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Vietnam 2011

17th September 2011

So I got back from my two week backpack around Vietnam last week and its taken me a while to upload my holiday snaps. As there are some 300+ (thats after trimming down too) of them  I have decided to so a short writeup of the trip with some of the highlights.

So those of you interested in the fascinating country that is Vietnam continue on, else stick around, posts of a more technical nature will resume shortly ;)

I left Manchester at 4am on Sat the 27th September, took a flight from London at 11:15am stopped off at Moscow at 6:30pm:

From there it was a short 14 hour flight over to Hanoi, arriving at 8:20am on Sunday. After meeting Martin, my fellow traveller and friend at the airport at 9 we have an hour Taxi journey to the Hotel arriving at around 11am. Making the journey a total of 31 hours (with a +6hour time difference). A quick beer hoi soon took all the stress of the journey away however:

At Less than 30p a glass we weren't complaining.

That first day we did alot of wandering around, checking out some of the things there were to see in our immediate vicinity. We decided to checkout the 'world famous' water puppet show:

(video click to view)

In the evening we decided to sample some of the local delicacies like frogs legs:

Well to be honest frogs legs wasnt really my cup of tea, however I wasn't above sampling some of the local liquid delicacies:

We also walked around checking out the type of clothes on sale, we had heard good things about Vietnamese tailors:

Everything was tiny tho, even the shops:

We also got in some practice crossing the road, which is an interesting activity to say the least:

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The next day was dedicated to exploring more of Hanoi:

In the afternoon we found a park with some of the cutest monkeys I have ever seen:

(Video click to play)

Day 3 we left Hanoi for one of the most famous and most beautiful parts of Vietnam, the Ha Long Bay:

A truly magical place:

The evening was spent on our boat, drinking and karaoke'ing till the early morning.

The next day we woke and spent the morning jumping, diving and flipping off the boat:

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So much fun!

We really were sad when we had to leave:

That evening we took a sleeper train down the coast:

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Next day was Hoi An. A beautiful place:

There we ate food:

Rode bikes:

And checked out the local wildlife:

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The evening we sampled some of the local liqueur:

Which was, well..

Next day we hopped on a diving boat heading for Cham Island, just off the coast of Hoi An:

We decided to go on a national Vietnamese holiday however so by the time we got there the locals were in the party spirit. We didnt sleep much that night:

We woke at 5:30am in our tents / personal sauna's on the beach to a ringside seat of the international volleyball championships:

The day was spent either investigating the jungle:

or relaxing on the beach with newly acquired friends:

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The next day we took the boat back to dry land. The following day was one of the best of the entire trip. We hired bikes and explored some of the area.

I personally had never riden a bike before, but that didnt seem to stop the locals from giving me once after I let him know I had no idea what I was doing on one:

We couldnt have picked a better route to take for my first ride however, up a narrow twisting turning path known as 'Monkey Mountain'

Word cannot describe the exhilaration scooting around that road. We stopped off every now and then to take some pictures of the epic scenery:

I even got time to do a little planking on the scenery:

A truly unforgettable experience:

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On the way home we were trying to outrace the incoming storm:

Unfortunately it seems like scooter cant outrun mother nature, but thats okay, we stopped off in a cafe and saw this on the wall:

From the best experience in my trip to the worst. The overnight 'sleeper' bus:

I dont want to dwell on the subject but if you ever go to 'nam I strongly recommend avoiding these things.

The next coupple of days in NahTrang was much more pleasant:

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But before we knew it we were leaving again for the final leg of our journey, Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City. We met some rather interesting locals on the way and they shared some of their strange fruit with us:

(Video click to play)

Tasted exactly like it looks btw, a bit like a potatoey apple.

Then before I knew it, we were in Saigon staying with some of Martin's relatives on the 20th foor with an incredible view of the city:

That day we spent checking out some of the local history:

The evening was spent getting to know the locals in some bars:

The next day we had booked a trip to see the famous Cu Chi tunnels. While we were waiting however we did a little nature observing:

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The tunnels were a pretty harrowing place:

I managed to play with some cool toys tho:

Before we finally took a trip into the tunnels:

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Then back to town for a light snack:

Before heading out again:

That girl was an absolute demon at connect 4, I think I beat her once in 10 games.

When it rains in vietnam, it really rains:

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The final day we spent wandering around the city, checking out the local flora and fauna:

(Video click to play)

Then before I knew what was happening it was time to go home:

An incredible trip with some of the best experiences of my life. If you ever get the opportunity to visit I very strongly recommend it!