Cambodia has been pretty intense. I’ve been dreaming of land mines and ruined temples. Vietnam seems really rich and established compared to Cambodia.
Angkor Wat and the other temples and structures really are amazing.
We leave for Bangkok tomorrow, and I’m back in London early on Saturday.
Texts seem to get through only rarely, and internet access is so dodgy that you’ll have to excuse me sending a personal message – Mez, it would be ace to meet up in Bangkok, after dinner with the olds is probably best. We’re there from midday on the 31st and I leave late in the evening of the 1st. Hopefully phone or internet will be more reliable in Cambodia and we can organise something.
Generally, if you’ve sent me a text and haven’t had a reply, it either didn’t get through or my reply didn’t get through.
We’ve been in Nha Trang for two nights, after a long day on the train from Hoi An. We’re just about to go by motorbike to visit some Cham towers at sunset, then we’ll have time for a stroll along the beach and some dinner before we board the Reunification Express for Saigon.
I’m kinda dreading Saigon, it’s going to be hot and crowded and noisy, but we’re only there for a few days before we fly to Siem Reap. I think it’ll be strange meeting Dad there but meeting Mum in Hanoi was almost surreally normal so maybe it won’t be strange.
We went on another boat trip yesterday, some lovely snorkling and another on-board feast. I had a dress and some trousers made in Hoi An, but couldn’t really be bothered with the shopping/tailoring.
Vietnam celebrates 30 years of re-unification this year, and there are fabulous posters everywhere in the lead-up to the anniversary of the fall/liberation of Saigon in September.
Is it wrong to perve on Buddhist nuns? But who can resist hot shaven-headed chicks who make incredible vegie food?
We had lunch at a Buddhist nunnery yesterday, in the middle of a day of riding on motorbikes around Hue. Sadly, we weren’t actually driving the bikes ourselves, but riding xe om, or cuddle-style on the back. It was still cool to see Mum on a motorbike.
We’re now in Hoi An, and the next couple of days are going to be pretty chilled out. Tomorrow we’ll go on a day trip to My Son, the next day I might do a cooking course. I think I’m going to have some clothes made while I’m here. I guess I’ve finally turned into a girly girl.
Time is flying by. We leave Hanoi for Hue tonight, travelling overnight on the Reunification Express. Halong Bay was beautiful, one of those places you’ve seen on the screen so many times it’s hard to believe you’re actually there.
Eaten lots of good food, fingers crossed we won’t get sick.
Woo! I’m in Hanoi, after a long day’s travel via Bangkok from yesterday. It’s warm and the air is soft with humidity. We’re staying right in the Old Quarters, and are about to walk around the lake and work our way down the street of cafes. I haven’t had a chance to do any reading so it’ll be an opportunity to work out what I want to see in Hanoi.
Meeting Mum at the hotel and going for dinner was almost surreally normal. The next couple of days will be interesting.
I’m leaving for Heathrow in just over an hour. It should be a lovely 29 C in Hanoi tomorrow.
Send me an email with your address if you want a postcard from Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City, Siem Reap, Angkor Wat or Bangkok, and I’ll do my best.
“The Education Department is deserting gay students and teachers.
An investigation by The Age has revealed a disturbing level of discrimination affecting teachers and students, with schools failing to meet their obligations under the state’s equal opportunity legislation.” Age
How long will it take to recover when the Howard era eventually ends?
“Today a round-the-world ticket costs less than an annual London travelcard” (Guardian)
No wonder I’m addicted to travelling.
Comments are back on. Hopefully spammy comments will be caught by moderation.
March 10 Arrive in Hanoi.
March 13 Tour stars in Hanoi. Become immersed in a whirlwind of colour and activity in the Old Quarter of Vietnam’s capital.
March 14 Halong Bay. Step into the tranquility of Halong Bay and cruise amongst the incredible limestone peaks, explore the caves hidden amongst the karsts and dine on delicious local seafood.
March 15 – 16 Hanoi. Returning to Hanoi, visit the mausoleum and museum of Vietnam’s most honoured ancestor, Ho Chi Minh. Don’t miss a performance of the world famous water puppets.
March 17 – 18 Hue. The pace of life is slow and tranquil in the former imperial capital. Explore the tombs of the Nguyen Emperors, visit the bustling Dong Ba market, check out the fascinating Citadel and Hue Cathedral and sample Hue’s culinary specialities.
March 19 – 21 Hoi An. Head south through rice paddies and fishing villages, taking the scenic coastal route across the spectacular Hai Van Pass to Danang. Once a bustling river port, nearby Hoi An is the perfect place to relax among riverside cafes and indulge in some shopping.
March 22 – 24 Nha Trang. Board the Reunification Express heading for the beachside city of Nha Trang. A full day’s boat cruise, complete with seafood buffet, is a highlight for Intrepid travellers.
March 25 – 27 Ho Chi Minh City. Prepare for sensory overload while roaming the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City by cyclo. The Cu Chi Tunnels, a former Viet Cong hideout, provide a valuable insight into the tenacity and resourcefulness of the Vietnamese people.
March 27 Fly to Siem Reap
March 28 Tour starts. Siem Reap – Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat, with its soaring towers and extraordinary bas reliefs, is considered by many to be one of the most inspired and spectacular monuments ever built. Without doubt there is no other historical site in South East Asia to match its grandeur.
March 29 – 30 Siem Reap Visit Banteay Srei, where you find some of the most impressive sculptures in the region. Later on travel to Banteay Kdei and Ta Prohm, one of the temples deliberately left to the ravages of the jungle. Intricate sculptures, extraordinary bas-reliefs, giant statues and eloquent towers adorn these magnificent monuments. A boat trip on Day 3 takes you onto Lake Tonle Sap.
March 31 Siem Reap A day of leisure, with a chance to buy some special souvenirs or squeeze in some final sightseeing in the character-filled town of Siem Reap.
Fly to Bangkok.
April 1 Dinner, drinks, then head to airport to check in for my flight early on 2nd.
April 2 Arrive back in London