Austria, Vietnam · 24 Days · 44 Moments · January 2018

Vietnam 2018

22 February 2018

Last moments - including two great dinners in the „Pub“ and the „Mango Bay Restaurant“
Some more memories from Phu Quoc: from the north one could already see Cambodia - from the hotel, where I paid the invoice with the highest amount : 18,4 Millions!! The last Seafood Pho was prepared with instant noodles. The last two days we spent in the Vela Phu Quoc Resort - with a very nice beach, but a lot of dirt...- And only a few meters away, we saw a nice foto-shooting!

20 February 2018

In the afternoon we had a little walk to the village, where I was brave enough to have a Pho in a local kitchen. It was excellent as well as the freshly prepared spring rolls. Even in the smallest place, you find the big multi-national companies as Coca Cola, Nestlé or Unilever.. - even in this communist country...
Due to the Tet - the Viets do not call it „Chinese“, but „lunar“ new year - many hotels have been fully booked and we had some issues getting rooms. The hotel we booked for the last days cancelled one day before arrival do that we had to look for a new accommodation and to stay here in the Phu Quoc Kim2 Beachfront Ressort for another day. We met Ben ( Fungfung) and Silvy, who had a motobike accident and also are forced to stay here.. Please see the spicy hot chilli on my Pho - always a challenge..

19 February 2018

Some more impressions from our exploring- tour which ended with an excellent barbecue fish in the hotel and some homemade sweets
In the afternoon we visited an organic farm, where they grow pepper, bananas, morning glory and ananas amongst other fruits. We could see ananas in different states of maturity as well as sweet potato and a lot of mimoses. They even brew their own beer, which was indeed very good!
Another day on scooters - exploring the island: here the „starfish-beach“
I like this country and it offers some great impressions - but it also has a lot of problems. One of them is their waste- treatment and the missing respect to nature. Today we saw a lot of places destroyed by waste because they do not realize in which kind of paradise they live and that they should try to maintain that in order to have sustainable tourisme as a source of income..

17 February 2018

Some pictures from our tour of today: while you have the Marriot on one hand, you see the simple huts of the locals on the other side. .. We also visited the Phu Quoc prison (museum) which was built by the french and later on used by the Americans - always to jail Vietnamese people - nit nice, but part if the history of this country.
Today we went south to the Sau Beach. We did not consider that it is the chinese new year and saturday.. the beach was crowded with tourists. If you go a little while you will find less people but a lot of waste: plastic in all kinds destroy the beaches and nobody cares - what a pity! Another problem were the chinese tourist who really have strange habits: loud, without any respect to the waiters, to other tourists or to nature. Not the nicest people to share a beach with.. Only very young parents ( and very old ones) post pictures of their kids..

15 February 2018

The last days we were busy with organising accomodations for us. We underestimated the lunar new year and its impact on tourisme. Hard to find something.. in the 10 days on the island i will have 4 or 5 different stays - so will be able to compare! The beach here is great, but big parts of it are private beaches of hotels. We had our first full day on the beach - finally
Some impressions from the Famiana Resort abm from Daisy Village Resort

14 February 2018

We took Vietjet Airline from HCMC to Phu Quoc. As always they have been delayed and we arrived at 6 pm on the island. Finally holidays with beach, seafood and a scooter to drive around.. Already on the first evening we went to see the night market Worth to mention that we had several flights with VietJet Airline - none of them was on time!!
This is the Apartment booked by the youngsters. Price 50.- USD per night! The last two nights ( Dalat and HCMC) we spent 20.- USD..

13 February 2018

In the evening we went out for celebrating Lindas „Staatsexamen“ On TripAdvisor we found the Garlik de Than, which was a great experience. After dinner we went through the „walking street“ which was another kind of experience: the party mile in HCMC was totally crowded... I also saw my favorite animal - as already on the train and at other occasions..
We originally thought to stay one night in Saigon and to make a tour to the Mekong Delta. Unfortunately- due to the „Tet“, the vietnamese lunar new year party, the floating markets are closed and many other services also are not available. Therefore we decided to change our plans and to fly to Phu Quoc two days sooner. We have a great appartment here in Ho Chi Minh City for 50.-€ for all of us. Located in the 13th floor, 2 bedrooms, AC, great Wlan and furnished in a luxury way. It also has an infinity pool on the roof. From here we explored the city with the statue of Ho Chi Minh, the ginancial tower and the reunification-palace. The city is already preparing the most important celebration of the year - starting the year of the dog.

12 February 2018

The „ crazy house“ of Hang Nga was created by the female architect Dang Viet Nga in 1990 and it’s permanently growing. Her father was the successor if Ho Chi Minh and she made her Doctor in Architecture in Moskau and wanted to show the people the way back to nature. The private living house is more a surrealistic museum with a lot of bridges. I especially liked the bathroom. The whole house reminded me on Gaudi, Hundertwasser and Hobbits..
Great idea to take a private driver today instead of the public bus. We arrived in a very nice homestay with a super-host. We rent motobikes and I was seriously impressed about Lindas referring skills - she drove perfectly in that chaos! For lunch we had a hot pot with mussels, squid, beef, tofu and ? with vegetables - another great culinaric experience. The visit in the market hall was slightly too much for Linda - she had to leave.
From the 11th to the 12th we took an overnight sleep-waggon from Hoi An to Nha Trang. We decided to skip Nha Trang and directly took a private driver to Dalat, where we just arrived in a homestay which Linda booked. It is really nice and we only pay 7.-€ (in words: seven)

10 February 2018

Vietnam has great Ca Phé and they are very proud about it. Here we have a huge amount and variety of coffeeshops.
Walking through Hoi An - with lots of other tourists was quite interesting and fun. Did a lot of shopping, the booking for all our remaining flights and had lunch and dinner in the same restaurant because it was so good. Together with Cris I had the cheapest beer in my life: 0,11 €!! On the attached invoice you can see that we did not even spend 10.-€ for a great dinner for 3 persons! In the „be be“ shop I made me taylor a suite, today I look forward trying it!
The Viets love flowers! The chinese (lunar) new year was ahead and the flowers markets boomed..
Some pics from the night train and the Wolkenpass (cloud-pass?) great experience to share the cabin with three vietnamese women...

9 February 2018

Chua Bai Dinh: finished only in 2014 it is the biggest Pagoda in Vietnam. On the way up you pass 500 statues of enlightened buddhists and on the top you see the huge Pagoda. Onside there are 3 Buddhas, the biggest one is 10 m high and has 100 tons. We also saw Vietnams biggest bell with 36 tons. The whole complex us really huge - as well as the big Buddha and the 13 floor pagoda.
We took a driver from the hotel for the whole day and he drove us to the caves of Trang An an than to the impressive Chua Bai Dinh temple complex. On the way we stopped for watching the transplantation of rice from dry to wet. Tuan was a great guide but a very poor driver..
Today we made a boat tour in Trang An, close to Nin Binh: an incredible landscape, called „Dry Halong Bay“ with many lakes and caves. We didn’t manage a scooter so that we had to take a driver for 18.-€ for the day. Funny story: in the morning we asked the owner of the Homestay, if we could cancel the taxi snd change to scooters. He said, ha has to make a phone call - coming back he said: „Sorry cancelling not possible anymore“. When we left for the trip, we saw that HE was the driver...

8 February 2018

Copy von Lindas Journi: An unserem letzten Abend in Hanoi sind wir den Tipp einer Einheimischen gefolgt und haben das Gericht „Cha Ca“ probiert. Fisch mit Kurkuma, frischer Dill und Frühlingszwiebeln wurden vor unseren Augen frisch angebraten. Serviert wurde es anschließend mit Reisnudeln, frischem Koriander, Chili, Erdnüssen und Fischsoße! Das Beste, was wir bisher gegessen haben😍
Travelling with bus, boat and train.. We also went to see Cherry in the travel agency to leave our bags there snd for thanking her for the good organisation of the „Halong-trip“

7 February 2018

Impressions from the boat tour..
Some pictures from the Bay: Halong Bay and Bay Tulong Bay bestehen auf 1500 Quadratkilometern aus 1969 Inseln. Täglich sind da bis zu 200 Schiffen unterwegs. 4 Stunden Bus von Vietnam, dann aufs Boot - von 1* (70 USD) bis 5* (220 USD) gibt es alle Preisklassen. Sehr viele Asiaten unterwegs, die wir tlw als sehr nervig empfunden haben. Gebucht haben wir bei Cherry im Sinh Cafe Travel in Hanoi - die perfekte Unterstützung war uns schon ein paar Dollar wert..
A „must“ in Vietnam is the Halong Bay. We decided to do it on a quite luxury boat: Athenea Cruises was the best choice and worth every single penny! Luxury cabines, great food and excellent service. As adventure they do what all do: we visited a cave and a floating pearl farm. Attached some impressions from the boat

6 February 2018

Today I had another nice walk through Hanoi with Linda and Christoph. After a few days, I was able to be their tour guide ;-) We have been in the military museum. The sculpture there was built out of old parts of US aeroplanes. The Americans did throw 8 Million tons!! of bombs on Vietnam and you can see relicts all over the city. We visited the old iron bridge over the red river again and walked through the market. The huge variety of vegetables and fruits here in Asia is always impressing. In the evening we booked our trains to the south and our hotel in Ninh Binh from 8 to 9th.
Some more impressions of today: we started with the famous Pho in the morning. Than we had some spring rolls and another soup for lunch and in the evening I was invited in a noble restaurant with excellent food. Here you also see our hotel and some details of Hanoi. I am really happy to leave this crowded city tomorrow - heading to Halong Bay early in the morning!

5 February 2018

The focus of my walk today was on all the different bycicles and motobikes. You cannot imagine... crossing the street is always an adventure and to see how the Viets manage on the crossroads is impressing. Had some coffees, fried rice with chicken, one beer (two?) and now I am waiting for the youngsters to arrive in the Royal Palace Hotel.
In the morning I booked our tour to the Halong Bay and the Tulong Bay. Than i had a white vietnamese coffee. I never thought something could be too sweet - till I tried.. Than I lost a good companion: my camera gave up! Only after 15 years of duty.. An impressive visit was the Hoa Lo prison: built by the french in the 19th century and used for the independence fighters in Vietnam. In the great American war it was used for the US Airforce pilots, who have been shot - John Mc Cain was one of them. Tough to see the original cells, but also great to see, with which respect the US prisoners have been treated. They for sure had a higher living standard than a „normal“ Vietnamese at that time.. After that I needed a foot massage with coffee - i did nearly 20 km today!

4 February 2018

Today I made the bike tour, recommended by Stewart - great experience! Saw the cathedral and the old bridge over the red river. Than I tried to check a tour to Halong bay - quite difficult with that huge amount of travel agencies and different offers. I finally found a nice agency next door and will book tomorrow. I will have to change the hotel too, because Cris and Linda booked in and for me was no more room available.. will find something nice for sure. Than a night-walk through the city with nice decoration and happenings. Had to do some shopping too. Than a real experience: the dinner: I honestly cannot tell what I had tonight.. some things were good, others not so much. A great city, will have to buy „Tintin in Hanoi“ when back home!
Biking through the city was a great way to explore Hanoi. The Tean Quic Pagoda is the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi, located on one of the many lakes of the city. It was built in 544 and hosts monks since than. The tree on the ground has been taken as cutting of the original tree in India, under which Buddha sat and had his enlightment!! The military museum was also very impressive as well as the old B52 bomber shut down during the war and still in the lake where it fell to. Of course the big American war is still very present and is also one basis for the Vietnamese identity, glorifying the Vietnamese courage and the fighters, who all became important members of the government after the war The Opera house was built by the French
This is the famous literature temple in Hanoi. It is a Temple of Confucius and hosts the Imperial Academy. It was built in 1070 and one can see him on the 100.000 Dong banknote. From 1945 till 1954 the French destroyed parts of it and made a hospital out of it because there was no place for sick and wounded people during times of war. During my visit I could see a ceremony of students, who celebrated their successful end of studies - to me they looked quite young...
On the first day, I made a guided Tour through Hanoi. I originally booked a Motobike Tour, but the receptionist misunderstood or did not admit that he did only understand "city tour" so that I found myself in a bus driving through the city... We visited the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the grave of "Uncle Ho" was so similar to the Lenin Mausoleum that it was no surprise that the Russians helped building it. It was interesting to see also a shellack factory, where they also did "Eggshell painting": they burn eggshells and use small parts of the shells in different shades for making pictures out of it.

3 February 2018

1 February 2018

Sitting on the airport now - happy to be able to escape from that weather, but sad because of travelling without Adele. Flight starts in 90 minutes!!

30 January 2018

29 January 2018

Das ist der Start meines Tagebuchs. Morgen wird gepackt. Bin zeitlich ganz nahe und mental noch ziemlich fern..