Playing Vietnamese Bingo in Hoi An

Hoi An was perfect and quaint, like a chocolate-box town. As a result it is touristy, clean, and safe.  Well, apart from the time a 3 year old kid took it upon himself to challenge my boyfriend to a fight. We were walking home in the evening when we were confronted with this toddler, stood in the middle of the path in a karate pose, a fierce look of determination in his eyes. As we walked past he started kicking and karate-chopping at my BF. He barely came up to my BF’s knee-caps so we didn’t feel the need to report it to the police 😉 It was so cute and I had to suppress giggles. My poor BF – an old lady hit him in Hanoi, he was slapped by girls on a bike in Hue, and now this…!

River, Hoi AnHoi An is famous for its tailoring – you can get a tailored suit made to your requirements overnight. There was every fabric you could imagine, made in any style you want. Continue reading

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Slapped by the locals in Hue, Vietnam

The roads in Hue were much wider, less busy, and more ordered than Hanoi. We therefore felt brave enough to rent bikes and cycle around. This was cheap and the bikes were delivered to the hotel within minutes – talk about good service! We soon found that cycling there was really fun!

Motorbikes, HueIt was nerve wracking when I went across my first big crossroads, as there were people turning at the junction, so going across my path. However when I successfully sailed across the crossroads, it was so exhilarating and I felt like whooping with joy!  Continue reading

Ha Long Bay : Paradise, a la Avatar!

Ha Long Bay was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Azure seas, floating islands and lush vegetation. It was the most Avatar-like landscape I have seen (that’s a geographical term – “Avatar-like”!!). It was just stunning.

Floating Village, Ha Long Bay

We cruised through these islands, until we reached a floating village. The people live in the bay on floating huts on rafts and I understand that some have never been to shore! Continue reading

I’m a Millionaire!! (in Hanoi)

If I had to sum up Hanoi in 3 words it would be (1) humid, (2) motorbikes, (3) bustling. Before I went, a colleague told me about her trip to Hanoi– she met two British ladies there who were too scared to leave the hotel because of all the motorbikes everywhere! My colleague ended up taking them round with her, or they’d have stayed in the hotel all week! I thought this was ridiculous – surely even if you’re not brave enough to cross a road, you’d be able to walk around the block on the pavement? Now, I still think it’s ridiculous, but less so. I do kinda understand where they were coming from. The motorbikes are everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE. They are coming at you from all directions, often on the wrong side of the road, sometimes on the pavement, and normally packed with people. It is not for the feint-hearted!

Motorbikes in Old Town, HanoiWe learnt a few tricks:-

  1. To cross the road, don’t bother stopping on the kerb, looking around for traffic, and when it is clear, crossing. You’ll be there forever! Continue reading