A Travellerspoint blog

Vietnam

Solo Style and Last Drinks in Vietnam

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, So it began, as of this morning I had become a 'solo' traveller. The tour was over and the friend I had been traveling with from the tour departed the previous afternoon. I guess from this day on I would be treading not only new ground as in new cities and countries but also new ground in life being ME! Did I actually have what it takes to be a 'back packer'? Did I have what it takes to be alone and travel alone? Did I have what it takes get past language barriers? Did I have what it takes to figure out different money myself? Did I have what it takes to follow a different map for each city and country? Did I have what it takes to find places to eat purchase food? Did I have what it takes to not only purchase tickets but tell where I wanted to go? I had thought about these things on many occasions but that was prior to leaving. While you are still on home ground 'everything will work out fine'! From this moment I had to do things myself. There was no tour leader to book it and figure it out for me. I had become my own tour leader. I just hoped I was as good as the one I had spent the last twenty one days with. I remember rising that morning with a huge amount of confidence in myself and my ability to live my dream. I had given up all I knew to make this happen and happen it will. Of course I also had the demon on my other shoulder filling my head full of questions of fear. For breakfast I headed to a favourite eatery called The Romantic Café after which I decided to head to the lake area to see who was about. There I sat and chatted to a guy who had babbled too previously. This time he had a friend whose English was very good. We sat in the sunshine chatting and playing cards for most of the day. I met up with Herrferman and Kim whom had returned from Sapa that morning. I met them about a week before. I took them to the little 'local' eatery I had been eating in every now and then since arriving in Hanoi. It was a 'very' local place as in dirty and open but the food was awesome and the people were so much fun. I had spent a few 'hazy' afternoons there with my friend before she left and as we were all moving on the following day it would be our goodbye party. So far, solo travel was fun but a little hazy! Ha Ha Ha! So that was it, my time in lovely and vibrant Vietnam had come to an end. There was another dream I could now cross off my long mental list. I was no longer a 'Gonna Do'. I had lived and completed! The soundtrack to this entry was by a totally awesome end of the 80's through the 90's band. They may even be still around and releasing albums. I know they did a track on Dave Grohls 'PROBOT' album. Now that album is another story. If you were a huge 80's Metal fan, head to your local store or download site and grab a copy for yourself. Dave Grohl recored tracks and sent one to each of his favourite 80's Metal singers who were more than lucky to offer their 'throat'. Lucky Dave!

The band for this entry was DRI and the album 'Live 94'.

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

My Heart Was That Lone Bell For I Was Alone

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya

The day had come.

Time had stopped for us and we were to begin existing in time as separate entities.

My new friends had come to represet 'comfort' and 'security'.

We sat for breakfast together for the last time. We walked the maze of streets together for the last time. At mid day we caught a cab together for the last time. The cab took us to the airport where we said our good byes.

It was both one of the hardest moments in my life and also one of the scariest.

I said good bye to some close new friends and also my closest friend in the world from home who flew in to meet me.I was now left alone. For the first time in my life I was truly alone in the world. I returned to 'our' hotel. I looked around the room and silently packed my bag.

I would not and could not stay there, I had to move.

I didn't want to stay at the normal guesthouse/hostel. I didn't want to be around anyone or do anything. I found a little place to stay amongst the maze of streets and lay upon my bed for what seemed endless hours. I didn't want to think and I didn't want to feel. I felt empty, I felt sad and I felt alone. I read Bryce ourtney's 'Jessica'. It was the perfect book to read when feeling as I was. I felt for Jessica and didn't have to think about how I felt. Night fell and my book lay finished beside me. I lay in the darkness listening to my new world. It was a world I didn't want to enter this night.

Hunger didn't even enter my feelings, it chose to stay away.

In Australia there is a radio station in Melbourne called 3PBS. To keep it running all good listeners subscribe. To me it's the greatest station on earth. Big call when I've never listened to all the radio stations on earth, but I'll call it.

Some nights they would play a song that has remained in my memory. It introduced me to this long sad night long before it became real. It's not really a song; it's more a captive ten minutes in time in Hanoi Vietnam. It was what I was hearing that night. There is no music, only the sounds of the hustle and bustle of the busy streets below my window.

The only difference was in the 'song' there was a lone tin bell in the distance. On this night my heart was that lone bell. These were my thoughts as I fell asleep.

Beers N Noodles toya...shane

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Her Depature Was Coming Too Fast

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya

Both happily and sadly my tour ended this day. I had made some great friends and shared so many truly amazing first time experiences together. As a group we were introduced to Vietnams charm and beauty. Some were to leave this day, some I was happy for them to leave, others sad. Some stayed on for several more days and we continued to spend some of our days and nights together. We all shared a Happy Birthday.

One began to share more than just ice cream with our tour guide whom was not our tour guide any more.

We also met many new friends whom had arrived in Hanoi. Some whom had come though China put the fear of god into me. They were all traveling with friends and every one of them said the same thing.

'China was the hardest thing I've done. It was so frustrating!'

I began to question my solo journey. If they say traveling as a couple or a group in China is so difficult then how will I get through it alone? My new friends would always answer positively and reassure me and remind me that it was what I've always wanted, 'to go it alone and live my dream'.

I knew they were right but I really began to fear my near future.

I had made some close friends and we had only six days left before their departure.

We chose not to talk or think about it but to really begin to explore the area out of the old quarter. Here we found our new favorite place to eat. It was filthy, it was dirty and there was only a male toilet. When ever she needed to go, the door was guarded by protective Vietnamese. We spent many hours here happily drinking with the locals. We met friends for lunch and introduced some to our new favorite place to eat and drink.

During the day continued playing cards and walking around the city.

In the evening we ate many ice creams and sat by Hian Kiem Lake after dinner.

At night we continued to drop in at the Spotted Cow for a beer on the way home.

We would talk and sit for hours.

We spent as much time together as we could.

But time has a way of running out and soon sadly it did for us.

Beers N Cheers toya...shane

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Found Beneath a Forever Overcast Sky Is...

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya

It took around five hours to reach Halong Bay on a rather bumpy road. But when we arrived every bump and every hour was worth it.

Halong Bay is such a stunning place to visit. We spent two days on the water passing sailing junks and motoring our way amongst limestone hills. There are over 3000 limestone islands in the bay. It is truly an amazing experience. The only downside was there was no sun. Sometimes, we were told, sometimes Halong Bay is beneath a vast blue sky. But mostly it is beneath clouds.

It's a pity for such a spectacular place in the world

We visited what would have been stunning caves if...no, that's not fair. The caves were very stunning BUT, what the Vietnamese had down to them was a tad sad. There were little penguin rubbish bins here and there. Some looked like a Hollywood movie set.

There was several little water societies' way out in the bay. All their boats were next t o each other and we were told there they stayed until they needed food or it was time to move on.

We stayed in Bai Chay (Halong City West) where I got to experience the Chinese people for the first time. Or should I say, hear them. A lot of Chinese visit the area and 'surprise to me' their house holds are even louder than the Vietnamese. We sat for a dinner of fresh sea food caught that very day.

Halong Bay is an awesome place. We all wished we could stay longer!

The following day we spent onboard doing pretty much the same as the previous day. Though it was the same is was another beautiful day in Halong Bay. We headed back to Hanoi in the late afternoon.

Beers N Cheers toya...shane

Halong Bay

Halong Bay


Halong Bay (1)

Halong Bay (1)


Halong Bay (2)

Halong Bay (2)


Halong Bay (3)

Halong Bay (3)


Halong Bay (4)

Halong Bay (4)


Halong Bay (5)

Halong Bay (5)


Halong Bay (6)

Halong Bay (6)


Halong Bay (7)

Halong Bay (7)


Halong Bay (8)

Halong Bay (8)


Halong Bay (9)

Halong Bay (9)

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

She Paddled The Boat With Her Feet

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya

We happily left Ninh Binh and headed to Hoa Lu.

This was the capital of Vietnam from 968 AD to 1010AD during the Dinh and early Le Dynasties. Here there are several small, but historic temples, each one nearly a thousand years old.

There ya go, a bit of info for ya.

We then trekked for several hours from Hoa Lu to Tam Coc once again walking through small villages and rice fields surrounded by spectacular limestone formations. We walked through several small caves and took a stunning river boat cruise that took us through several caves. We sat on small bamboo rafts and the women whom paddled us were so beautiful.

Some of them even paddled with their feet. Unbelievable!

The downside to such beauty was their aggressive nature. When we reached the halfway point in our journey and it was time to go back they refused to paddle until purchases were made. Luckily they did have some 'quaint little fabrics' that we wanted to purchase. We were so angry at the way it HAD to be done. The journey back was one taken in silence. We then boarded the bus and headed back to Hanoi for the night before heading to Halong Bay for several days.

Beers N Cheers toya...shane

Hoa Lu & Tam Coc

Hoa Lu & Tam Coc


Hoa Lu & Tam Coc (1)

Hoa Lu & Tam Coc (1)


Hoa Lu & Tam Coc (2)

Hoa Lu & Tam Coc (2)


Hoa Lu & Tam Coc (3)

Hoa Lu & Tam Coc (3)


Hoa Lu & Tam Coc (4)

Hoa Lu & Tam Coc (4)


Hoa Lu & Tam Coc (5)

Hoa Lu & Tam Coc (5)

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

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