Create Taipei on Sim City and you’ve completed the game. At least the Asian version. It’s just so… perfect. We hit the (immaculate) tarmac and realised we’d landed in another world, a world away from Vietnam and Cambodia and Myanmar and (most of all) Laos. It was all so efficient, so modern, so spotlessly clean, so […]Read more "Lí-hó, Taipei (Taiwan)"
And now our journey – this part of it at least – has ended. Farewell Vietnam. It was a blast. Incredible landscapes, brilliant cities, great food, some wonderful people. Boats and bikes, planes, trains and automobiles, mountains, caves, beaches, islands, rivers, waterfalls and lakes. And temples. So many temples. A chaotic, often beautiful carnival of colours, […]Read more "Good… bye, Vietnam"
Those pictures of verdant-green stepped paddy-fields you may have seen on adverts for Vietnam? They’re probably taken in Sapa. It’s trekking country – nee farming country – kilometres and kilometres of lush, verduous rice crops stretching in every direction as far as the eye can see up hillsides and down valleys, streaked with rivers and […]Read more "The natural wonders of Northern Vietnam, part two: Trekking Sapa, and Trang An"
Our first full day on Cat Ba was right up there with the best of the whole trip. Nothing to do with Cat Ba town – it’s a shithole. And our hotel was a disaster. Here’s our review: Where to start? Several huge cockroaches in the room. Hard uncomfortable bed. Building work in the hotel […]Read more "The natural wonders of Northern Vietnam, part one: Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha, and Halong Bay"
We’re using Vietnam’s capital as a base to explore the North of this stunning country; first Cat Ba and Halong Bay, then Sapa, then Ninh Binh/Tam Coc, with nights in the crazy capital separating them. Hanoi is an assault on the senses; sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches (from over-friendly vendors) hit you at every […]Read more "Hanoi: Round One. Water Puppets lose by violent K.O."
Vietnam has some incredible scenery. We’d sampled a little – Hoi An‘s surrounds and the road to Hue – but to date our trip had a decidedly urban flavour. That changed as we immersed ourselves, quite literally, in the depths of the countryside; Phong Nha-Ke Bang has over 300 cave networks within its spectacular karst landscape. Like […]Read more "Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park"
Hue was the capital of Vietnam until 1945. Within, the jewel in its crown and its raison d’etre, lies the Imperial City, built in 1362 and finished two hundred years later. Perhaps unsurprising when you hear boasts of materials being carried by boar from Hoi An. The Imperial City is all classic Asian architecture and […]Read more "Hue’s Imperial City"