As I finish up this blog post in Bali, it is bittersweet! On the one hand, we are excited to be visiting new countries, but on the other hand, we are sad to have left Vietnam. For anyone interested in Vietnam travel, what follows is an overview of our thoughts, opinions, and tips after having spent two months travelling through the country. [Nicole's added notes are in brackets throughout]...Read More
A few days ago, on the boat ride out to the best snorkeling experience I've ever had (once again proving that the best experiences need not be expensive -- $17 for a full day's tour including lunch), our guide told us solemnly to prepare ourselves for the day's underwater adventure in the Vietnam Sea.
The Vietnam Sea?
Our guide waited a few beats, raised his eyebrows...Read More
We’ve spent the past week at the Avani Quy Nhon Resort & Spa, located about ten miles south of the city of Quy Nhon near a small fishing village called Bai Xep, with our friends Leigh Anna and Kara who live and work in New York City and decided to take a two week vacation to Vietnam to coincide with our time here. They spent their first week touring Hanoi, Halong Bay, and Hoi An, before joining us here for the second week. It has been awesome having them here and we're sad they're leaving!
Last night, before we dove into a game of Hearts...Read More
Oftentimes when someone returns from a trip and tells me about their vacation travel, I ask if anything went wrong. A lot of times those seem to be the best stories. If someone were to ask Nicole and I that question, thus far our answer would be choosing to spend ten days in Da Nang! (oh that dang Da Nang)
We'd heard a lot of good things about Da Nang's beaches, so our expectations...Read More
When Nicole and I took our first overseas trip eleven years ago, we packed a separate translation dictionary for each of the four countries we visited and studied them religiously. I still remember going on morning walks in Italy and saying Buongiorno to every single person we saw.
Since that time, for the most part I have slowly stopped learning the language basics of the countries we have visited. This has coincided with...Read More
Three days ago, after pedaling bicycles a few miles back to our beach cottage in 95 degree heat, Nicole and I couldn't figure out where the strange smell was coming from. We opened the refrigerator and freezer, sniffed the waste basket, and checked the bathroom. Something was off but we couldn't figure out where....Read More
The highlight of our stay in Phong Nha village came about because of the eating binge I had been on prior to leaving for our trip.
Before I get into that, one sidenote is that, in our humble opinions, anyone travelling to Vietnam should make time for a stay at this village within Phong Nha - Ke Bang national park. We loved the contrast of staying in a small, rural village after the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. We stayed at a little hotel, the Phong Nha Coco House...Read More
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Nicole and I rented a motorcycle.
This was one of my must do's when we were planning our trip to Vietnam. For a few weeks, I even became fixated on the idea of us traveling solely by motorcycle during which time I probably read every blog that's ever been written on motorcycling in Vietnam. But we came to our senses and realized that renting one periodically along the way would have to be good enough.
Nonetheless, my desire to rent one only increased after spending time in the country...Read More
1. I should have packed more t-shirts. I've been wearing the same one for 3 days now. But we're doing laundry this afternoon!
2. Nicole could do without overnight sleeper buses. Because of an (unknown to us) national holiday weekend going on in Vietnam, we were unable to book a train from Hanoi to Phong Nha. So our hotel helped us book a sleeper bus. The good: $25/person. The bad: The "beds" would be fine if I were 5'3'' and skinny, and the bus comes with its own soundtrack, ie, the cell...Read More