi with a cool French guy who had travelled a fair bit. We were happily exchanging travel experiences when out of nowhere I felt like I had been repeatedly punched in the stomach and had the headaches from hell. Thankfully I was nearly at my hotel, I was feeling awful, very faint and dizzy and all I wanted to do was be ... read more
HCMC - A fairly busy roundabout
HCMC - Cao Dai Temple
HCMC - Rapidly developing at crazy speed

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok October 25th 2011

Bangkok - The Hangover 2 and a nerve wracking time wondering if I would get out before the floods hit! Following my incredible time in Laos I was heading back to Bangkok for 5 days until my flight to Vietnam. I had read all about how the floods were affecting Thailand but I was somewhat surprised to arrive and see absolutely no signs of them??? If you happened to live in a state of isolation from the news you could easily be forgiven for thinking that all was normal. However the truth would ultimately reveal itself in dramatic fashion! I had several things I wanted to do in Bangkok and one of them was to shop for super cheap clothes and electronics, genuine originals of course, ok maybe not but where else can I buy a ... read more
Bangkok - The Grand Palace
Bafngkok - You trim and I will foot the ladder!
Bangkok - Terminal 21

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang October 12th 2011

Laos – Finally one country where I’m not leaving behind a natural disaster! Internet access has been a little difficult at times so I have decided it’s time for something a bit different, one country, five cities all in one blog, please forgive me if this one goes on a little longer than normal. After making my way through Thailand it was time to cross the border into Laos, I decided I wanted to leave Thailand in traditional fashion so I jumped on board a trusty tuk tuk for the 3km journey to the crossing point and it reminded me just how noisy these things are, it’s like being at an F1 race. I was expecting to be greeted with the normal chaos that exists at most small land based border crossings however much to my ... read more
Thai - Laos border crossing
Huay Xai - The slow boat to Pek Bang
Luang Prabang - We arrived to a full on festival

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Rai October 12th 2011

Chiang Rai – Some unexpected delights on the way to Laos. I have to confess here I hadn’t read too much about Chiang Rai and I didn’t know what to expect apart from the lonely planet advised that it was a bit of a transit hub with not a great deal to do. When I was explaining my route to Maam and my thoughts about Chiang Rai she suggested I give it a look because it was quite interesting and some of the places and sights along the way were well worth going to. Who am I to question valuable local knowledge so I went with Maam’s suggestions and I’m very pleased I did. The only way I could get to see everything in the time I had available was to go as part of an ... read more
The Golden Triangle
The border with Myanmar
The gate of the Hill Tirbe Village

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