Archive for February, 2014

Beautiful Hoi An, Lantern City

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

We started our day with a crazy ride with our tour guide from Hue, seriously I thought we were going to die multiple times. I now understand some of the bad drivers at home, if this is where they learned to drive cause they drive with no rules, centre line doesn’t mean anything, no lights or stop signs, everyone just goes and honks their intentions. We drove through De Nang and saw the old U.S. military base, left vacant and deserted, saw the beautiful beaches in De Nang and then arrived in Hoi An. After a little walking tour we got to enjoy our beautiful hotel and pool. This would be a wonderful place to vacation if it wasn’t so far from home. The market had so many cool and cheap things. We strolled through it at night, so warm and extremely busy. There was a lantern festival happening and it made it even prettier. Our next day was a bike ride through the market and then out to one of the villages to a farm where we strolled through the gardens and then had a foot massage, weird combination I know, and then had a little cooking lesson and ate lunch. We rode back to town and while the boys enjoyed the pool EB and I had a relaxing neck and shoulder massage and had our nails done, pretty hard life alright. Later back to the market to buy some more beautiful Vietnamese silk, we could have had anything tailored overnight and delivered to our hotel, but just bought some fabric. Amazing place, we just loved it. Our flight wasn’t until later the next afternoon so of course we had to visit the market for any last minute purchases. We really enjoyed our time in Vietnam and were sad to say good bye.
Next stop Cambodia. As soon as we stepped off the plane and marched our little selves across the tarmac we could feel the heat and the humidity and smell the smoke. We had to get a visa to enter the country which was a bit of a gong show but then met by our guide and driver to take us to the hotel.

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Halong Bay

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Halong Bay is one of the most beautiful and amazing things I have ever seen. It was recently named to the new natural seven wonders of the world. We were lucky enough to spend a night on a boat as we sailed through the Karst mountains. We also toured through the ‘surprising’cave, called that because it is surprisingly big, original right? After supper we we were shown how to catch squid off the back of the boat, I’m pretty sure this was like a snipe hunt at girls camp, you know keep the dumb tourists happy while we et a good laugh, but it was a beautiful evening to be hanging out on a boat in the moonlight. The next morning we went kayaking through a cave into a lagoon, and saw monkeys playing on the mountain side. Sadly no pictures because we didn’t want to get the camera wet, but who knew how good we were going to be at kayaking and so our camera would have been safe. Kayaking was very fun, and I only got a little wet. imageimageimage

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On the road back to Hanoi we passed this guy hauling his cow. We were taking pictures and laughing and our driver who had no English thought we were excited about seeing a cow and so pointed more out to us in the field further down the road, cause seeing a cow going down the road pulled by a motorcycle was nothing new to him. image
We flew to Hue and spent the next few days there and did more touring and shopping. We went watch shopping and we each bought a new watch, John’s and Tim’s quit working, I guess they should have bought a “Rolex” like mine. image

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New Years

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

There were markets like this in every little village that we drove through, getting ready for Vet (New Years)
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Stopped at a temple built in the mountain caves. Our guide said Vietnam army hid there from the American soldiers.
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Van Long Reserve. We stopped at the Van Long Nature Reserve to be rowed along a stream, through the rice paddies and through some limestone caves, along the Karst mountains. The scenery was beautiful and our little rower just powered us along. She was a older lady who had no problem until close to the end when she started to mimick being tired and how hot it was, but it worked, she got her tip.
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New Years Eve in Ninh Binh
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Temple dedicated to an Emperor
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Lily pad flower
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Very large Buddha
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This bunch of kids were following us and finally got up the courage to ask to have their picture taken with us.
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Buddha
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