Photos: Vietnam 2010

Just some more pretty pictures from Vietnam πŸ™‚

Videos: Vietnam Adventures

I Forgot to post this πŸ™‚

This is the bus ride we took from Nho Quon to Hanoi. What a lovely ride. Look at all the people!! haha They put seats up and down the aisle to squeeze people in!! And this is only 20 minutes into the ride!! They shuved probably 10 more people on this bus! It was one sardine bus thats for sure!! But the lady next to me served for lots of amusement as Din and I attemped to speak Vietnamese to her via the 4 pages of Vietnamese at the back of our Lonely Planet book!! hahah

This is the beautiful hike through Sapa. I walked through this for 2 days – through lots of muck – but so much fun. πŸ™‚ See how beautiful the area is??

Vietnam – Day 10 – Home Time

Then we had flights.

Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh was at 10PM-11:53PM…..but our flight from Ho Chi Ming (Saigon) to Bangkok wasnt until the next morning at 9:45AM!! Blah!!! haha SO we found ourselves some chairs and stole their cushions and made ourselves some beds to sleep on!!! πŸ™‚

We ended up running into the two people we’d met in Sapa who the girl had attended Lakehead University in the airport!! haha What a small world when you’re traveling πŸ™‚ So I sat and talked with them for a while then went to bed and now I’m back ‘home’ in Bangkok!!!


Vietnam – Day 9 and 10 – Halong Bay

So Halong Bay. Looks like pirates of the caribbean!!! πŸ™‚ All the boats are called “Junks”. That is not in reference to their quality but is a Chinese name for the type of boat. That is the extent of my knowledge on that subject!! haha
We also went into the “Amazing Cave”. Which is a cave of stalicties. OR something or another πŸ™‚ ahha It was massive, but it was lite up with funny coloured lights so was extremely touristy and not as beautiful as it should be. Then we went kayaking through some of these island rock formations through tunnels and into a cove area and there were MONKEYS!!!!!!!!! I was the 5th, so I didnt have a pair for kayaking so I ended up going with the Tour Guide. WHich turned out to be way more fun because he told me stories about the area and random facts about Vietnam and such that I would not of gotten if I’d got with another tourist!! So It was really neat to sit and talk to this local for a long while. about 2 hours or so!! But we then fed the Monkeys peanuts – but the tour guide warned not to get too close to the shore cause the monkeys would come and bite you!!! haha we got farily close and they showed us their monkey teeth. I was scared. haha. They looked so cute, and I had to go close cause I wasnt wearing my glasses! hahah silly Monkeys being grey and blending in to the rock!!!

After we returned from Kayaking we went swimming!! It was like 15 degrees outside. haah It was freeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzinggggggggggg!!! But it was nothing compared to Lake SUperior so I wasnt too worried – it was the Australians we met on the Junk who were dreading every moment of it – but oh so funny for me to watch. haha We got to climb to the top of the Junk and jump off of it!! somebody pushed me once and I went into a somewhat dive but mroe of an unfortunate Belly Flop!!! hahaha It was painful, and worse because it is salt water so when I opened my mouth under water I got a WHOLE lottta nasty in my mouth!! hahah. Yucky salt water. But I could definitely feel how much lighter I was in the salt water compared to home!! I was just floating up as if I was wearing a life jacket…..ok…..not that much…..but still!! πŸ™‚

And then crazy enough, a lady we had met on teh night bus from Hoi An to Ninh Binh, we ended up seeing again in halong Bay!! haha so that was super neat!! πŸ™‚

Vietnam – Day 7 and 8 – Sapa

So I figure I should write something here. πŸ™‚
So Sapa is wayyyy up in the mountains and are mountians of Rice Paddys. It is very beautiful as you can see. I spent two days hiking through the rice paddys into all the local villages. We did a home stay over night with a local family, but it was more of a touristy thing….it was a local family, but there were like 15 other travellers there and we all sleep in this giant room with beds on the floor!! But it was still great cause we spent the evening with these people just chatting and laughing and hearing all about where they have been and what they were up to.
Now Sapa. What a place. haha the entire thing is slippery and mucky so we have two days of slipping and sliding everywhere. I thought it was hilarious. And we also traveled with some locals, who I have photographes here. They held our hands and basically dragged us around cause we looked like idiots and children just learning to walk, cause we were slipping so much. Every single one of us fell on our butts MULTIPLE times. There is a photo of Marco displaying his first fall – he was the first to go down upon saying “It is all mucky like this is Ecuador but different types of mud…” *BOOM! hahah it was funny. My first fall isnt as humorous. I was just standing there waiting and instantly I was just on my butt. I dont even remember moving its so slippery hahah. But I bought new hiking shoes for it cause I didnt want to ruin mine!! Luckily I did cause everybody elses shoes were SO SO SO disgusting at the end!! You could not even tell they were shoes!! Just mud blobs with holes where your feet go!! haha even INSIDE your shoes is all slippy slippy. haha.
But the local Muong people sold us all sorts of things that they made, like purses and tapestries and jewelery. They were beautiful. I bought silver bracelets for $3 and beatiful hand sewn wall hangings. I loved it in Sapa. It was very beautiful to walk through and meet all the locals. Who spoke very little english I must admit, but still interesting!

Vietnam – Day 5 and 6 – Cuc Phueng National Park

Welcome to the Jungle. We got fun n games. We got everything you want. do do do!!!! So After Hoi An, we hoped onto the yucky alien pod so called night bus…..and they dropped us off in the MIDDLE of NOWHERE!! We were supposed to be dropped off at the Ning Binh Bus depot, but nope, at 3AM they woke us up and dropped us off in Tam Cuc which is 40 minutes away from Ning Binh at a Rando Hotel. commission was what they were looking for…hoping since it was so early we’d stay there until a more decent hour. Well TOO BAD!! We are not fans of being ripped off so we demanded taxis to take us to Ning Binh!! So we finally get to Ning Binh and take a bus to Nho Quon the closest place to Cuc Pheung National Park. We get to Nho Quon and we are attacked by motorcycle taxi drivers. and they agree to take us to Cuc Phueng National Park for 50,000 Dong Each, Good deal considering its a 50 MInute motorbike ride. Well it was rainy and wet but luckily I had purchased a lovely (hideous) poncho to wear and I sported my giant sunglasses. so I could actually look at the scenery. haha all the others were soaking wet and had their eyes closed the entire way cause it was raining so much. Go me go. My poncho had a little ducky hood thing so I was super protected haha. We get there and its an enclosed jungle. woot. So we book a little room for the night and then decide to go for a hike. We go into the jungle and there is this lovely stone path for us to follow. Problem is these stupid stone steps were stairs….going up……never endingly…..hahah….and they were not nrmal height stairs….they were like knee height stairs….so I really had to huff her up these stairs!!! Wowza. At times I thought I was making my way up to heaven, and hoping I’d just pass out rather then walk any further up!!! But it was totally worth it cause we saw some super beautiful things!! We entered this historic cave where the bones of cave men or prehistoric men were found!!! There were all these insences in there since the locals go there to send peaceful thoughts to the souls who passed away in there. So we had to be quiet – Din told me this – it would eb disrespectful to be loud and disturb such souls. So it was very neat to be in there!!
Also, for most of the walk, every 15 minutes or so we’d find these stumps and we decided that every time we passed one we would tell a story. But since Din is super funny – he ended up telling stories at every single stump. We talked about Tarzan for each story. And here is a photo of the school board that Tarzan and the others learned from. Good Math eh??? hahah
So yeah, we wandered around the jungle for 2 days trekking and looking at all the pretty things. we saw a tree that is over 1 thousand years old!!! We took pictures – on the others cameras!! So I’ll get those photos up here sometime!! πŸ™‚

This is us on the path walking up. A tree had fallen onto the path so we all had to climb on under it. Real Jungle Trekking! πŸ™‚ haha

Within the national park there was a Monkey Centre that rescued monkeys from illegal traders, from the black market, from circus trades, and those monkeys who were being shot at in the jungle for their furs and insides which are used to traditional chinese medicines. This centre helped the animals to heal and then to reintegrate them into the jungle in their natural habitat. They were very cute. There were about 35 monkeys in the centre all together, and about 8 different species. πŸ™‚ They were just swinging around all happy go lucky πŸ™‚

Vietnam – Day 3 and 4 – Videos

Here are some videos from days 3 and 4:

5 Star Hotel – How beautifulllll hahah one day I will be rich and stay here πŸ˜€

This was on the motocycle on the drive up to Marble Mountain!!

This is walking up Marble Mountain and the view around it!!

This was biking down the random lanes in Hoi An – so pretty I loved it!!

Again in Hoi An – but biking in the centre of town! πŸ™‚

This was the night bus. Everybody all crammed into our little Alien Pods!! When I layed down flat on my back I still had to bend my knees to sleep! and Im only 5’3!! Poor guys whoa re both over 6 feet!! haha. silly alien pod night buses….

Vietnam – Day 3 and 4 – Hoi An

Day 3 and 4 oh my!!

So we were going to bus all the way up the coast to the top of Vietnam and stop along the way but realized that with our 10 day time contraint…..busing 1705KM was not feasible since at most, with the shitty roads and crazy drivers, they travel at 60 km/h. which is SOOO SLOWWW. haha. So we flew up to Danang which is an hour away from Hoi An. Hoi An used to be a trading capital for Asia, but that moved to Danang so Hoi An is this BEAUTIFUl little town with old historic buildings on a river with a really easy vibe to it. So we flew in and got into a taxi…..and we agreed upon a price…but then it went over the price so we argued with him and finally he dropped us off in the middle of nowhere…..haha….literally… we went to the coast and walked along the beaches until we came up to this hotel under construction. there were men working all throughout it…and here we are…..5 backpackers just wandering threw….haha the wonderful thing about asia is the people will NEVER speak to a foreigner in a negative way telling us to leave or anything…haha we just wanted to find somebody who spoke english who could help us… half way up to the hotel, walking through what will end up being a BEATIFUL pool area…ALL the workers are staring at us and smiling…and then a gorup of them took out their camera and took a picture of US!! hahaha so we took a picture of them right back. it was funny. then we get inside…turns out…the hotel was OPEN!!! hahah but at a discount because its still under construction…but WOW….it was…..GORGEOUS!!!! it was a 5 star hotel….so I went to the bathroom in there just to say I have gone on a marble toilet. Jealous? You should be. hahahha πŸ˜€
Then we went outside and managed to flag down a taxi but then we couldnt comunicate because almost nobody in vietnam actually speaks english…they know words like ‘hello’ and ‘pay’ and ‘cannot’ haha. But then this motorcyclist stoped and she spoke perfect english. and we asked if we could get a motortaxi ride from her. she said wait ten minutes and she would get 5 motorcycle taxis for us for 100,000 Dong per person for the 50 Minute Ride. So we all hopped onto the bikes and it is one of the prettiest roads along the coast and a this one mountain!!! yay!! then we stopped at Marble Mountain and climbed up to the top to this beautiful temple and statues!!
Then we went to Hoi An and spent the evening wandering around the streets. The next day (4) we rented bicycles and toured the old quarters of the town. so pretty! I was leading and I took us off the main roads onto the back streets so we could see the real locals houses and everything – it was beautiful!! I love this town – its so calming and pretty!! Just look!!

Then we got onto the Night Bus to travel overnight up to Ha Noi the capital of Vietnam. Seriously. This bus. was made for tiny Asians. hahaha We were in these Alien Pod like things hahah.

Vietnam – Day 1 and 2 – Ho Chi Minh

Did you miss me?? πŸ™‚

Since I spent 10 days in Vietnam. I shall make 10 posts. So you can experience everything I did while I was there!! ANDDD do I dont make one HUGE post!!!! πŸ™‚ Here we go!!
Day 1:
Dear Diary, mood: apathetic…..haha kidding……and if you dont get that…..well forget about it cause you missed the joke πŸ™‚

So I left for Vietnam early pearly on Thursday Jan 21st. Marco (Oregon USA) and I went a day earlier since the others were staying a day later and we have Thursday off school! We arrived at the Vietnam Airport in Ho Chi Minh (Siagon) and went to the ATM first. Problem was – the numbers were coming up in MILLIONS of Dong (the Vietnamese currency). WTF? A Million DOng?!>!?! What is the exchange rate! Well $1 CAN = 18,000 D. Wowza! What a rate!~ hahah This just made it REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLY hard for conversion. So I took out 2,500,000 Dong to start πŸ™‚ Im Rich im Rich! atleast, in Asia Im rich! haha.

At the ATM we met some friendfolk – Tim (england) and Asha (Poland) so we shared a taxi together to the backpackers district since, as backpackers, thats where we want to be~!~ Marco and I booked a hotel for 1 night, cost us 150,000 Dong each, or $8 CAN for a night. Jeeze – Vietnam is Pricey compared to Thailand! i’ve gotten so accustomed to cheapcheap Thai Baht that I almost continued my search for a cheaper hotel! haha. But nope – we stayed there. It even had a television! That is very rare! But the only english channel we had played 7th Heaven over and over. hahaha What a flashback to childhood.

So Marco and I are two strangers in Vietnam, so we go a wanderin’. Nice area not too much to do, we tried to get a tour somewhere but since it was 1PM by this time, we’d have to rent a local car to take us there instead of a day tour which would of cost us $30 a person. No way Ho-zay! We booked a tour for the following day for $6 for the same trip πŸ™‚ haha But leaving at 8AM. Then we met up with Ming, a guy Marco met while partying in Seattle the previous year! they stayed in touch, and lucky for us cause he took us out for drinks for the evening to a local spot which was cheaper and alot more fun. We drank…..I drank…..Tequila Sunrise, to Tequila, to Beer, to Saki…….Yum Yum Fun Fun.

There is this, as Marco says- ‘orgasmic’, local sandwich which is pronounced “Bang Me”. I do not know the proper vietnamese spelling but it doesnt matter anyways. I never ate it cause its just filled with meat, but after our drinking we were wandering down the street yelling Bang Me Bang Me in search of the food, WITh the double ententre for ourselves serving us unimaginable entertainment during our search for the food. hahaha We found it eventually and there were about 10 more backpackers all around the stall yelling Bang Me. hahah. What a Good Night.

Day 2:
But what a Bad Morning….since we had booked the tour for $6 to the Mekong Delta for the day we got up after only 4 hours of sleep still feeling the alcohol…..we got on a crammed packed bus with no air conditioning and a bad smell…..we started on our way…..a bumpy bumpy way……I wasnt feeling so hot and after about 5 minutes on the bus I had to get off for fear of puking on everybody. Im such a poor sport I know. haha. So I biked back to the Hotel while Marco continued onto the day trip. I slept off my drinking and swore to myself I wouldnt drink like that again during the trip. Im weak what can I say. hahah. Then the other three showed up – Din from Singapore, Tatjana a Serbian raised in Germany studying in Italy, and Pauline from France. πŸ™‚ haha What an international crew we were!! so we all just went wandering somemore about Ho Chi Minh – the city itself is actually pretty boring with nothing really to see…..but Tatjana, Pauline, and I went in search of a French Bistro so Pauline could have real french food again – since Vietnam was invaded by French and still has lots of french within the country. Then later we met up with Ming again and he took us to this sky bar which was SUPER nice – ontop a Hilton Hotel. then they all drank as I laughed at their drunken antics. Good night all around. and great start to our Journey in Vietnam!! πŸ™‚
Random photos of Ho Chi Minh:

Vietnam Adventure

Hey Friendfolk,

Tomorrow, Jan 21st I am leaving reallllly early in the morning for Vietnam! I am going for 10 days during the vacation time from University! So I wont have access to my computer for those 10 days! But If I happen to run into a computer I’ll do a quick update!!

My plan: Fly into Ho Chi minh, then open-bus-ticket up to Hanoi, stopping at Dalat and Hoi An, then Halong Beach, and Sapa. Then flying back down to Ho Chi Minh and then home to Bangkok.

Until then! Have a great 10 days! πŸ™‚