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Vietnam Diaries Part 10: My Heart is Torn

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

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 [...]

Vietnam Diaries Part Nine: SaPa and the Cool Mountain Retreat

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

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. [...]

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

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

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 [...]

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

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

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, [...]

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

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

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 [...]

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

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

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 [...]

Vietnam Diaries Part Four: Good morning Vietnam!

By | June 5th, 2016|Blog, 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 [...]

Vietnam Diaries Part Three: T minus 11 hours

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

“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 [...]

Vietnam Diaries Part Two: Just 11 Days to go…

By | May 24th, 2016|Blog, Vietnam|

It’s hard to believe that we’ll be in Vietnam in less than 2 weeks. So much has happened since then… For one, I left my job to travel (fingers crossed, full-time). I was also nominated for the Travel Media Awards that were held in the Westbury  Hotel (I didn't win but still had an amazing [...]

The Plan is Simple: Our Vietnam Diaries Part One

By | February 5th, 2016|Blog, Vietnam|

The plan is simple: my partner, my Mammy and I are heading to Vietnam this summer. For Mam, it will be her fourth time, the third for myself and for my partner, it’s his very first time! With a fluttery feeling in my heart the more I think of it, here’s how our journey is [...]