A Travellerspoint blog

Exploring what's left of the Cham Empire at My Son

sunny 40 °C
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The second day in Hoi An was very sunny and we booked a van to take us to My Son, the ancient ruins from a great city in the Cham Empire. It's Vietnam's mini-Angkor Vat. It is sooo hot, the kids are about to stage a revolution, but thankfully Veronique finds a little stream which saved the day. After My son we went to the beach near our hotel (which we like a lot more than the one from the first night in Hoi An).

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Posted by AlainJacq 08:33 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Pouring rain in Hoi An

rain
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We left Hue on a mini van for a 3 hour drive to Hoi An, with a stop at Marble Mountain. We checked into our hotel, a decent resort except that they did not have the King + 1 configuration we had reserved and gave us a hard time but we eventually reached a compromise (Double +1 +1). The afternoon was spent at the pool with a large number of Chinese tourists, and the next morning, it was heavy monsoon rain. We spend some time changing hotels and at a delicious lunch (Hoi An and Hue are two food capitals of Vietnam), then walked around the city after the rain stopped and we bought a big red Buddha painting.

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Posted by AlainJacq 07:49 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Cruising down Perfume River

sunny 40 °C
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The kids did not like the previous day's visit to the Citadel: "No more walking! No more temples!". So we did a short cruise on the Perfume River. We sailed in one of these yellow touristy boats that seem to be popular in Hue, with corny dragon figure heads. It was very pleasant, and to address the kids' growing distaste for walking in 40 C heat, we even booked a mini van to drive us around after the boat docked near an emperor's famous mausoleum.
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Posted by AlainJacq 10:27 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

A very hot day in Hue's Citadel, Vietnam's Forbidden City

sunny 40 °C
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After Sapa, we spent a day in Hanoi, for some last minute shopping and water puppet show, and took yet another night train to Hue, which was the capital when Vietnam's last Emperor abdicated. We checked in at an incredible resort, which was a very welcome change compared to two consecutive nights in the train. Swimming poooool! The next morning we headed for the Citadel, which is indeed Vietnam's Forbidden City. I was interesting to compare it to Beijing's, although a lot of it had been destroyed during the war. The day was horribly hot and the kids could not bear the sight of another pagoda, so we skipped the market and concluded the day at the pool.

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Posted by AlainJacq 09:10 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Sapa and the impressive mountains of Northern Vietnam

semi-overcast
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We took a night train to Sapa, a small mountain town in Northern Vietnam, close the the Chinese Border at Lao Cai, which is famous for its beautiful rice fields landscapes and ethnic villages. It's a very popular destination with trekkers so you see a lot of westerners along with bars, cafes, and pizzerias. The boost in tourism has made the villagers very pushy and you constantly get groups of women trying to sell you handmade goods. Cute at first, very annoying rapidly. Our tour guide Tom is a nice guy, a bit stressed because his daughter just broke her arm and he can't get to a decent doctor because a corrupted medical system (according to him). Our hotel is very average, we have huge 2 bedroom suites but it's old and there is almost no one else around (we call it the Goulag Hotel). Our walks through the villages and mountain areas are absolutely fantastic, we even forget about the rain. Thankfully our third day is gorgeous and sunny. Matthias and Oscar really enjoyed the frequent encounters with water buffalos, except that one time where they almost charged our friend Isabelle and her daughter. We also had some amazing Vietnamese food in Sapa! The negative? I lost my fancy Sony camera in the train on the way back to Hanoi :-(

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Posted by AlainJacq 02:15 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

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