Vietnam: Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay is one of those places that you can’t miss if you’re in the vicinity. It’s a World Heritage Site and a huge tourist attraction, bringing in thousands of foreigners each year. With all the talk around Ha Long Bay, I hoped it would live up to the hype. In Old Quarter in Hanoi, there are hundreds of travel agencies and billboards advertising one, two and three day trips to the bay. There’s so much information to be had, and thousands of reviews […]

Vietnam: Sapa

Sapa is a town which is rather close to the Chinese border. It’s known for for its rice paddys as well as a selection of surrounding hiking trails, which are often sold as ‘packages’ with a local home-stay for accommodation. I visited Sapa for a week along with some of the fellow volunteers from VCV, where I’ve been teaching English. This is a photo I took from the top of a surrounding hill. The town itself lies at around 1500m above sea level. The bus […]

Vietnam: Just, Vietnam

“Err… we eat the pets.” That was the response I got from one student, in my first ever class I taught, in Vietnam. The subject for the English lesson was ‘Companies,’ and I had been tasked with teaching the fundamental ideas and vocabulary behind limited liability companies, publicly owned companies, mutual funds… you get the idea. Part of this involved touching on charities and non-profits. The line above was in response to a question based around shelters; I probably shouldn’t have asked if they know […]

Vietnam: Heading North

Following a brief visit to Saigon / HCMC, we travelled to Da Nang, which is a city approximately half way between HCMC and Ha Noi. Da Nang is close to another town named Hoi An, which is known for being home to some of the best tailors in Vietnam. Arriving at the airport after a short flight, we were soon beckoned forth by one of approximately 40 very eager taxi drivers to give us a ride. After being assured that his pricing would be spot […]

Vietnam: Entering And Visiting Saigon

Xin Chao! (Hello, in Vietnamese). Well, I finally made it to Vietnam. I’ve actually been here for about 3 weeks, but I’m lagging behind a little on posts so I’ll cover off getting in to Vietnam and my short time in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon). Crossing the border from Cambodia was a breeze. The whole process took about ten minutes, involved a body temperature check, some smiling and a couple of dollars. The plan was to stay the night in the local border town of […]