Page 6 of TravellingTandem Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok February 25th 2008

So, what do you do when you're brought up in sunny South Africa, spend a year working in Korea, and half way through the winter that's redefined unbelievably cold and introduced you to sub zero temperatures, you discover that in two weeks time you have 5 days of vacation coming up? ... Thailand!! That's what you do! A week before we were due to go, we booked our flights what a relief! and arranged to do our Advanced Scuba course on the little island of Ko Tao. So there we were... passports, credit card, camera, and a couple more odds and ends shoved into our day packs, ready for the bus ride to the airport! All went far too smoothly for the amount of planning we put in (Well, that is if you exclude the 2,5hours ... read more
Big glittery Gate
Pad Thai
Digging in

Asia » South Korea » Gyeonggi-do February 1st 2008

Coming back form the warm humidity of Vietnam to the icy winter of Korea was a real shock to the system. When we signed up for this job we had thought that Korea was one of those nice warm asian countries. Shows how naive we were. WE got the first snow of the year on the day that I got back from Vietnam, and the temperature stayed below freezing for the next three months. At first it was fantastic. All the South Africans in the village were out playing in the snow, throwing snowballs and taking photos, while the other teachers watched us from behind their windows as if we were nuts. But after a couple of weeks of having to get out of the bed on freezing mornings and sliding on the ice-covered bricks around ... read more
Ready to hit the slopes
Me, Cathy, Julian, Tash, Chad
About to head down

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Binh Thuan » Mui Ne November 21st 2007

South East Asia is the place to be if you are a backpacker. While Vietnam is not as over-done as some parts of Thailand, there are still streams of white faces packing onto busses heading out of the major cities in all directions. Some come for a few days away from corporate stress or to drink cheap Pina Coladas under the palm trees, but as you get a bit further away from the package resorts, you find a few of the old-school travellers, who have lodged down in a bungallow for the past few weeks / months, with no real plan. If pressed, they will often give the mysterious answer that they are there to "find" themselves. With a week to go before having to return to the ultra-connected pace of life in South Korea, what ... read more
After a great session
Prawns and banana wine

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » Cu Chi November 13th 2007

Once again we had to join in a package tour to get to a sight we were really keen to see. This time it was the elaborate tunnel system dug by the Viet Cong around the area of Cu Chi during the American war. The Sinh Cafe bus took us (via the standard curio market stop-off) to the area where we would have a morning tour of the underground network that was made up of 3 levels and 250km of incredibly narrow tunnels. Over 4 years 16,000 Viet Cong guerillas lived fought, and for 12,000 of them, died in the cramped, dark subterranean town. Despite the losses, the tunnels were so effective that they were apparently a major reason that the American troops were ultimately withdrawn from Vietnam. Several of the tunnels had been widened to ... read more
Through the tunnels
Test firing an M16
Our eventful cyclo trip

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Vinh Long November 12th 2007

(Vin Long (An Binh) - Ben Tre - My Tho - HCMC ) We woke up to the rooster... and... here's the best part... rolled over and went back to sleep!! Island life is wonderful! When we did get up we mosied over to see what was for breakfast. -Silly things like describing sweet/black coffee become fantastically animated when neither party knows what each other is talking about! After we got that sorted, our host recommended the noodles with baby octopus, and a beer for breakfast... ( WHAT!? ) umm... at 8am... umm... well, naaa! We asked if we could have fruit instead. A short while later, our host re-appeared in the garden, with a long pole for twisting the fruit off the trees! it was superb! We had a fruit similar to a grape crossed ... read more
Escape from the madness
The open road
Across a bridge

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Can Tho November 11th 2007

It was a good thing we had two alarms with us, because it's no easy thing getting up at 5am on your holiday. Nevertheless, by 5:30 we were being led between the old buildings on the side of the river to where our boatman for the day was steadying a 5m long boat, shaped like a large canoe. We dumped our backpack in the front of the boat, and stretched out in the middle, while our 19 year-old boatman used two oars to row us away from the shore. The boat did not sit very high above the water, but it was comfortable enough, a good thing since we'd paid the guy for the next 8 hours. As we got away from the bank, our driver swung the long extended propeller shaft of a 5hp motor ... read more
Filling up
Agricultural Armada
Got my coffeeeeeee!!

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Can Tho November 10th 2007

We woke up at 6am to be packed and ready for our motorbike taxis to take us to our ferry to Rach Gia. The road from our resort into town was extra beautiful in the early morning sun shine. It was kind of sad riding out of the town for the last time. It's a really tough decision to make, to leave paradise for the sake of a new unknown adventure... Phu Quoc is paradise! The little island was surprisingly busy place at 6am! There were people all along the road going about their business, getting ready for the day. We were dropped off at the bus stop where we plonked our bags off onto two empty seats, and, with about 10min to go before departure time we decided to go and find some breakfast. We ... read more
Bears feet
Snake wine

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Kien Giang » Phu Quoc Island November 8th 2007

Early in the morning we were already up and waiting for our lift. What make you get up early on a tropical island? SCUBA!!! . We joined a bunch of other tourists in a cramped minivan, and drove up the beach to where a canoe with a propeller was waiting to take us to the Rainbow Divers boat moored offshore. We were warmly welcomed on board and shown to our gear. We all pulled on sun-bleached wetsuits and rubbed in sun cream as the boat glided across the turquoise waters to a small rock called turtle island. Cathy's new ring is a few sizes too big, and so she tied a piece string through the ring and around her wrist, to keep it safely attached. I was glad that it was finally her turn to look ... read more
Scuba Cathy
Phu Quoc Coral
Rainbow Bar/ Restaurant

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Kien Giang » Phu Quoc Island November 6th 2007

Well, lots of things happened today... It's as tough for me to get to the end without skipping out the middle, so, hang in there We woke up this morning at about 7:30... not all that difficult to do when you got to bed that night at 9:30! The builders hammering together the new restaurant convinced us to up and look for a new place to stay. After looking around the resorts a little further down the beach, we stumbled on a stunning resort (*Details at end of entry) complete with patio, deck chairs and a stunning beach view! While I unpacked, D went to go and ask about where we could hire a motorbike for the day... a few minutes later, he was calling me to see if the helmet fit! The hotel receptionist that ... read more
A 125cc adventure
Stopping for a drink
Boats along the river

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Binh Thuan » Mui Ne November 5th 2007

One last try for a windy day Our last Day in Mui Ne started off very relaxed with a breakfast at the beachside restaurant: Vietnamese coffee, omelette, baguette, fresh lemon juice and homemade yoghurt. What a way to wake up! We had to pack up and move out of our room, but the kind owners of Suoi Tien told us we could use one of the open rooms to stay in until our 1am bus, free of charge. We realised we had left a camera charger in Hanoi and after a frustrating hour trying to find somewhere with both power and a working internet connection, and struggling with bad telephone lines, we gave up and headed for the beach. The wind was just starting to come up, so as Cath very kindly went back to collect ... read more
Buzzing around Mui Ne
A prop-per plane
Sand and palm trees

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