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Reisverslag Bye bye Beijing, Hello Vietnam!
9 maart 2014
Bye bye Beijing, Hello Vietnam!
So much has happened since the last time I wrote my blog! We left Beijing and started a new part of our trip, backpacking through South East Asia! Leaving Beijing was easier said than done though. We said goodbye to the city and all of our favourite places, we said goodbye to our host families and had some amazing goodbye dinners and we said goodbye to all the wonderful people that turned out to be the best away-from-home family we could have wished for. Within 24 hours we drove back and forth to the airport 3 times to drop off Kristina, Elizabeth and finally to board a plane ourselves, exhausted and out of tears but very excited.
After a long day of travelling (we had to switch airports in Shanghai), we arrived in our hostel in Hong Kong. Ever since we got on the bus from the airport to our hostel we were amazed. We were expecting to see a little China but HK is incomparable to Beijing whatsoever! The next day that thought was confirmed as soon as we bought our breakfast from some Indonesian women in a very green park. Soon after, we sneaked into a very luxurious hotel on Causeway bay to go up to their rooftop and see HK from a different angle. Just the fact that HK is so green and modern and clean was more than enough to make us love it. We spent the entire afternoon strolling around Mong Kok area and ended our day in another way too luxurious hotel at Victoria Harbour to watch the laser show. The next day we saw more and more of the city visiting a giant Buddha on Lantau island, "hiking" around the Peak (we're not that lazy) and walking around HK's Sanlitun ;)
During our last morning in HK we went totally low budget and dragged our 10 kg weighing backpacks through the streets of the main island to have a typical HK brunch in an old-fashioned tea house.
That evening we arrived in Vietnam's pretty capital Hanoi. We had found a hostel that served free beer between 7 and 8 so the hostel was packed with other backpackers who told us right away where to go and what to do. The next morning, being the perfect tourists that we are, we woke up early to do some sightseeing. Just in time we found out that Ho Chi Minh 's mausoleum is only opened until 11 in the morning so after our awesome free breakfast (including the typical vietnamese coffee which is absolutely delicious and 很好喝) we went to check out what all the fuss was about. As we arrived at the huge square of the mausoleum, we figured we could just walk across the grass towards the building in the middle. Too bad the 5 guards that started yelling at us and blowing their whistles thought about that differently, no walking on the grass. It turned out we had to walk another 5 minutes around the square to finally get to the main entrance where we casually blended in with a large group of senior Chinese. Just like in kindergarden we had to enter the mausoleum two by two, hands either behind your back or folded in front of you. Guards seriously came up to people telling them to get their hands out of their pockets and behave respectfully. Anyway, the late communist himself wasn't that spectacular, he was just there in his glass coffin looking like he had been dead for one week maximum. Guess that's quite impressive since it has been tens of years.
From Hanoi we went straight to Halong Bay, one of the worlds natural wonders where we spend the night on a party boat haha. We were quite unlucky with the weather since it was extremely foggy but we just pictured our selves in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie which made it all seem very mysterious and kind of exciting :). Our next destination was Hue. As soon as we got of the bus we were offered an easy rider trip by mister Hai and his partner. Easy riders are basically guys with a motor, driving you from place to place while showing you amazing local spots and non-touristic places. We decided to do it and left the next morning.The next three days were unforgettable. We drove along the ocean the first day, through the mountains the next day and finished off in one of the prettiest places we have seen so far, Hoi An. Two days ago we arrived in Dalat, a town up in the mountains and the place to be for doing "extreme" outdoor activities. We had heard that canyoning was a real must do in Dalat so we decided to book a trip. Even though they told us this was a beginners trip, it was quite hard and pretty damn scary from time to time. At one point, I abseiled from a 10/15 meters high cliff into a small part of the river. The current was strong so we had to hold on to the rope, but I sort of underestimated the current and let go of the rope a little to soon. Before I knew what was happening the river pulled me down and I lost my grip. Fortunately I was still secured to a safety line and I managed to grab a branch pretty fast. Not quite the near death experience but it got my adrenaline going so to say :) We abseiled (?) off of 4 waterfalls/cliffs, jumped into the water from about 10 meters high and climbed our ways through the forest and up the mountains. It was an amazing experience but right now, as we're sitting in a mini van going down a very bumpy ride towards our next destination Mui Ne, all of our bruises and sore muscles are very much letting us now that they're there :)
9 maart 2014 23:00 | Door: Siegrid
Het klinkt fantastisch Nien! Benieuwd naar je volgende avonturen. Geniet, liefs Sieg
10 maart 2014 13:22 | Door: mark
Klinkt spannender dan heel China so far, gaaf hoor! Have fun and take care! x, Mark
12 maart 2014 21:57 | Door: Mimi
Hoi, Nienke, zojuist je reisverslag over je verblijf in Vietnam gelezen! Was een paar jaar geleden ook in dat mooie land en bezocht ook de meeste door jouw genoemde plaatsen! Was weer even terug en speciaal op de bootreis op Halong Bay! Onvergetelijk! Jammer dat jullie het zo slecht troffen met het weer. Hoe vonden jullie trouwens dat verkeer in Saigon, die massa's bromfietsen die als horzels in hele wolken heen en weer vlogen! Zonder verkeerslichten, politie of wat dan ook en 't ging wonder boven wonder allemaal goed. Oversteken was wel een kwestie van "god zegene de greep"! En wat die mensen ook allemaal vervoerden op die brommers! Varkens, kippen, wij hebben vanuit de bus dat gezien, niet te geloven! En dat Mausoleum verhaal kwam me ook zeer bekend voor, een paar figuren uit ons gezelschap probeerden ook de 'kortste route te kiezen, maar kwamen ook niet ver!kortom. Een reis om nog vaak aan terug te denken. Waar je ook bent, wat je verdere plannen ook zijn, heel veel plezier, ben benieuwd naar het vervolg van jullie reis! Geniet en blijf gezond. Lieve groeten Mimi.