Vietnam
Tỉnh Hà Tĩnh

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  • Day15

    Ho Chi Minh City Tour

    October 18, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    We were taken to see the War Museum, which was mainly about what attrocities the American soldiers committed during the Vietnam War. Very sickening. It poured down rain while we were in the museum but cleared up for the rest of the tour.

    Then we went to view the Notre Dame Cathedral (it was being renovated so there was no entry) and the Post Office building which was built to be a train station but never was. It was close to the building in the famous picture of a helicopter landing on the top to rescue American staff in Saigon after the US withdrew.

    Then it was on to the indoor central market for 1 hour of shopping. The traders were very persistent in wantng sales - grabbing your arm, following you, pleading with you!
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  • Day6

    Saigon Serenade

    December 29, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Started the day with a strong black coffee at Trung Nguyen Legend ' energy coffee' that claims - probably among many - to be the best coffee in the city. This is a great coffee city and it's usually served in a single cup slow drip with a cup full of ice or some hot water if you prefer. Amazing stuff!

    Photos can't really capture the bustling sights and sounds of the city but hopefully I captured some of the iconic images of Ho Chi Minh City.

    I spent the morning taking in the city slowly via cycle rickshaw, the best way to travel if you really want to soak up the city vibes... and fumes from the traffic :-)

    Lots of wide tree lined streets here that expose the cities French influence. Stopped at the War Remnants Museum first and looked aghast at what the USA, Australia and NZ did here during the Vietnam War. But all seems forgiven as you often see Viet and US flags flying side by side here. The US embassy however looks more like a fortress with high spiked walls, bollards and guard houses. The irony of the red hammer and sickle flag flying outside was not lost on me. After all the Viet Cong did win the war(s) despite all the atrocities visited on this country, first by the French, then the Japanese and finally by the USA and her allies.

    Then it was on to a large Pagoda to soak up the more peaceful vibes of the Chinese style Buddhism practiced here. Both the Pagoda and a Temple I visited were packed with praying people and the tourists seemed a little out of place, although ever present. Unlike Temples in Japan they are not really havens of peace in the city, they are actually quite noisy bustling places full of life.

    Catholics make up about 20% of the population thanks to the efforts of French missionaries so there are Chuches and a Cathedral also. Notre Dame Cathedral is more complete than it's namesake these days but also under reconstruction.

    Then it was a classic Banh Mi roll for lunch and back to the hotel to freshen up and escape from the heat of the midday sun.

    Visited the Independence Palace in the afternoon and the park lands around it. Learning lots about Vietnamese history on this trip. Much more complex than I had thought previously, despite growing up during the Vietnam War Era. Also reading a great historically accurate novel by Anthony Grey called Saigon.

    The serenade of the title, if you had not guessed, is the almost musical sound of the traffic, scooters, street vendors and beeps, honks and shouts of the crazy traffic as everyone somehow avoids colliding.
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  • Day4

    2. Tag in Ho Chi Minh - Vormittag

    December 22, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Nach einem guten, jedoch in jedem Fall eher für kleine Menschen portionierte Frühstück, ging es heute Morgen für uns 3 um 9:00 Uhr zu Fuß in Richtung Bitexco Tower. Dort trafen wir uns erneut mit Marcel & Freundin und hatten einen tollen Blick auf die Stadt. Mit Thuong hatten wir jemand Ortskundigen auf dem Skydeck. Toller Überblick mit heute sehr guter Sicht. Nur wenig Smog störte den Blick über Stadt und den angrenzenden Fluss. Es wird tüchtig gebaut überall, der Aufschwung im Land war alleine schon dadurch sehr gut sichtbar. Nach einem Abschiedsgetränk ging es für uns zurück zum Hotel. Unser Guide und Fahrer holten uns für die gebuchte Tunnelanlagen Tour in Cu Chi ab.Read more

  • Day22

    Slog North to Ninh Binh

    October 31, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    We leave Phong Nha and the first 100k are much like the last. Beautiful.
    Masterpiece of a road here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/NMdg9YJBqLHkPAfe8

    We continue north toward Hanoi. The landscape changes. Small towns breaking up the long rural stretches give way to long inhabited strips that seem to go on forever. The main road is in pretty good shape and we're able to log some miles. The side roads that we take for color are heavily populated, dusty, and broken. The riding is hard. My kidneys ache from the harsh, bumpy, pitted ride. Our eyes feel gritty from the dust and exhaust fumes. We stay in two hotels that are 'the best in the area' according to Booking.com, but they're really both just surreal. One is in the center of an off season amusement park, the other at a busy crossroad town on the road out of Laos. There are no other guests in these places as far as we can tell. The restaurants for dinner are bad enough that we opt for Cup o Noodles in the room. We can't read the noodle cup so we end up using the translator and pick out one that says 'ham'. Turns out it comes with an unrefrigerated tube of liverwurst...

    Things are looking and feeling somewhat bleak. Then we ride down a side street off of a detour and pass a sign saying 'Bun Cha!'. The place is packed with a lunchtime crowd; mainly groups of middle aged women. This has to be good. As Augie and I take off our helmets they all burst into laughter at our expense. The proprietor prepares our rice noodles, shredded pork, fresh greens, slices of mild ginger. All is wrapped in a rice paper and dipped in a fish sauce.
    Assembly video here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/RUp8FfZHSbpjtKqj8
    It is delicious. She even comes over and slices up our rice noodles into smaller clumps when she sees us struggling with the chop sticks. Given the general merriment in the room I'm guessing this is what they do for little kids. Things are looking up.

    The last little side road we take as we approach Ninh Binh is one of the best yet. It is one lane of concrete smoothness threading along at the base of some beautiful forested mountains.

    Yes, things are looking up as we pull into our last stop before Hanoi.
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  • Day21

    Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon

    August 24, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

    Ho Chi Minh City (ehemals Saigon) ist mit 8,2 Millionen Einwohner die größte und wohl auch die verrückteste Stadt in Vietnam. Vom nobelsten Hotel bis zur billigsten Pension, vom elegantesten Restaurant bis zum leckersten Straßenimbiss, von der erlesensten Boutique bis zum turbolentesten Markt hat HCMV alles zu bieten. Die Straßen sind ständig verstopft und es gelten anscheinend keinerlei Verkehrsregeln, was besonders für die ordnungsliebenden Deutschen ein Problem ist 😁
    Das bekamen wir zu spüren als wir uns auf Motorrollern auf den Weg zu den Tunneln der Chu Chi Freiheitskämpfern machten. Eine 50km Strecke dauerte 2 Stunden.
    Doch der Weg lohnte sich. Es war sehr beeindruckend wie die Vietnamesen die Tunnelsystem nutzten um sich gegen die übermächtigen Feind zu wehren.
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  • Day36

    Huong Khe

    November 25, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ 🌧 22 °C

    After Leaving Phong Nha we got onto the Ho Chi Minh Trail and made our Journey to Huong Khe. The Ho Chi Minh trail is now a paved road but during the Vietnam war this was a logistical system used by the Vietcong to infiltrate troops and supplies in Southern Vietnam.

    The majority of the ride was through low clouds, but probably would have had some amazing views if the sun was out.

    Hong Khe was a town off the beaten track. There wasn’t much going on here and the motel we stayed at had 10 floors but I’m pretty sure there were more workers than guests staying here. Something else they like in Northern Vietnam is the rubber or straw beds - something i don’t think I’ll ever be a fan of.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Tỉnh Hà Tĩnh, Tinh Ha Tinh

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