January 2017
  • Day13

    Sama-sama express hotel

    January 25, 2017 in Malaysia ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    KL have figured it out, if you absolutely have to endure a connecting flight and you have a long layover like we had today.

    There is no better way than kicking back in a hotel room that you can rent by the hour. You can sleep, shower or just at least take off your shoes and change clothes.

    All of this without leaving the terminal or even going through passport control.

    We had a 14 hour layover so we booked in for 10 hours and got 8 and half hours of sleep plus a shower before and after bed. Literally walked out of the hotel got breakfast and we were right there at our departure gate.

    Don't be fooled by the curtains in the room, there are no windows, just a wall. This is actually brilliant as the room is pitch black dark.

    {Roedolf}
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  • Day12

    Skaap "mode"

    January 24, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    My Ma se altyd mens moet in skaap "mode" ingaan as jy by die lughawe kom om iewers heen te vlieg, want jy staan basies die heeltyd in rye, terwyl iemand anders vir jou sê wat om te doen of in watse gangetjie om af stap, jou laptop uit haal, skoene uit trek, beld af te haal ens.

    In die westerse wêreld beteken dit jy moet reëls volg en in die ry bly sonder om in te druk, bly sit in die vliegtuig tot die kaptein die veiligheidsgordel liggie afsit ens.

    In Asië het dit 'n heel ander betekenis. Hier staan jy in 'n ry maar as jy nie in die persoon voor jou se persoonlike spasie is nie dan beteken dit die presoon agter jou gaan tussen julle indruk en seker maak julle al 3 is in mekaar se persoonlike spasie.

    Moenie dink by sekuriteitshek gaan jy toegelaat word om jou laptop uit jou sak te haal om op die loopband te sit sonder dat 6 mense voor jou indruk en hulle sakke op die loopband gooi tussen die goed wat jy reeds op die loopband gesit het en wat jy besig is om op te sit nie.

    Asof dit nie genoeg is nie, wanneer jy strek na jou tas wat nog op die loopband is nadat dit geskandeer is, klim daar mense letterlik onder jou arm in om hulle goed te gryp wat hulle sommer in jou skinkbordjie gegooi het terwyl jy deur die liggaamsskandeerder gegaan het. Dit voel elke keer of iemand jou goedjies probeer gryp.

    Die vlieenier moet ook nie durf waag dat die vliegtuig stilhou op die aanloopbaan en wag vir die vliegtuig parkering om oop te gaan nie, want dan is almal uit hulle stoelle uit en begin tasse uit die oorhoofse pakplek uithaal. Die plaaslike lugwaardinne aanvaar dit want hulle is dit seker gewoond maar ek kon die vrees op die spaanse lugwaardin se gesig sien wat voor ons gesit het toe dit gebeur. Syt dadelik na haar mikrofoon gegryp en in spaans en engels gese almal moet sit, nie dat meeste mense hier spaans of engels praat nie haha.

    Natuurlik my persoonlike gunsteling is, 'n stoel nommer op jou vliegkaartjie en selfs jou teenwoordigheid by die stoel beteken niks. Ons het die voorste ry sitplekke gekoop vir die extra beenspasie en ons was van die eerstes in die vliegtuig, soos ons besig is om die goedjies uit ons rugsakke uit te haal dit bo in die oorhoofse pakplek te sit wurm daar letterlik 'n vrou met n babatjie tussen Isabel en haar stoel in. Natuurlik verstaan sy nie 'n woord engels nie so ons moet vir die lugwaardin kry om haar te verduidelik dat dit nie haar stoel is nie.

    Ek word sommer self iemand waarvan ek nie hou nie,as ek hier vlieg . Niemand respekteer my spasie nie so ek begin dieselfde doen. Mense stoot hulle trollies in my hakke vas so ek doen dieselfde en ek loop mense uit die pad uit of druk in nes hulle.

    "If you can't beat them, join them"

    {Roedolf}
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  • Day11

    4P's pizza

    January 23, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    Our Last supper, reflecting over our amazing time in Vietnam. Clearly pizza is popular even in Vietnam, the place was packed with locals. They clearly order the crazy more exotic and spicy pizza's . What we found very smart is the shared tables, if you don't have a reservation you can share a large square table with people, we had a corner which was still very private and I loved it because I can observe the interesting choices the locals make. Roedolf ordered one half of pizza with burrata; I wasn't very keen as its a "Blop" of cold cheese on a nice and warm prosciutto pizza. I loved my duck, blue cheese combination and my fresh passionfruit homemade drink. One other observation was the bill, that actually had VAT on most places even the more upmarket of street affairs did not include it, so this place is other doing things by the book or the smaller vendors don't have the turnover to be registered or its just blatantly dodge. In hindsight I can't recall my french gem having VAT either. Goes to show... who's the accountants?

    {Issy}
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  • Day11

    Hoan Kiem lake

    January 23, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Saying my goodbyes with a 8km sunset run around the Hoan Kiem Lake (Vietnamese: Hồ Hoàn Kiếm, meaning "Lake of the Returned Sword" or "Lake of the Restored Sword"). This is in the historical center of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam and a walkable distance of our hotel. It was a gorgeous evening out specially with all the gardens and new year decorations. There were two western guys that were also running, they high5'ed me each time we passed each other. 5 laps =5 miles we met about twice on each lap . It gave me a false sense of safety- weird how "common ground" brings comfort.
    Loads of tourists and locals around this scenic public spot, lots of action to take my mind of the run and just keep going.

    {Issy}
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  • Day11

    Thien Canh Son cave and beach

    January 23, 2017 ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    We visited the Thien Canh Son cave (Heaven caves) which has only recently been turned into a tourist site.

    The cave was recently discovered by a fisherman looking for freshwater. He found another fisherman family living in this cave. Hard to believe that as little as 10 years ago there was people living here, almost like prehistoric cave men.

    The beach on the little islet is also a gem and a fitting place to end our time in Halong bay.

    {Roedolf}
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  • Day11

    Last Halong hoera

    January 23, 2017 ⋅ ☀️ -6 °C

    Woke up grabbed a quick coffee and off we went to explore the caves and secluded beach. The caves are overrated but climbing the stairs had amazing elevated views of the surrounding islands. We enjoyed the beach for while and walked around to explore the surroundings.

    {Issy}

  • Day10

    Breathtaking sunset

    January 22, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ -6 °C

    A breathtaking hour with my bestie!! It was magical to watch the sunset over Halong Bay tonight. The colors and reflections of the sun constantly changed over the limestone walls that surrounded us. Words don't come easy but my heart is pouring with joy and thankfulness.

    How great is Thou Art !

    {Issy}
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  • Day10

    The sun sets on our time in Halong bay

    January 22, 2017 ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    As the sun sets on the last full day in Halong bay and the second last day in Vietnam I reflect on the awesome time we've had here.

    Vietnam is really such a rich cultural experience. Interesting food, some out of this world tasty and some to weird and wonderful for my liking. The people here seem to have a constant fight for survival due to poverty and lack of education. The natural beauty here is off the charts but I am afraid a lot has been lost due to pollution and over population. Natural treasures will disappear due to the lack of education around conservation and putting back into nature.

    Personally I have grown in the past few days both as traveler and person.
    I will forever have a different view on whats essential for my happiness, as this place has really challenged my views of what I really need.
    I have pushed my own boundaries when it comes to food and the space that I am comfortable in.
    Traveling Vietnam is not for the faint hearted, and most people won't even consider to attempt it unless they have a well planned itinerary before arriving. We had the main tours booked before we arrived but figured out most things while we were here. Not only did this give me the guts to wing it in any country, I almost want to say we made a mistake to organize so much before we arrived. In Cambodia we are going to start with nothing, we only booked flights in and out and the first couple of nights accommodation, we obviously have an idea of what we want to see but we will only start arranging it when we hit the ground.

    I learnt so much about Isabel in Vietnam, it almost feels like we are dating again. She really surprised me when it comes to food, i didn't realize she was this fussy. I knew she likes luxury but not the extent of it. I also did not know she loves seawater pearls.

    I have to be honest I did not know much about Vietnam before we arrived, other than the war. It is the Vietnam war that probably got it on the wishlist for me. Even if we did not spend anytime at war museums or locations. This place is so much more than just the war.
    I am so thankful for the time spent in Vietnam and truly glad that this lovely country made it onto our wish list.

    {Roedolf}
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  • Day10

    Lunch with a view

    January 22, 2017 ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    Presentation wins!! We started off with a potato soup, which was very tasty. Then we had a pineapple turnip and coriander salad for the table, garnished with a flower cut out of a red pepper- I loved this it was so refreshing. Today I mentioned that I don't eat fish (due to my fussiness). Me and Cathy got a beef stir fry which was really good, the pork and chicken for the table was all a bit weird. We all shared everything the girls just dodged the sea bass. It's quite strange how they bring things piecemeal, the stir fried veggies arrived last which would have actually complemented the rice and "meat dishes". I am happy to do it Vietnamese style it is just a strange way of serving food especially its brought for the table.

    I stick to my opinion the vegetarian options win.

    {Issy}
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  • Day10

    A postcard day

    January 22, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    We are incredibly fortunate. It is a wonderful sunny day in Halong bay. C'est très picturesque. I don't call this luck, we are blessed beyond belief to be at this World Heritage site in its full glory

    We started the day with Thai Chi on the deck, then after breakfast we got on the day boat for the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation. We cruised into a more remote area of Com Dang.

    {Issy}
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