Vạ Chai

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21 travelers at this place
  • Day188

    Meeting up with Family in Hanoi Vietnam

    December 6, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    A completely unexpected event in my Experiment in International Living has now happened again: my family came across the world so we could meet. First, my sister Michelle joined me in Oaxaca last July; then she and her husband Jim planned a trip to Vietnam, and invited me to join them in Hanoi this December. A scant forty-five minutes’ strong tail wind flight from Chiang Mai, and there I was in Hanoi airport! (It is worth noting that one can get a visa-on-arrival in Vietnam, but it takes a good hour at the airport AND takes up an entire page on one’s passport.) Never mind the red tape—it was a delight to be together. Michelle and Jim shared a sumptuous room with me in the five-star Hotel L’Opera in Hanoi.

    I realized that nearly half a century has passed since the terrible strife of the VietnamWar, and I know many people who have happily visited Vietnam since its end. Yet I still dreaded a confrontation with my past—remembering Vietnamese students studying at the University of Southern California when I was there in 1970-72, and how they wept in the shrouded darkness of their rooms as they learned of the destruction of their country; how we protested the war every day; how the Americans were finally defeated, and the South Vietnamese as well. Michelle and Jim had a guide in Saigon who told them it took him many years of research on his own to realize that the American War (as it’s called in Vietnam) was also a Vietnamese civil war.

    Well, capitalism is alive and well in this communist capital. I did no reading in preparation for my five days’ stay, so I have no idea of the real story, but it LOOKS as though entrepreneurship is big. And so is a feeling of hospitality and friendliness extended by the Vietnamese to their American visitors. I loved it, and was writhing in frustration at not being able to say more in Vietnamese than “hello, my name is Dorée, thank you, I love you”—the last being for a joke.

    We did a great deal of walking in the French Quarter of Hanoi the evening of my arrival, and then spent the next two days on our own private boat in lovely Halong Bay. Our crew of three waited on us with courtesy and attention, and the three of us were able to chat and catch up in relaxation and good cheer.

    I offer you only these details from my point of view, because my sister Michelle wrote a blog about their two-week stay in Vietnam, which I will share with you. The link below is to Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, but the rest of the trip can be accessed as well. I hope you enjoy her writerly descriptions, as well as Jim’s photos.

    And oh! Here are some photos of mine as well.

    And oh! Here are some photos of mine as well.
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    Happy New year Doree!Another fabulous adventure, and so nice to spend time with the family. We spent New Year's Eve on our own in Suffolk, but Ian is coming up tomorrow with the children. Helena is braving it out in Sydney. they live too near the harbour for the fire to do any damage, but the smoke has been horrendous. Much love to you for your next adventure. Love, Rosemary

    James Collenette

    Happy New Year Doree and may you continue your adventures well in 2020! James.


    Happy New Year. Enjoy with family. Enjoying your posts. Usha

    6 more comments
  • Day5

    To Halong Bay

    October 8, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ 🌧 26 °C

    The bus trip took about 4 hours with a rest stop at a craft place for the handicapped.

    We gradually learned the names of the other people who had arrived the night before for the main tour...
    David and Jo, from Brisbane
    John and Georgina, from Melbourne
    John and Kris, from Wodonga
    David and Jenny, from the Sunshine Coast
    Angie, from Sydney

    We arrived early to Ha Long Bay so we visited a pearl place where they explained the process of seeding the pearls by opening a shell and putting in a piece of mantle muscle within the oyster. The oyster is then left for 3-5 years to develop. These at Ha Long Bay are seawater pearls. They can be white, cream or black depending in the oyster species host used.

    Next we boarded a small boat (a tender) and were taken out to our boat, the Oriental Sails.

    After settling into our cabins, lunch (several courses) was served as we motored out into Ha Long Bay.
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    This is our boat, the Oriental Sails


    Our tour guide Thu (pronounced two) showing us where we will be going.

  • Day27

    Halong Bay Cruise 1/2

    March 9, 2020 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Mein Schiff die "Mon Cheri" darf virusbedingt nicht auslaufen, ich checke auf dem Ersatzschiff "Paloma" ein.
    Ich denke kurz: vielleicht sollte ich davon absehen auf Reisen mit Schiffen zu fahren...
    Gebucht war eine herrliche Kabine mit Balkon auf einem sehr neuen Schiff. Das gibt die Paloma leider nicht her... die ersten 3 Stunden sind fürchterlich, auch weil ich beim Lunch zu einem alleinreisenden Griesgram gesetzt werde 🥺
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  • Day2

    Ha long bay !

    October 2, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    We received an email to say the cruise we had initially booked had been cancelled due to engine problems so we were being upgraded to their 5 star sister cruise !! This also meant a shorter transfer 2 hours on brand new road rather thn 4 and a half on bumpy roads and a later wake up call .
    After sleeping the whole way to the bay we got on a small tender before being transferred to our big cruise ship . As soon as we got to the boat we had a welcome drink and safety briefing where we met a couple from Carlow who we then stuck with for the rest of our trip and even had the room beside us .We couldn’t believe it when we go into our room and saw the balcony and jacuzzi tub in the bathroom !! After having lunch in the dinning room we went kayaking in a secluded part of the bay , it was so quiet when we went around one of the small islands it was only me and Aishling , we kayaked right up beside one of the island where there was hundreds of bright purple crabs crawling around , so many it looked like the whole island was moving !!
    We then attempted to get back to the tender, turns out neither of us can steer very well .
    Then we headed to another quiet spot to go swimming the water was so clean and clear compared to the part of ha long bay I was in before .
    We then went back to the boat for a shower and go ready for dinner . I don’t remember how many courses we were fed but it was a lot !!
    After dinner we decided to really milk the fact we were on such a fancy cruise and brought our cocktails back to our room and got in the jacuzzi !!
    Once we got into bed we both fell straight asleep knowing it was an early start the next day

    **More photos to follow from my camera **
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  • Day6

    Ankunft in Halong

    May 1, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Wir erreichen den Ablegehafen unseres Schiffes. Es ist hier total wuselig, alle laufen durcheinander. Wir sind heilfroh, das wir Tuy haben, der managet alles für uns. Wir werden nur aufgefordert uns hin zu setzen und zu warten bis wir geholt werden. Unser Reisebegleiter für die nächsten Tage heißt Lee.Read more

  • Day6

    auf der Garden bay

    May 1, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Mit einem Tenderboot werden wir auf die Garden Bay gebracht. Das Schiff hat eine angenehme Größe, außer uns sind noch 16 andere auf dem Schiff, zwei Italienerinnen und der Rest Franzosen. Es stellt sich zum Glück heraus, dass die alle ganz in Ordnung sind. Wir bekommen gleich ein leckeres Lunch und beziehen dann unsere Kabine. Es ist richtig schön, wir haben ein großes Panoramafenster, ein super Bett und für ein Schiff eine große begehbare Dusche. Wir sind rundum zufrieden. Nach einem Ausflug zu der Höhle beschließen Marcus und ich auf dem Boot zu bleiben. Ab 17.00 Uhr ist schließlich Happy Hour, die wollen wir nicht verpassen. Wir haben sogar noch Glück mit dem Wetter und erleben einen tollen Sonnenuntergang. Vor dem Abendessen findet noch die Cookingclas statt, wir lernen wie man vietnamesische Frühlingsrollen herstellt. Nach einem leckeren Abendessen in Form eines Buffets lassen wir den Abend bei einer Flasche Wein ausklingen.Read more

  • Day6

    Ha Long

    May 7, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ 🌧 25 °C

    [day 5]

    In the morning we went down to the restaurant of our hotel and found it empty. No one present. When we made some sound suddenly personnel appeared. They seemed to wake up from a deep sleep. From behind a door someone came who was responsable for the soup. Behind a counter another two servants showed up. Near a table we saw left behind shoes. It's obvious there was not so much work for them. We were the only ones there. Breakfast was so so and therefor we stayed only for a little while. The cable car was to start service at 14:00 and thus we decided to visit the boats at the harbour of Ha Long first. Perhaps we could make a short boattrip? The taxi left us at a place where tourists were expected to go on a big cruise that would take them to the big rocks of Ha Long. We couldn't find a trip for only a few hours.Read more

  • Day7

    From Ha Long to Hanoi

    May 8, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ 🌧 24 °C

    Distance from Ha Long to Hanoi 《130 km》

    [day 6]

    Yesterday I arranged a transfer company (named A21) to pick us up at our hotel and drive us to the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. Our next destination. A very pleasant surprise when the minibus came before the hotel. It was very comfortable inside. Leather seats and a screen on which you could follow television or listen to music. The costs of the shuttle bus for 2 persons were in total 33,28$ (30€). We were the second passengers to enter the minibus and during our trip we picked up other people at their hotel.
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  • Day6

    Ha Long Sun World

    May 7, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ☁️ 26 °C

    We took a taxi back because it was about two o'clock. Time for the cable car services to start. We bought two tickets and stepped into the cable car. What a marvellous sight. We went towards the mountain with the Ferris wheel, over the sea with a view on a large bridge. Stepping out of the cable car we came in an entertainment area with a cinema and lots of playing devices for children, a souvenir shop and a restaurant. With an escalator we got outside in a place with beautiful gardens and we took a ride with a roller coaster.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Vạ Chai, Va Chai