Guest Post

Travel journal entries and postcards from our roving reporters

  • We left the busyness of Hanoi for a couple of days in Sapa. This mountainside retreat was originally built for the French as a cool getaway in 1922 and after some years of neglect has in recent years undergone a real revival and is now a key tourist destination in Northern Vietnam – and with good reason. You feel as though you have arrived in a different country, so alien is the climate. It was a welcome relief to actually feel chilly and to need to wrap up warm after the heat of Hanoi and Halong Bay. The town is a pretty place and with lots of nice restaurants and cafes, as well as its legendary Sunday market, it is a great place to wander around and spend a few hours.

  • Hanoi is a very different city to Bangkok. One of the first things you notice is the architecture which is very French in style. Shutters and balconies on tall thin buildings painted in vibrant colours. The other things you notice on the drive from the Airport are somewhat stereotypical. Numerous paddy fields and the Vietnamese “Non” hats made of palm leaves and bamboo. It takes you back to the movies!

  • We have enjoyed our second time in Bangkok perhaps a little more than when we first arrived. We had only spent a day here when we first arrived and I think it takes a little time to become adjusted. We have used the river boat a lot to get around this time as we are staying in the Banglumphu area and it is convenient. As with the skytrain, it is a great way to see the city. Yesterday we went down to the Oriental Hotel, which was impressive and seemed like it would be a great place to have a pleasant evening drink.

  • Well, after all the anticipation and concern that we would somehow be the only ones on Koh Tao who did not manage it, on our final dive we saw a whale shark. It was an awesome experience to be under water with such an impressive and elegant creature. The area is known as the adolescent playground for whale sharks as it appears that the adolescents are allowed to play in that area for some time without the adults present. This one was between 3 and 4 metres, so small by their standards, but magnificent nonetheless!

  • It’s amazing how quickly you adjust to the laid back, slow pace of south east asian life! Only a week away and already we can while away several hours doing nothing in particular.

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