The Urban Wanderer

Crossing Borders ~ Bridging Cultures ~ Traveling Responsibly

Heading North

This post was originally from February 13, 2012


I’ve been MIA (missing in action) the last few days but have traveled a vast amount of kilometers!  We have gone from the stifling heat to much colder temperatures. Bye bye tan!

We spent a night in Hue. This used to be the capital of Vietnam before the war. We hopped on the back of a motor bike (with our own personal driver) He took us to all the major sights in the city – the old Imperial palace, the Emperors Tomb, an old stadium where they used to fight tigers with elephants.


We also went to this  little village where I got my palm read by this tiny lady with no teeth. I basically couldn’t understand a word she said but she told me that my husband to be is 29 right now!! Looks like I like em young!  It was super fun to ride on the back of the bike with the wind whipping past. Dodging in and out of traffic was a bit heart stopping but made it all that much more exhilarating.

The next day we took a grueling 15 hour train ride further north to Halong Bay. Halong Bay is one of the wonders of the world. It is absolutely stunning with limestone mountains jutting out from the ocean.

I am sporting my Vietnamese tailored goods…a new coat and boots! (the boots fell apart as soon as I got home)

We sailed around all afternoon enjoying the view. The only downer was the fact that the weather was total shit. Thankfully I have my tailor made coat and boots to keep me warm. At one mountain we were able to get out of the boat and climb into the rock. Here we entered caves which were absolutely stunning inside. It made for a crazy day and one that I will look back later with awe.

Our time in Vietnam is almost over. we just arrived to the capital Hanoi today and tomorrow will visit the dead body of Ho Chi Minh himself. Morbid but definitely something I want to see. This country is a stark contrast from Cambodia. The massive amounts of people is chaotic. It is clearly communist, with flags sporting the hammer and sickle on every second building. Computer surfing and Facebook is banned. And to be honest the people here don’t have bright cheery smiles like they did in Cambodia. Life is fast paced here and the Chinese influence is definitely apparent. Learning the language is impossible as there are approx 8 different meanings in a word just depending on your intonation.

Wednesday we leave the chaos as well as the frat boys and head over to Laos. I am very much looking forward to that country. (And also secretly excited to get rid of the loud boys who love themselves a little tooooo much) – notice i call them boys and not men.
Until next time…


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