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Boys, beers and bikes in Vietnam

June 19, 2010 | Travel, Vietnam | 5 Comments

Of the many things I love about travelling solo, by far the best is that unless you really can’t get enough of your company, you are pretty much guaranteed to meet new people every day. When the only conversation that you’ve had all day is saying good morning to the hostel receptionist or ordering a monosyllabic breakfast, you tend to make a much greater effort to strike up a conversation with a random stranger than you otherwise would. Sometimes you might get little more than a grunt in return, while other times you might have a friendly chat over dinner and not much else. Occasionally, however, you meet some great people that you end up spending a lot longer with than you anticipated, sharing crazy times and amazing experiences with along the way.

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My stupid mistake: Lost and found in Nha Trang

June 12, 2010 | Travel, Vietnam | 12 Comments

On the list of dumb things to do while travelling, losing your passport has to rank pretty close to the top of the list. Depending on where you are in the world the cost and hassle of replacing it can easily run into several hundred dollars and days or even weeks of ruined travel time. Knowing this, I have always taken particular care to know where my passport is at all times and as a result, have never really come close to being permanently separated from my little blue travel companion. Never, that is, until yesterday.

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Crazy awesome Saigon

June 9, 2010 | Travel, Vietnam | 4 Comments

I’ve been back in Vietnam for a little over 48 hours and have already fallen back in love with the crazy brand of awesomeness that is Saigon. For the first time visitor though – ie, me two years ago – the place can just seem like a total madhouse. You can always spot the person who has just stepped off the plane that day – they will be the one searching for a change of underwear while waiting in vain for the traffic to thin sufficiently to cross the road. Hint: it never will – just make eye contact with the oncoming stream of traffic and walk slowly and steadily across the street. Vehicles will go round you if you keep moving. If you hesitate, you’re toast.

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The Friday Photo #7 – Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An is a beautiful town, and a great place to spend a few days relaxing and exploring. This shot of the colourful fishing boats was taken looking back over the river towards the Old Town, just after yet another incredible meal.

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Goodnight Hanoi (with apologies to Billy Joel)

September 5, 2008 | Finland, Travel, Vietnam | 0 Comments

So with a hint of sadness (and an awful lot of sweatiness) we bade a fond farewell to Hanoi and Vietnam, and jumped on the plane to Bangkok. Being Air Asia, the baggage allowance was a mere 15kg – always handy when you’ve been buying small, lightweight items like suits and shoes, I find.

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Hanoi & Halong Bay

August 30, 2008 | Travel, Vietnam | 0 Comments

So, Hanoi, huh? Well, the place is similar in many ways to Saigon really, except even hotter and (thankfully) drier. Other than that, the traffic is still insane, there’s still somebody trying to sell you sunglasses / books / a motorcycle taxi / rat on a stick / their mother every five paces, and you still feel like you’ve stepped into a sauna within seconds of leaving the hotel room. We haven’t really seen that much of it as yet, as we’ve only had a couple of evenings to do any exploring.

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Ruins and stuff

August 28, 2008 | Travel, Vietnam | 0 Comments

After a day of organising stuff – annoying but necessary I guess when you’re travelling for a while – we now have all of our flights, accommodation and excursions organised through til the middle of September. Which is pretty cool, means we can ignore that stuff again for another couple of weeks.

One of the little side trips that we had booked was out to My Son (“me sun”), a ruined holy city of the Cham people that lived in central Vietnam from the 2nd til 13th centuries, and a UNESCO world heritage site. The Lonely Planet (yes, that bastion of accuracy) considers it a smaller version of places such as Angkor Watt in Cambodia, amongst others.

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Boys on bikes

August 26, 2008 | Travel, Vietnam | 1 Comment

Our wanderings the other night took us back into the heart of Hoi An’s old town, alongside the river where there are a couple of blocks of restaurants and bars on one side, and quite a few on the other side as well. Forgoing the more obviously tourist oriented ones (the Lonely Planet effect was strongly evident unfortunately), we headed over to the less populated bank of the river and enjoyed a great meal with views of the old town from the balcony. I think I’m going to look like a seafood hot pot by the end of my time in Vietnam. That’s ok though, people will be too busy checking out the spring roll that I have as a travel companion…

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