So here I was in my favourite Vietnamese destination. Hoi An had struck a chord with me when we were here six years ago and I knew that this was one place I really wanted to come back to. As with any place built beside the water it has a great atmosphere and a history that is greatly influenced by its former status as a trading port. Hoi An has a beautiful old town with french inspired architecture built along the river. It is is also well known as a town of tailors and cobblers, with that in mind I set out to have some clothing made. Continue reading
Dalat sits at an altitude of 1,500 metres above sea level in the Central Highlands. It is known as the Paris of Vietnam and is well known for its flower gardens and rolling hills. I would liken it to Wellington, NZ with its wind and rain, I was properly cold for the first time in months.
For my second day here I took a countryside tour by motorbike. Along the way we visited various farms and factories and got a better look at life outside a major hub. First up we visited a coffee bean processor, Vietnam is famous for its coffee beans and Dalat is covered in trees producing just that. They flower once a year and are harvested by hand. They are then de-husked and laid out to dry for around three days depending on the heat of the sun. Afterwards they are bagged up and sent off for export.
Another day. Another country. Another bus ride…I feel as though I have spent a good portion of my week on a bus making my way into and around Vietnam. From Phnom Penh I took a relatively nice bus with a sane driver into Ho Chi Minh. One night there, the highlight being having the dead skin taken off my feet (an island life of no shoes isn’t good for the sole). I then got a reasonably scary mini bus into Nam Cat Tien (a national park). I checked into my own bamboo hut which was dinky, but also came with a huge spider in the bathroom, and headed out. Continue reading