Thursday, 19 May 2016

Sunrise and Sand Dunes

It's been a slow process and one which I've worked really hard on but it's finally happened. I have a tanned face. A TANNED FACE! This is unprecedented in the history of me tanning. Don't get me wrong, I still kiiinda look like I just haven't washed in a few months but the tan is real my friends. 
Don't say a word, mum. It's not dirt. 

Asides from that excellent news, I'm currently in Mui Ne, which is a little coastal town 4 hours north of Saigon. I took the recommendation from someone in my dorm to do the sunrise jeep tour to the sand dunes and boyyyyy was that a good call. See photos for confirmation. First stop was the white (and much more impressive) sand dunes to watch the sun rise and what a trek that was. Second stop was the red sand dunes and last stop a fishing village. All for £3. Yup...look at me smiling at 4am! A day for firsts!


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

the struggle is real

There's really not much to tell from the last week. I spent a week at the beach, or at least I tried, but fried myself on day 4 and couldn't go outside after that. Hot-footing it from restaurant to cafe to shop. It was all kinds of relaxing but not at night trying to sleep without any back part of my body touching anything. I drank one too many pitchers on my first night in Danang and had to add 3 days on to the trip because, apparently, I'm not a sprightly 21 year old anymore. PFFT. The struggle is real.
Up at 6.30am this morning to beat the heat and get to Ponagar Cham Towers which overlook Nha Trang. The Ponagar towers will look similar to the temples in the last post but this is on a much smaller scale and has already been restored. Entry worked out at 60pence. yuh.
And then I got a pedicure for 70pence.
Ladies and gents rejoice!

p.s I missed my bus this morning to Mui Ne because, you guessed it, I can't handle hangovers. The hostel receptionist came running into the dorm at an ungodly hour calling my name because there was a bus full of people waiting outside. I was able to muster a few sorrys before going back to sleep.






Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Mỹ Sơn

Mỹ Sơn has definitely exceeded my expectations. It was another place that has been on my list for years and years and one of the first images that made me desperate to visit Vietnam. I went at sunrise, a very bumpy hour (the kind of bumpy that makes you wish you'd toned up slightly) outside of Hoi An in the dense jungle, and except for the people I was with, had the place to myself. 
Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary is made up of large areas of Hindu Temples dating back to the 4th century and although time has done damage, bombing of the area during the Vietnam War destroyed a lot of the area. 
Here is my face as proof I was actually there and did not snatch these images from Google. Sorry. This is the only one where I don't look scared...because it's weird and difficult smiling for a selfie.

Friday, 6 May 2016

R.I.P

RIP pre-Vietnam immune system.
I'm still recovering from my, we'll just call it "travel sickness" but I've since been to Hue (pronounced Hway) and now in Hoi An. I probably would've stayed in Hue a little longer but I really needed to feel the ocean breeze on my sweaty ill face y'know? I'm putting the exorcist episode down to my malaria tablets which my mum is warning me to keep taking. Yes I'm in Vietnam and she may be very far away in Scotland but if you knew my mum. Well. It was my last tablet anyway last night and I can already feel my organs high-fiving. 
I'm still waiting on a panic-stricken email from my dad but he seems to be containing himself. 
I plan on doing a cooking class in the next couple of days and heading to the beach but for now I'm heading out to have some dresses tailored. Check me dipping my big toe in the life of luxury!


Happy Friday folks!!!


Sunday, 1 May 2016

Sapa

I've had somewhat of an exorcist episode the last week. I don't know whether it's the food or just my non-smoking immune system but hopefully it buggers off soon. I know, what the hell Vietnam. So, I hadn't been up to much but I couldn't stick around Hanoi forever so I took advantage of the only storm-free days in Sapa and headed there. Because what's better for a cold than trekking through hills for 2 days!
Check. Out. THAT. View.
I mean just as well after a 6 1/2 hour bus journey including the most sweat-inducing, tense 2 hours of my LIFE, up the mountains. Who needs skydiving?! 

We spent the two days trekking through the local villages, accompanied by local Hmong women who belong to an ethnic group living in the valleys. I know everyone says it but honestly the photos don't do the place justice. The sheer scale of this place is incredible. 




Thursday, 28 April 2016

Don't Get Attached to the Local Food

This is Puppydog and she followed me for around 10miles through the villages surrounding Sapa. Stray dogs are pretty common in Vietnam but most of them pretend to look like they belong somewhere. Puppydog didn't seem to belong anywhere. 
Dog meat is really popular in Vietnam, normally eaten at the end of the month to bring good luck and fortune. Being a vegetarian myself for moral and ethical reasons, you'd maybe think I'd see all animals the same in that respect but truthfully, I found this much more difficult to come to terms with. She took a particular shining to me, maybe she could sense the crazy-animal-lady in me. She didn't look at me nor did I pet her but she kept very close and often brushed up against my leg if a larger dog was close-by. Then she watched as we drove away and it took every ounce of strength in me to not smuggle her wee skinny body away. 

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Descending Dragon Bay- Halong Bay

I'm looking through my photos and I can't actually believe I've just been in Halong Bay, woooft! The trip wooshed by, beautiful friends made along the way. I went with a junk-boat cruise called Halong Dragon Cruise for a 2night/3day trip. After a hot and humid day kayaking and squid fishing, we drank the hours away on the deck in the floating city of boats.
 A struggle getting up for breakfast the next morning and then across to Monkey Island to see the monkeys and get our tan on. We made our way to Cat Ba island, the largest of the islands in Halong Bay, and cycled the 5km through the limestone mountains to our bungalow for the night which was in-credible! All the wildlife. David Attenborough eat your heart out. It was a pretty remote village and I wish we'd been able to stay longer. I mean b-jeezus look at those photos.
I'm off to the north-west next to a place called Sapa.
Lazing about Hanoi waiting for the lightening storms to end there. Crossing so many things of dat list!