Sivu on muuttanut uuteen osoitteeseen


Monday, August 29, 2011

Kayaking to Monkey Island!

We stayed the night on Cat Ba island. The next day we took kayaks and went kayaking among the karsts.

Well, Rohan did most of the kayaking while I focused on sunbathing. It was a gorgeous place to go kayaking.

We had a break on Monkey Island, yep that's right, and saw some cute little monkeys. 

Kayaking back to Cat Ba island we passed floating fishing villages where people live in floating houses and live through fishing.

Halong Bay was stunning and it would have been nice to be able to spend more time there. Unfortunately we had a boat to catch.

Back in Hanoi it was time to say goodbye to our tour group. 

The Vietnam tour was coming to an end. Most of the others headed to their home countries the next day, but Rohan and I still had one more day to spend in Hanoi. 

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bay of the Descending Dragon

After a 2-hour-bus drive we arrived at Halong City, where we would take a cruise out to Halong Bay and spend a night on one of the islands. We drove through nice scenery of rice fields, water buffalos and village life.

On the way we stopped to see some handicrafts such as embroidery being made.

Halong Bay consists of almost 2,000 small limestone islets that rise from the ocean. 

We did the cruise on a Chinese style junk boat.

Many of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves. We stopped at one island to see the caves.

Back on the boat it started pouring with rain. We had to throw out the anchor because at times we couldn't even see the massive limestone karsts around us from the fog. But the bay was absolutely magical in the storm with all the lightning. 

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Heart of Hanoi

The train in Hue was late and we had to spend a few sweaty and uncomfortable hours at the train station with the temperature over +40 degrees and nowhere to escape the heat. After yet another vodka night on the train we arrived in Hanoi early in the morning. 

Since we weren't able to check into the hotel yet, we did a walking tour in the city's Old Quarter. It was early morning so the streets were less mad and the air fresher. We arrived at a lake, where people had gathered to do their morning stretching, workout, or to just relax and socialize. It was a tranquil and beautiful place right in the city centre.

 The bridge of the rising sun

We had a long sleep at the hotel and woke up for dinner. After dinner we had a look around the local market, which was full of exotic treats from turtles to eels and frogs. Then we headed back to the lake. The lake seems to be the centre of the social life of the people in Hanoi. Lots of people had gathered by the water to enjoy each other's company and the city lights reflected in the water.

The next day we left for Halong Bay, definitely one of the highlights of the trip!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Perfume River

In Hue we also did a dragon boat cruise on the Perfume river. On the way there we stopped to see some more of the local handicrafts. 

The boat trip was nice and relaxing with beautiful views. We stopped to have a look at a pagoda that was the tallest in Vietnam. It is one of the oldest and most famous religious buildings of the country.

We took yet another overnight train to Hanoi, where we would arrive early in the morning. 

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Motorbike Ride in Hue

The motorbike tour in Hue was one of the best trips we did in Vietnam. Naturally, we didn't ride the bikes ourselves, since that would have been a suicide. We jumped on the backs of the motorbikes of experienced local riders and were taken to the countryside. 

It was one of the motorbike rider's son's wedding that day. Still, he had to be there riding tourists around.

It was a hot day with temperatures over 40 degrees. We visited the old kings' tombs.

We also visited a local Buddhist monastery that is also an orphanage. The little girls in the monastery come from different sad backgrounds such as poverty. 

It is an interesting place to visit and the food is fantastic. At the same time you make a small contribution to the children's future by supporting the monastery.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Royal dinner in Hue

From Hoi An we took a scenic bus ride to the old capital of Vietnam, Hue. The bus ride took about 3,5 hours  with some stops on the way.

Rubbing the belly of a laughing buddha brings you wealth.

The city of Hue is located in the centre of Vietnam. The weather was boiling hot when we arrived. In the hotel lobby I had a very pleasant surprise waiting for me. My backpack had FINALLY made its way back to me. 

Hue is known as the most royal city in Vietnam, so our travel guide had arranged us a royal dinner.

King and queen.

The dishes were as good as they looked! And we had some entertainment as well.

Afterwards we went for some drinks to a local bar. Unfortunately we had to leave the costumes!

Labels: , , , , ,

Hoi An part III

Next day we did a bike ride to the countryside. We visited a small town in the country and a museum where an old lady showed us how the farm work was done in the old days.

In Vietnam, in the old days, black smiles were considered healthy and beautiful. It was believed that only demons and animals have long white teeth. Dark teeth are the result of chewing betel. Betel is a mild stimulant and it is chewed like tobacco.

We left our bikes by the river and jumped on a boat. We stopped for lunch by the river, and then took the boat back to Hoi An as the sun went down. 

Later we went to a bar by the beach for some buckets. 

The next day it was time to move on again...

Labels: , , , , ,