Vietnam Diaries Part 10: My Heart is Torn

This part has been hard for me to write. I'm back in Ireland and my heart feels torn. I've never felt this way about Vietnam. In 1998, the first time I came back, I was just seven. I don't remember much, but I remember not finding any connection. It was just a holiday to me [...]

By | June 29th, 2016|Blog, Vietnam|14 Comments

Rated and Reviewed: Where We Stayed in Vietnam in 2016

We had a fantastic holiday in Northern Vietnam this year, varying our experiences from trekking to cycling, to kayaking to swimming. Throughout our adventure we roamed across the north, staying in various types of accommodation. Rated and reviewed, from start to finish, here’s where we stayed in Vietnam on our 2016 journey. Hanoi Golden Sun [...]

By | June 27th, 2016|Blog, Vietnam|7 Comments

Vietnam Diaries Part Nine: SaPa and the Cool Mountain Retreat

For a change of pace and temperature, we decided to head to the highlands of Vietnam and to the mountains. Renowned for its beauty, SaPa is in the Lào Cai Province in north-west Vietnam, close to the Chinese border. Several ethnic minority groups such as the Hmong, Dao, Giáy, Pho Lu, and Tay live there. [...]

By | June 18th, 2016|Blog, Vietnam|1 Comment

Vietnam Diaries Part Eight: Better than Ha Long Bay? Welcome to Bai Tu Long!

Floating in seawater with the gentle slosh of the waves hitting the shore, there was really no better place to spend a balmy afternoon. Earlier on in the day we waved goodbye to our tour guide My and driver Duong, and made our way onto the Dragon Legend 2, a spectacular cruise ship on Ha [...]

By | June 12th, 2016|Blog, Vietnam|0 Comments

Vietnam Diaries Part Seven: Pu Luong, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu!

To overnight in a homestay is a truly unique experience. Parting ways with our driver in a sleepy town, we pulled what we could on our shoulders and set off across the weaving dirt tracks of Pu Luong. The nature reserve Pu Luong is located along two parallel mountain ridges divided by a central valley, [...]

By | June 9th, 2016|Blog, Vietnam|2 Comments

Vietnam Diaries Part Six: From the lush greens of Mai Chau

Forgive the silence on the blog, the amount of wonderful exploration we've been doing has brought us farther and farther away from wi-fi (which is definitely not a bad thing!) For the next diary entries, I'm whizzing back in time to some of our adventures in the Vietnamese countryside. From the silence of Mai Chau to [...]

By | June 8th, 2016|Blog, Vietnam|2 Comments

Vietnam Diaries Part Five: How much is that in Dong?

You could tell that the woman was smiling. Though the mask covered her face, the knowing lines surrounded her eyes. She beckoned us forward as we walked in parallel with her footsteps across Le Duan, one of Hanoi's busiest motorways. This simple act of kindness stays with you. We never spoke, but we too smiled [...]

By | June 6th, 2016|Blog, Vietnam|3 Comments

Vietnam Diaries Part Four: Good morning Vietnam!

Through the dense humidity, the scent of spice, coffee and herbs shine through the streets of Hanoi. We perch ourselves delicately down on little stools, and soon steaming bowls of beef noodle soup sit with us. Around us are women barking orders at customers, weaving around scooters that are packed with families. BEEP! BEEP! BEEEEEP! is [...]

By | June 5th, 2016|Blog, Vietnam|2 Comments

Vietnam Diaries Part Three: T minus 11 hours

“I’m getting excited, are you?” That pretty much sums up exactly how I’m feeling! This morning I was up bright and early to check into our Air France flight, as they don’t allow you to choose your plane seats until 30 hours beforehand (we wanted decent seats!) For the past few days I’ve been struggling [...]

By | June 3rd, 2016|Blog, Vietnam|0 Comments