• Asia,  Vietnam

    Sa Pa: what if

    We were supposed to see rice terraces, hills, lots of green and we were supposed to walk a lot. Instead, there was lots of coffee and even more rain. We arrived in Sa Pa in the middle of the night by a sleeping bus. It was raining. We could sleep inside till 6am. At 6am it was raining a little less, but on our way to the hotel it started raining heavily. Few hours later we put on water shoes and went for a walk. Or swam. We swam for a coffee. The first coffee. Sa Pa is a typical touristic town in the mountains. Everyone goes there for trekking…

  • Asia,  Vietnam

    Postcards from the seaside: Mui Ne

    I have an issue with Mui Ne. Mui Ne is weird. A town, that stretches along the coast for 16 km and has over 100 beach resorts. Full of Russians, with Cyrillic alphabet everywhere. Kitesurfing. Fishing village. More holes than pavements. And lots and lots of sand. Postcard 1: the beach   We’re arriving in Mui Ne in the evening, after a heavy rain. The next day it’s mostly raining and there’s no electricity, but each day it’s getting better. Each day the sky is less cloudy and when clouds disappear, we miss them a bit. If there were no clouds on our first day, we would be totally fried.…

  • Asia,  Vietnam

    Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City

    It started with an earthquake and then it only got better. Well, not literally with an earthquake, but “Southern Vietnam” chapter started with a bang. Our trip to the South started at Hanoi Airport, were we met a couple from Poland. People with whom it simply clicks. Especially when you discover that the guy took his friend and a swan-shaped pedal boat and pedaled the Vistula river from Cracow to Gdansk. It’s about 1000 km. We met them and we knew that upcoming 2 days simply couldn’t be ordinary. Few hours later we landed in Ho Chi Minh City and while waiting for our backpacks, we discovered that in a…

  • Asia,  Vietnam

    Unexpected 24h in Hoi An

    Ha Long Bay. I’m lying in the sun. In just a few hours I’ll be back in Hanoi and the next morning I’ll be on my way to Ninh Binh. And it will be exactly like in Ha Long, but with rice fields instead of water and bikes instead of a boat. I’m lying in the sun, daydreaming about these rice fields and I’m checking my mailbox. Long story short: our hotel cancelled the reservation, there’ heavy flooding in Ninh Binh, actually it’s a natural disaster, our hotel in Hanoi forbids us to go to Ninh Binh, it’s serious, over 40 people died. October is perfect for Northern Vietnam, they…

  • Asia,  Vietnam

    Vietnam: Ha Long Bay

    You can’t go to Vietnam and skip Ha Long Bay. You just can’t. Maybe I’ll forgive you if you’re going only to the south. Maybe. “Ha Long Bay” translates to: the bay where the dragon descends into. How romantic. Because Internet is full of “where a dragon descends” titles, I will stick to Ha Long. It’s shorter. But why is this dragon descending? Of course there’s a story. There always is (remember the one about Three Sisters? Click here). And it goes more or less like this: long, long time ago, Vietnamese people where fighting with an invader and gods sent dragons to help them. Dragons which were spitting jewels…

  • Asia,  Vietnam

    Walking in Hanoi

      We landed in Hanoi on Sunday, when sun was setting, so it was around 5pm. 30 hours of traveling? Lack of sleep? No way, I’m staying at a hotel. Quick shower and we were ready for a short walk. Short walk ended up being 8 km long walk. Our goal: Hoan Kiem lake, probably the most popular place in Hanoi – a lake with an island with a temple. How surprised we were, when we saw that the road which goes around the lake was closed for vehicles and it was crowded. People were walking, playing games on the ground, dancing, singing. Wow. Vietnamese people know how to entertain…

  • Asia,  Vietnam

    Vietnam – expectations vs reality

    It’s time for another expectations vs reality battle. In this episode we’re in Vietnam (last year it was Thailand). Apologies for some stereotypes which may or may not occur.   Expectation: October is the best month to visit northern Vietnam. Reality: yeah, sure… It was supposed to be dry and nice, especially in Sapa. The weather should be perfect for trekking. It was supposed to be really pretty in Ninh Binh. But instead we got neverending rain in Sapa and flood in Ninh Binh. On the other side, Ha Long Bay is usually cloudy, but we had THE BEST weather ever. So all in all we won. Kind of. Apparently…

  • Asia,  Thailand

    Koh Phi Phi – internal organs & Leonardo Di Caprio

    I don’t remember how old I was when I have first heard about Phi Phi, but for sure I was a child. Since then, Phi Phi islands (or island, I was sure there was only one island), where a synonym of exotic things. I simply had to go there during my trip from Thailand. There’s one problem with islands: how to get there? I googled all possibilities before going to Thailand: boat, ferry, organized trip, teleportation. And I found a solution in Ao Nang. Organized trip. Outside of the high season it’s the best price to quality ratio which you can find, with all the pros and cons of organized…

  • Asia,  Thailand

    Railay Beach – paradise on Earth

    In the search for perfect Thai beach we’re heading to Railay. Twice. And it’s not enough. We’re going by a wooden boat with engine taken straight from a car and we’re landing on a beautiful, amazing, picturesque beach. These trips by long-tail boats made me realize why everywhere in Ao Nang you can buy waterproof bags. And I have no idea why I haven’t bought one. Long-tail boat stops not directly on the beach, but few meters before sand starts. Even if you try to stay dry, a wave will come and you will end up with wet butt, wet backpack and generally you will be wet. Everywhere on the…

  • Asia,  Thailand

    Ao Nang – postcards from the seaside

      Krabi airport welcomes us with rain. The world is wet and so are our backpacks. We’re getting on a bus to the seaside and after 1 hour of being squeezed with knees right under the jaw, we’re in Ao Nang. And it’s not raining anymore. Ao Nang is a typical tourist destination by the sea. It has everything you need in a place like this: Boulevard by the sea? Checked. Stalls selling everything you can imagine? Checked Hotels, hotels and more hotels? Checked Lots of food, from street food to posh restaurants? Checked Stalls selling trips every 2 meters? Checked It’s a little bit tacky, the beach is not…