Vietnam was a tough country for me to travel through. There were a few towns I really liked, (Dalat and Hoi An) but excluding hotel workers, I didn’t find the people to be overly friendly, and it was mass tourism everywhere. Our last stop was in northern Vietnam in the mountainous town of Sapa- and what a way to conclude our trip in the country. It was gorgeous! Many people come here for trekking, village tours, and village homestays. The dramatic landscape has to be one of the most scenic places I’ve ever been to, and if it weren’t for the fact that we were short on time, I would have stayed much longer. (more…)
Archive for October, 2010
Although not my most exciting photo of Nusa Lembongen (after all, Gunung Agung volcano is just to the right and not in the photo), my obsession with clouds makes it one of my favorites. Nusa Lembongen is a small island off of southeast Bali. A lot of surfers pay a visit here but it’s also a nice place to come and relax. All of the locals jump in the water at sunset for an evening swim. There are parents with their little ones and school-aged children splashing around. What a great way to end the day.
We had no choice. We were going to have to spend a night in Hanoi even though we had hoped to avoid it. Our Ha Long Bay tour got back in the late afternoon, and we needed to deal with money exchange and the post office before setting out on an overnight train to Sapa. Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is your typical large city with not much to do in the way of interesting attractions. However, our interest was peaked when we read about the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex. I never knew that viewing a dead body could be such a popular activity, and I had to go check it out for myself. (more…)
When we set off for the quiet coast of Amed in Bali, we weren’t sure what to expect. Although it is low season, we knew we’d have to bargain hard to afford a decent room and probably wouldn’t get one on the beach. We were blown away when we got a room right across the street from one of the best snorkel spots on the entire coast in the village of Lipah. With nice amenities, a vaulted ceiling, and a spectacular view it was one of our cheapest stays in Bali and one of the most beautiful!
Oh Ha Long Bay, so flooded with tourists that you can’t remember what country you’re in, and you suspect that you’re in a huge, floating, raucous college bar. The most popular way to see Ha Long Bay is on a junk boat tour booked from Hanoi. I had read terrible things about it, and if I had had more time, I would’ve done it on my own. But, with only a few days to spare the tour was the best option. (more…)
I never had a desire to go to Southeast Asia. I dreamed of going to Africa years before I ever stepped foot on the continent. Even a year before setting out on my around the world trip, Southeast Asia had never crossed my mind- I was leaning towards South America or Australia/New Zealand for this part of the trip. I don’t watch TV very often (I have a hard time convincing myself that it’s a good use of time unless I’m multi-tasking), but will sometimes put it on in the background while I’m busy doing something else. I had it turned to the Travel Channel, as Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations was on. He was off to Laos this time, a country I had barely heard of, let alone knew anything about. I found myself listening, then glancing, and finally shoving everything else aside, fixated on the images on the screen. From the romantic air of the alms ceremony in Luang Prabang to the charming riverside villages, I knew I was going to Laos. (more…)