Vietnam · 35 Days · 37 Moments · August 2017

Christine's trek to Vietnam


22 September 2017

Ba Vang pagoda, 'level' 2
Ba Vang pagoda, 'layer' 2
Ba Vang pagoda, 'layer' 2
The first 'layer' of Ba Vang pagoda. It was ridiculously hot, sweat was running from my body, any trace of makeup I had on had melted off my face by now, but I freaking dis it!
Going up the many stairs to reach Ba Vang pagoda - possibly the most ornate and incredibly beautiful temple I've ever seen in my life. And so peaceful too😊
Driving through rice paddies, having a local Vietnamese lady explain how rice is harvested. We also tasted some fresh from the plant, and it was actually pretty good!
Driving through Hai Phong all the way to the countryside, where the boys all decided to take a spontaneous dip. They were soaking wet!

20 September 2017

Out and about, making Vietnamese friends, trying Vietnamese foods and meals, having drinks of all sorts, and enjoying the sincere Vietnamese hospitality. Definitely something to behold.
'Home' life for us. Watching people paint beautifully intricate murals on our walls, the rooftop views, the joint birthday celebrations, and the overall silliness we seem to inspire in one another. Also, my chopsticks skills are ninja right now. Freaking. Ninja.
Random exploration of the Vietnamese streets. Absolutely gorgeous wood carving that they have here!

19 September 2017

The local supermarket across the main road, Big C, and all its oddities

17 September 2017

I be learning Vietnamese, yo! Xin chao!

13 September 2017

A Buddhist temple that British Matt took us to. The carvings on the statues, furniture and walls are done with such great attention to detail, and it's near impossible to walk around without gaping at everything like a moron.
A hidden gem of a family-owned coffee shop that hides a mini forest. So soothing!
Typhoon Doksuri's flooding, and the looming clouds before it hit on a Friday evening. Also, what a badass name for a typhoon, right??
Vietnamese traffic
Late night motorbike rides deliberately getting lost in order to discover new things. And yes, that's a monk meditating on the side of the road, under the bridge. He was there for hours (#meditationskills)
The most random bridge, with the most random statues, and it literally leads to nowhere. Like, a dirt road. It really is a country of juxtapositions!

11 September 2017

Snapshots of actual teaching in different schools, as well as the promos we did for certain schools (where I had to sing solo - yay - while everybody danced)

8 September 2017

The opening ceremonies for the start of semester for each school is so flamboyant, colourful, elaborate, and genuinely fun-filled. I've never seen people so keen to start a school semester. Ever.

3 September 2017

The beautiful beaches of Cat Ba!

2 September 2017

The very humble and hidden Buddhist temple we stumbled upon after we decided to walk on the wooden walkway that caught our eyes. What a calming place. It still smelt like burnt paper, with the lingering smells of burnt incense used for prayer and meditation, and beautiful yellow flowers that had just been offered to the gods at the steps leading to the water from the temple. The monks must have been there about 30 minutes before us. It was awe-inspiring!
The beautiful Hai Phong and Cat Ba island sunsets. It's breathtaking in person! 😍
More shots of the roads we drove through exploring Cat Ba's lesser travelled routes. I was floored by the natural beauty, and became truly grateful for being able to experience a journey like this.
Exploring a Vietnamese war memorial that has the most beautiful foliage in between. A bit of a haunting atmosphere though to be honest.
Exploring Cat Ba on a ridiculously hot day on our rented motorbikes. There were 2 boars that decided to follow us on our journey, and it was adorable (especially when they started chasing the Irish guy who provoked them in the middle of their mating session - no joke).
Cat Ba's main town. This island is hands down one of the most beautiful places I've ever had the fortune of seeing and exploring. It was great for the soul 🌞
The bus taking us in to Cat Ba island's main hub
The ferry en route to Cat Ba island with my new 'family'/friends/colleagues

1 September 2017

VIETNAMESE BONSAIS! 😍🇻🇳🌴

31 August 2017

Our favourite café, Hiêp Café - best coffee I've ever tasted!

30 August 2017

Our boss rented out a karaoke room for us in a hotel, provided us with drinks and snacks, and made us sing Asian songs and/or Backstreet Boys. And we rocked it. And, yes, that is a little toddler in the nightclub we went to for a bit of an afterparty.

26 August 2017

Probably the weirdest meal I've had thus far. Roz and I were also the main attraction for the local kids who are fascinated by Westerners here (Tay is their name for us Westerners - Tay Power). And, yes, that is a testicle in the broth - testicle tea, so to speak.

22 August 2017

Cruising on the back of a motorbike in the streets of Hai Phong

20 August 2017

My first day in Hai Phong, and the (hopefully) 100% real beef burgers we had at the local fast-food joint, Lotteria.

19 August 2017

The first (jet-lagged) night in my new town! Including the fucking weirdest introductory menu.
Arriving in 'Nam (Hanoi), and the drive to Hai Phong