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Ha Long Bay – Where Ground Rises Sky High

Posted by on September 16th, 2012 in Asia, Destinations, Photos, Vietnam | 25 comments

“This wonder is ground rising up into the middle of the high sky” Nguyễn Trãi   We watched the majestic stone islands rising vertically from the calm sea. Straight rock faces ricing directly with lush green jungles pushing out where ever they could; such a bizarre sight and definitely one of the most popular sights in Vietnam. And here we finally were. Our journey had taken us from Saigon to Ha Long Bay, sort of like that Top Gear episode about Vietnam, except we didn’t drive the whole route with scooters and we went to Cambodia and Laos along the way. But I am quite interested in driving thru Vietnam on a motorbike; if anybody has done it, let me know. Anyway, we had gotten into a bus in the early hours of the day in Hanoi, which had...

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The Hanoi Bia Hoi Corner

Posted by on May 13th, 2012 in Asia, Photos, Vietnam | 7 comments

The Hanoi Bia Hoi Corner Everybody who has been to Hanoi seems to know the Bia Hoi corner in the old quarters, Bia Hoi being the local beer. It is surprisingly low key considering how famous it is. Talk to any backpacker who has recently been in Hanoi and they know of it. It is just a corner in the old quarters, which has fairly popular Bia Hoi place on it. For those of you who don’t know, a Bia Hoi place is a corner pub in Vietnam that sells mostly fresh beer, beer that is brewed daily. It’s really cheap, usually around 5.000dong, which is about a quarter of a dollar. You can’t get cheaper than that. With a big group you can easily collect tap of over thirty pints in an evening… In the evenings it will...

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Exploring the Cu Chi tunnels

Posted by on April 17th, 2012 in Asia, Vietnam | 18 comments

Remains of an American tank at Cu Chi If you go to Vietnam, lots of the places of interest are about the war. You know which war I’m talking about of course. Usually called the Vietnam War, but since we are in Vietnam it would be silly to call it the Vietnam war, so in Vietnam they call it the American war, which makes sense. And Cu Chi tunnels is as good place to start your tour about the American War (the Vietnam war, following?) as any. Cu Chi tunnels were the base of operations for the Viet Cong guerrillas near Saigon that the Americans controlled (or Ho Chi Minh as it is these days officially called). Viet Cong sandals they used during the war, made from truck tires, very practical Once you arrive to the Cu Chi tunnels,...

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Eating Snake in Le Mat, Hanoi Style

Posted by on October 14th, 2011 in Asia, Food, Photos, Vietnam | 10 comments

The three Brits we had met on our flight to Hanoi had heard of a snake village called Le Mat; and it wasn’t too difficult to sell me the idea of trying some snake. I mean all you have to say to me, is that there is this weird local dish made from some animal I haven’t eaten yet, and you got me. I always love to try local dishes, especially if they are made from weird animals. Yes I am a carnivore. Enjoying our snake meal Our taxi driver clearly had no idea where the place was, even though our contact at the hostel had said this was a well-known place. Eventually we arrived at the right area, but our driver still had no glue, so we asked some locals on the street if they knew where there...

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Hoi An, an Illusion of a Traditional Vietnamese Town

Posted by on September 15th, 2011 in Asia, Vietnam | 6 comments

Hoi An is beautiful, there is no question about that When I went to Hoi An, I was expecting a beautiful old Vietnamese town. I was expecting something very traditional, with houses from an era long since gone; something that had frozen in time; something I could see in a historical movie. And that’s what I got. When you go to Hoi An and especially once you enter the old town, you cannot but admire the old traditional feeling the place evokes. The wooden buildings are all from a time long since gone; they all have paper lanterns and plants decorating their façade. There are plenty of cafés, restaurants and art galleries lending the place an aura of tranquility. There are no cars on the alleys and narrow roads, only primitive vehicles (!) and pedestrians, so it feels very...

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Nha Trang and How I Remembered That I Love Diving

Posted by on September 8th, 2011 in Asia, Photos, Vietnam | 0 comments

Diving in Vietnam with my sister I inserted the regulator into my mouth and pulled the mask over eyes. I took a wobbly step towards the edge of the boat. I felt heavy and cumbersome as I looked down and then jumped off from the edge. I felt the cold water rush to surround me as I plunged into it. A few seconds later I resurfaced. So there I was, floating. It was three years since my last dive, so I was taking it easy. We released most of the air from our vests and sunk into the fairly clear water. Some descended more elegantly and me, well, more looking like I was trying to learn to fly underwater. Stretching The international sign of We found ourselves a little sand patch amidst the corals and settled down. I did...

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