Cat Ba – Ha Long Bay
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Cat Ba – Ha Long Bay
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Quy Nhon – Viet Nam
After we left Halong Bay and Hanoi, we headed to Quy Nhon (it is pronouced Way Num). We made the decision to go there based solely on the recommendation from our Halong Bay tour guide. We have found that locals and other travelers typically have the best advice on where to go and what to see.
Quy Nhon is a coastal town in central Vietnam and not a destination on the radar of very many tourists at this point. In coming years that will probably change. When we boarded our flight from Hanoi to Quy Nhon, I looked around and we appeared to be the only non Vietnamese people on the flight.
Our time in Quy Nhon was spent mostly relaxing, catching up on home school, and playing at a children’s museum that we found. We did find time to go to a couple beautiful beaches–too bad the conditions weren’t…
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Vietnam is a large, diverse and very interesting country which could keep you busy for months. Whether you’re a culture aficionado, a nature lover, adventurer or a foodie, Vietnam would be a great destination.
Iconic karst formations of the Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO site
It’s hard to beat Vietnam in terms of landscape diversity: tropical paradise island of Phu Quoc and Mekong delta in the south, forest-clad Central Highlands, huge cave systems of Phong Nha in centre-north, spectacular karst rock formations in the sea (Ha Long Bay) and land (Tam Coc/ Trang An) in the north and dramatic mountain landscape with verdant green rice terraces of far north (Sa Pa, Ha Giang) are only some of the choices you would have.
Rice terraces and rugged mountains in remote Ha Giang region
Adding to that cultural influences…
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Ha Giang loop (part one): the wild, wild north of Vietnam
Ha Giang is the mountainous region in the north of Vietnam and also the name of that region’s capital. The stunning karst landscapes, iconic rice terraces and a very ethnically diverse make-up all make it well worth a longer visit. Despite its undeniable beauty, Ha Giang remains relatively unknown among foreign visitors (especially if compared with Sa Pa in the north-west). Apart from the landscapes, the main attraction of the regions are weekly markets – check the dates to be sure you don’t miss one.
We didn’t have enough time to go both to Ha Giang and Sa Pa so we followed the advice of our Vietnamese Couch Surfer hosts who encouraged us to skip Sa Pa in favour of Ha Giang.
Sa Pa is a top-tourist destination in Vietnam. It means, as usual, that you can experience hoards of tourists, the food and…
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Cross country hiking in Ha Giang
Most of the people treat Ha Giang city just as a base, a starting point of the northern loop around Ha Giang region and do not spend time longer than absolutely necessary there. It’s a mistake: the city itself isn’t interesting but the surroundings hide some surprises. If you like hiking, nature and traditional architecture, don’t miss the visit to Lam Dong village of Tay people and the hikes to Khuoi My and Lung Vai – mountain villages of the Dao people.
Lam Dong is a beautiful village consisting almost entirely of picture-perfect traditional, wooden, thatched roof houses set among green paddies and flowering gardens. It’s just a short walk from Ha Giang town.
Khuoi My (also spelt Khuoi Mi) village and lying further beyond Lung Vai village, known for the stupendous views at the rice terraces, require an easy but longish…
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Hiking in the highland nature reserve in Pù Luông (Vietnam)
Next morning I depart from Pù Luông Retreat with a young local guide, Xưỡng, around 8:30. The hotel prepared a lunch box for us – roasted chicken, sticky rice, banana, orange and bottle of water. By the way, most of staffs working here are Thai minority, they do speak an excellent Vietnamese, although some can’t write. I curiously asked them whether they understand Thai (Thailand) or Laotian (Laos) language, to my surprise – they understand some, 20-30%! That’s cool!
I’m so impressed by the vast rice fields in the valley in the national nature reserve
Back to my trekking, I got a whole day ahead, 15km of hiking around the nature reserve, from one “bản” (i.e village) to another and we have totally around 4 or 5 “bản” to visit, only two of us, so my 19-year-young local guide decided to take me on his bike, we can explore much…
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