Posted on 31 March 2012 by brett
The Face Mask
March kicked off with several stops around Central and Northern Vietnam. We found it difficult to avoid the tourist track up the coast….. and, impossible to bond with the local people. Sapa promised a village getaway, but we found that it was super touristy and spoiled. In a sense, we wish we had alotted time for Southern Vietnam where the people are supposedly more cordial. In the end, we found positivity in Vietnam through meeting several new friends kayaking at Cat Ba Island.
Top 10 Vietnam Scams:
10) Woman puts heavy basket on our shoulders in hopes for a tourist photo and tip
09) Taxi driver tries to charge $15 instead of the $1.50 on the taxi meter for a simple 2km ride
08) Paying $.25 to pee outside on flat concrete flooring
07) Paying $1.00 for a wet towelette without telling us before the meal
06) Masseuse ends 60 minute massage at 45 minutes after changing a friends’ watch 15 minutes ahead
05) Paying for 2km taxi ride after charging us for 5km Continue Reading
Posted on 08 March 2012 by christie
Lao Cooking Class
Laos was a refreshing change after two grueling weeks in Vietnam. The people in Laos are so friendly and kind that it was almost hard for us to turn that switch inside and let our guard down from dealing with the soulless people we encountered during our Vietnam travels. We were in such a hurry to get out of Vietnam that we booked a one hour flight from Hanoi to Luang Prabang ($150/person). It was an easy flight and we got our $35 visa on arrival at the airport in Laos. Central Luang Prabang is a short 7 minute ride from the airport. The government has control over the transportation leaving the airport so you are forced to pay a flat 50,000 kyat ($6.50 ). We tried to share the minivan but they just doubled the price, so we went solo.
Downtown Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang is a wonderfully quaint town situated between the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. It’s a town that you can’t help but love due to its charm. At the same time, there is a bit of disappointment in the way that tourism has swallowed up the local culture and people. We had a very comfortable stay and it was hard to leave after a week. Continue Reading