Cruising in a punt - Mekong Delta, Vietnam

The Mekong Delta

May 11, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Featured

One of my last stops in Vietnam was to visit the Mekong Delta. It’s where the enormous Mekong River empties into the sea from it’s origin in Tibet. It produces fish and shrimp for export and half of Vietnam’s rice as well. The Delta is vast – it covers an area slightly larger than Wales…

Trying to fit through the trapdoor - Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam

Cu Chi Tunnels

May 10, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Featured

We took a bus out of Saigon to the Cu Chi Tunnels. The tunnels were used by the Viet Cong during the war as a place to live, supply system, weapons storage, hospitals and of course, a place to hide when things got really nasty. Our guide was the wonderful Pham Van Hai – probably…

Collecting my new shirt - Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An Tailoring – Vietnam

May 9, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Featured

Hoi An is well known for  having an abundance of tailors – close to a thousand. Since we were there for a few days, a group of us figured it would make sense to visit a tailor and get measured to allow enough time for the suit-making to be completed. We went to a tailor recommended…

Hammer and Sickle banner at a bus stop - Saigon, Vietnam

Impressions of Saigon – Vietnam

May 9, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Featured

During the division of Vietnam, Hanoi was the capital of the North, and Saigon the capital of the South. Saigon fell to the North in 1975 and was renamed Ho Chi Minh City, after the founding father of Vietnamese independence who did not live to see his country reunited. I’m still going to refer to…

Moped carrying Chickens and Ducks - Vietnam

Curiosities – Vietnam: Mopeds

May 8, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Featured

The furthest East I’ve travelled in my life so far has been to Tokyo. Before that, I’d travelled a fair bit, but towards the other points of the compass. A lot of people who have travelled predominantly in Europe might refer to Rome or the area around the Arc de Triomphe when they talk about…

Imperial Tomb Complex - Hue

Hue – Citadel, Pagoda and Tomb

May 8, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Featured

Hue was once the imperial capital of Vietnam. It was also a central battleground during the Tet Offensive in 1968. Hue therefore sits on a fulcrum between having a lot of historical architecture on the one hand and having a lot of that historical architecture bombed to smithereens during the Vietnam War. Nevertheless, some of…

Iced coffee in Hoi An - Vietnam

Curiosities – Vietnam: Coffee

May 8, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Coffee, Featured

I may have mentioned in a previous post that Vietnam is the second biggest exporter of rice in the world. Second only to rice in terms of export value is Vietnam’s coffee. As someone who loves drinking coffee, arguably to excess, I honestly didn’t know this, or had forgotten. One of the many objectives I…

Sunrise over the Thu Bon River - Hoi An, Vietnam

Impressions of Hoi An – Vietnam

May 8, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Featured

If Hanoi was about seeing Ha Long Bay, and Hue was about seeing tombs and museums, our stay in Hoi An was about soaking up some of the vibe of a Vietnamese town. Our wonderful guide pretty much left us to our own devices for a few days. Hoi An is a couple of hours…

Train in Hanoi - Vietnam

Night Train to Hue

May 7, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Featured

We left Hanoi for Hue only shortly after arriving back from Ha Long Bay. We had been advised to get some take-away dinner in Hanoi before getting on the train because there was no buffet car. Just for a change, I fancied spaghetti with tomato sauce, so with my pack on my back and my dinner…

Dinner time - Hoi An, Vietnam

Curiosities – Vietnam: Street Food

May 6, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Featured

Street food is big in Vietnam. By street food, I mean food that’s consumed in the street and also prepared in the street. People will often transport their restaurants on their mopeds, carrying their kitchen, tables and chairs. Usually, you just sit near the moped-kitchen and tuck in: Street food is a way of life…

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