Tag Archives : Vietnam

View across West Lake, Hanoi at sunset

Hanoi: an insider’s guide – Part 1


Friends and friends of friends who travel to Hanoi often ask me what they should do in this wonderful, vibrant city. Hanoi is more than the Old Quarter (which is interesting in and of itself), more than traffic (which is not as bad as Saigon), more than the pho (which is awesome). So to save time, energy and repetition on…

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Travelling Homebody is living in Hanoi. Find out what the first three weeks have been like!

My first three weeks living in Hanoi


I have been living in Hanoi for just over three weeks, and it’s been crazy-amazing and challenging. I’ve found out things about myself that I didn’t think would apply here, because, well, I’m not in Australia. But I am me whether I am in Australia or Vietnam or the Antarctic—who knew?! Here’s what I’ve been up to (and not) since my…

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Travelling Homebody toured Ninh Binh aka Halong Bay on Land

My first week in Hanoi, Vietnam


I’m here in Vietnam for at least 3 months, volunteering for KOTO. For those of you who don’t know the story, when I was in Vietnam in 2010, as part of the tour I was on we visited KOTO Restaurant in Hanoi for lunch. KOTO (which stands for Know One, Teach One) was started by an Australian, Jimmy Pham, who—while…

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Another gorgeous photo taken by the Travelling Homebody, Diane Lee.

Serenity, Halong Bay, Vietnam


Vietnam was the first country I ever travelled to and it has a special place in me heart, just like a first love. I was a terrible photographer back then, but this is one of my better pictures. Halong Bay is one of the most beautiful places on earth… Contact me if you’d like to purchase this photo.

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First overseas trip ever: what I learned


I loved, loved, loved my first trip to Vietnam. It was hard (in places!) and tiring, but amazing at the same time. Would I do it again? Absolutely! Would I do it differently? Some things, possibly, but that’s only because hindsight is 20/20. So here goes. This is what I learned. 1. What didn’t work so well: Don’t take two separate…

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Hanoi: so many people!


Hanoi and Thang Long celebrations We landed in Hanoi during the Thang Long Hanoi – 1000 year celebrations.  Apparently it’s wall-to-wall people at the best of times, but was even more so because of Thang Long. It was crowded. Really crowded. People, cars, buses, motorbikes everywhere. Every inch of space was taken up with people, or their activities.  It was…

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Rubbish and street vendors


A couple of (sad) things I have noticed about Vietnam: rubbish and street vendors. The rubbish – mostly plastic bags – literally litter the landscape. In some places, there are piles of it. It would be a major job – probably lasting a couple of years – to clean it all up. The river running through Saigon and feeding in…

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Pampered on the Eastern Sea


No sun today. Well, maybe a little, and not for very long. And it’s a pity, because the tour activities were centred around the sea. We toured a fishing village on Mieu Island, just off the coast of Nha Trang. It was raining bucketloads, and I wore my poncho (see last post!) to stave off the rain. We waded through…

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What a difference a day makes…


The drive to Nha Trang from Da Lat as stunning. We drove through cloud-covered mountains and villages where it seemed a subsistence lifestyle was still being maintained. The roads snaked in and around cliffs with sheer drops, and the clouds hung quite low. The city of Nha Trang is as western as Da Lat is French; it is a seaside…

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Mini-meltdowns and zen gardens


Have you ever just sat down in the middle of Saigon airport and just cried? Well, I hadn’t either until yesterday. I’m not sleeping too well, and yesterday, we had to get up at 4am to fly out of Saigon into Da Lat. Cruel and unusual punishment when you are averaging about 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night.…

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