Northern Highlands

Northern Highlands

We spent Thursday night, April 5, in Sa Pa, established by the French in the 1920s as a get-away in highlands. The weather was beautiful when we pulled into town in the late afternoon after our visit to Na Luong village, but the fog quickly enveloped us, foreshadowing a cold front. We had planned to … Continue reading

Halong Bay

After a night in Hanoi, we caught a seaplane Monday morning for a 3-day, 2-night cruise in Halong Bay. The flight from Hanoi took us over bustling Haiphong harbor and out into the Gulf of Tonkin, then over the 2,000 islands peppering Halong Bay, yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Halong harbor, we boarded … Continue reading

Chay Lap

Sunday was April Fools’ Day and today the joke was on us. Once again, Vietnam Airlines unilaterally rescheduled our flight. But it was problematic this time because the rescheduled flight from Dong Hoi to Hanoi would have made it impossible for us to catch our upcoming cruise in Halong Bay, so Loc arranged for a … Continue reading

Hang Én There

Hang Én There

Our purpose for driving to this remote part of Vietnam was to go caving in one of the world’s most beautiful karst systems at Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our base was Chay Lap Farmstay for two nights, sandwiching one of our hikes, an overnight camping trek to Hang Én … Continue reading

Huế to Go Ho

Huế to Go Ho

We didn’t spend much time at all in the city of Hue, choosing instead to visit sites in the surrounding area. Our first destination was the old Thanh Toan bridge, but as we walked from the parking area, we crossed paths with a wedding party and they seemed happy to have us tag along (at … Continue reading

Fish Story

Due to the change in our flights, we were now going to have four nights and three full days in Hoi An. On our first day, Friday, we were up early to drive south to visit a local ocean-side fish market. Alas, the seas were too rough, so the market was canceled, but it was … Continue reading

Monkey Business

Having made it across the Dragon Bridge, we met our van and drove out to the Son Tre Peninsula. We continued up appropriately named Monkey Mountain about 1,000 feet to an ancient, 800-year-old banyan tree and its commanding view of the South China Sea. We had heard there was a chance to see monkeys along … Continue reading

Da Lat to Da Nang

On the drive from Bao Loc to Da Lat, I took a few photos of houses along the road that were typical of southern and central Vietnam. Road frontage property is obviously at a premium and the lots are all narrow and deep, so most road front buildings are multi-story with the extended family residing … Continue reading

Fish Farm

In Ho Chi Minh City, the Saigon River is joined by the Soai Rap River, known further upstream as the Dong Nai. Halfway between its source in the central highlands and Ho Chi Minh City, the Dong Nai River is joined by the La Nga and together they form Lake Tri An. At the confluence … Continue reading

Ở Cai Be

On Sunday, March 18, we left Saigon by van for an overnight trip to the Mekong delta. Our first stop was Cai Be (more appropriately, Cái Bè), a river town on one of many tributaries of the Mekong River, a two hour drive south of Saigon. This might be a good place for a few … Continue reading