Page 3 of Tellico Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Asakusa April 3rd 2017

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, mostly because we’re traveling to many different cities and Tom’s been on the computer confirming travel plans and doing business with US companies (including the Navy Exchange, unfortunately) that can’t comprehend that someone might travel outside the US and not be able to just pick up a phone and call during their business hours. Skype has been very useful, but those companies who say “just mail us a copy of …” should be disestablished. I tease Tom that the reason he likes Japan so much is that it’s pathologically organized. We breezed through immigration and customs at Tokyo’s Haneda airport and were in our taxi within 25 minutes – and almost immediately were tangled in traffic resulting from an overturned truck on the elevated highway. In our hotels, there ... read more
Honda Automation's Robot
Rainy Weather in Tokyo
Honda's Uni-CUb

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Quang Tri » Dong Ha April 3rd 2017

We’re now in Dong Hoi, known among travelers mostly for its nearness to the Phong Nam caves in the national park. Yesterday, we visited Paradise Cave, which was amazing. I’ve attached photographs, but they don’t do the cave justice. It’s huge and better than any cave we’ve visited in the US (mostly commercial caves for me, but Tom’s been a caver for many years in the eastern US). No gaudy lights (Ruby Falls) either. If you’re really interested in caves, look up Son Doong cave on Google or check It’s the largest cave in the world, in an area of at least 150 caves near the Vietnam-Laos border. It was discovered by a farmer in 1991, but he forgot where the entran... read more
Paradise Cave Entrance
More Formations

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thua Thien - Huế March 19th 2017

We were sitting on the balcony of our hotel in Hue, when Tom said, "Look at that man!" He was repairing a window on a building a few blocks away. This was not the only time we saw such daring, but usually the worker wore some sort of safety harness. Not this guy.... read more
Middle View
Can you believe this?

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong March 19th 2017

Our last Vietnam adventure was a four day, two night trip on a teakwood boat to Bai Tu Long Bay with Indochina Junk. Tom, always the master planner, had decided long ago that we’d be happier without a crowd of tourists, so he reserved a one-stateroom boat. Bai Tu Long Bay is a less crowded area off HaLong Bay, which has become more and more crowded with tourists over the past 9 years. Thanks to Tom’s planning, we sailed in luxury on the Princess Junk, with a crew of four (captain, mechanic, chef and guide) taking care –very good care – of us. The weather was foggy and cool, so we spent a good deal of time inside the small dining room cabin, rather than on one of the two decks. Trips out into the bays ... read more
The Princess Junk
Cleopatra of the Bay
Master Planner

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Da Nang March 12th 2017

So I’m sitting in the Quy Nhon train station, which is actually in Dieu Tri, when I spot a familiar logo on a new or freshly pressed T-shirt. I don’t think the older man sitting across the way from me really understood my interest, but he politely allowed me to take these photos. Bunker, would you please notify the Ford dealer?... read more

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thua Thien - Huế March 12th 2017

We stopped for a couple of days at the Takalau Resort in the beach resort area of Phan Thiet (fan-teet) and Mui Ne. As we’d just managed to drag ourselves out of the resort on Phu Quoc Island, we needed a respite from a single day in chaotic Ho Chi Minh City. (Yeah, right …) Actually, the resort and these two towns showed us the real impact of European tourism on a “normal” Vietnamese town. We thought we were taking the easy, luxury way when we asked the hotel to have a driver meet us at the train station, but the guest relations lady, a Frenchwoman, was surprised that we had actually taken the Vietnamese train. When asked, she said that their guests arrive via luxury bus, and she herself had never taken the train though ... read more
Danang's Aircraft Bunkers
More Hangers

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta March 1st 2017

The Mekong is Asia’s international river, starting in Tibet and flowing through China’s Yunnan province, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia before it gets to Vietnam. Issues of water conservation and environmental impacts of dams are the same here as on the Rio Grande or Colorado in the States. South of Saigon (or Ho Chi Minh City or HCMC), the river breaks into a delta, much like the Mississippi. We traveled on a teak boat south from the town of Cai Be to Ha Tien on the west coast of Vietnam, which borders the Gulf of Thailand. A working river, the Mekong carries everything from huge barges to tourist boats to small boats and canoes carrying produce, fish or people . We boarded one day and floated overnight, then transferred to a car to drive across “dancing ... read more
Mekong sunset
Tra Su National Forest
Tra Su National Forest -- Heron

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City February 21st 2017

We’re staying at the Beautiful Saigon Hotel in District 1, also known as the backpacker district. The usual tourist hotels are in another part of town; we’re in the area where younger (ahem) people stay, a mix of 2-3 star hotels and hostels, bars, massage parlors, cheap restaurants, and souvenir stores. We wear earplugs to sleep because of the rock music blasting out of the bars, but we knew that before we arrived – this is the fourth time we’ve stayed here and we knew our room would front the street. It’s a great place for people watching and listening. Yesterday, we could hear Chinese and German conversations in the breakfast room, and at today's breakfast, we talked with a man who was here in the Army in the late 1960s. We spend our days walking, ... read more
Beans at the Market
Ben Thanh Market
Meat Market

Asia » Hong Kong » Cheung Chau February 19th 2017

Today, we’ll fly to Vietnam after a wonderful few days in Hong Kong. The weather here is usually foggy and cool this time of year, but they’re apparently having the same kind of winter as east Tennessee. We’ve had three days of blue sky, blue water, and temps in the 70s and 80s, and spent two days exploring two of the 263 (I did not count) outer islands: Lamma Island and Cheung Chau Island. You can’t do anything in Hong Kong without crossing water, and dozens of boats and ships are moving through Victoria Harbor between Kowloon and Hong Kong at any time. We took one ferry to get to the central piers, changing to other ferries to the outer islands. Lamma was highly recommended as a place to hike and eat seafood, so we planned ... read more
Cheung Chau Harbor
Goddess of Mercy
Pig Cooperative

North America » United States » Tennessee » Knoxville January 28th 2017

Tom and I are retired, living in east Tennessee in the US. We’re leaving in mid-February 2017 on an extended trip to Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Japan. We hope to re-visit old favorites and old friends, and explore areas we haven’t been able to visit in the past. We try to travel light, each carrying a small backpack (25-30 pounds maximum) and a smaller daypack. On past trips, we’ve learned that suitcases are useless and that you can carry everything you need in a small pack, just not everything you might want. (As a woman, I find that by the time I get home, I never want to see these clothes again.) I’m sure that we’ll add to the lessons we’ve learned on earlier trips as we travel. These long trips are made possible by friends ... read more

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