Halong Bay

Onboard a luxury ship, just ate too much.

Every 5 minutes another postcard view. Spectacular.


This post of course is not that you envy us, I just wanted to check if WiFi really works. 


Hà Nội

Night sleeper train was OK.
Not as suicidal as Saigon but still very busy.

We will go to Halong Bay (007 Golden Gun) and then another 2 days in Hanoi.
After a long struggle and investigations how to go to Lao we had 4 options
– Go N to Sapa and cross in the far north
– 24 h Bus to Vientiane
– 24 h Bus to Vientian but leave somewhere (Bak Sao) and make the rest in public buses
– Fly to Luang Prabang
In the end my rather low level of energy tipped the scale in favor of flying.
Luang Prabang also seems to be a place where we can rest a few days.

The guy in the middle holds a electric plug as a symbol for the electrification of Vietnam. What else?

Women here are afraid of getting a tan. You can see them in Sweaters in the hottest weather.
The masks should not only ward off pollution but also keep the face white.

We like the lake just 5 minutes walk from our hotel which is located in the old town.

Flashback Hue Imperial Citadel (Đại Nội):

Flashback Hoi An:
Astrid ordered Springrolls. They looked very “different” when they arrive.

Astrid : “Das sind kai Früeligsrollä” [these are no springrolls]
Waitress : “local speciality, take the ricepaper (visible bottom of pic) and roll yourself”
Lena, like a teacher : “Mami, miir sind da immä nä anderä land!” [mama, we are not in Kansas anymore]


We arrived at around 12:00 and wanted to visit 3 of the 7 tombs of the Nguyen emperors (they are about 20 km apart), for this we rented a taxi. We managed to do 2 in the end: the Tomb of Tu Duc [he had 103 – 105 wives (difficiult to keep track) but no heir. A bummer. Now you managed to become super-alpha-male but then you are infertile.  Bad luck.]  The Tomb of Khai Dinh, very different, from 1925.  The Tomb of Minh Mang was then already closed. These things are huge, some rather small cities then just a tomb.
No pic, it was toooo hot.
Talked to and afroenglish women that we saw already 3 times. She really is easily spotted here, more looked at then our blondies.

Today the Imperial Citadel (Đại Nội). Even hotter, some 37 degrees.




Now Late checkout for the sleeper train to Hanoi at 20:00. Our first train.
Hardsleeper (softsleeper were booked):

Hoi An / My Son

[Hoi Än] / [Mi son]
Hoi An is an UNESCO etc. thing. Indeed very neat, however it became very touristy. In every building is a tailor or restaurant. Do not know how they all survive.
My Son (also UNESCO) is about 50 km distance.
Old Cham place, same time as Ankor but they were enemies.





Lots of buildings destroyed by bombing.
Guide was anoyed with us: we knew all answers to his questions, even the kids new the name of the holy snake around Shivas neck.
On the way back to Hoi An on a boat.


And finally Hoi An, no good pics yet on Mobile.


Now big planning session. How to get to Lao (have to leave VN 24.05) and what to do there (big problem because tubing is now forbidden). And where to go from there.

Lena hat 3 grosse Mückenstiche am Rücken.
Mama : “fu wo sind diä?”
Lena : “Diä han i sid dä schwiiz”

Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh Trail

For 5 years new a new road exists on one part of the original Ho Chi Minh Trail, so it is possible to do it comfortably.
But parts of it can be hiked.



We visited another minority village where they probably only saw blond girls in TV.
The entire village came to see them. The advantage : if they take pictures we also can without shame.

Lak Lake

Das schwankt ganz schön fest auf den Viechern. Das waren mal Arbeitselefanten. Seit das Holzen aber verboten ist, musste eine neue Beschäftigung gefunden werden. Sie versuchen auch zu züchten, aber das ist offenbar nicht so einfach. Der steile Übergang ins Wasser gibt Herzklopfen.



Vietnam on the road

We are now on our 4 day tour with Mr Lam Motorbike and Van Tour Guide “The real Vietnam” (Proposed title for tripadviser.
What is wrong here?

yes, there are no other vehicles on the road! Unheard of.
Now we try “the real Vietnam”.
Sleeping in a long-house by a lake.



See Facebook: Mr Lam’s Motorbike Tours

Hotel Hoi An : thanhbinh3

инд тядйб

We first though, the bus took a wrong turn and we ended up somewhere north.
Where are we?

Na, still in Vietnam.
Nha Trang, a beach destination. Developped by the french, then used by the US GI and now a Russian favorite.
We went snorkeling (OK), some Cham temple (no arch, but 6 m span) and to the beach.
Now a first: a multi day booked tour, to the highlands ho chi minh trail and such.

(für Leser die es besser wissen, der Titel ist nicht phonetisch geschrieben, ev. nicht mal russischer Skript)

Night Sleeper to Nha Trang

Leaving Saigon. We try a night sleeper bus. Leaves now 20:00 Arrives 6:00. Ada has 1 of just 2 places with a TV.


PS: arrived. The problem with the night sleeper. We kind of had wait and could not do much until it left. When arriving early morning we were not sure we could check into hotel. We could.
Sleeping was OK.
We now have to think about how to go to Hanoi. Originally we planned to not fly till Vientiane.

Sai Gon

Saigon or HCMC Ho Chi Minh City.
Well, it is as chaotic as the guide book makes it.
Crossing a road is an experience of another kind and we are used to Asia by now.
Nobody is stopping at all, the only chance it to start walking an hoping the motorcycles really are going around you.
It is said the city has 8 Million inhabitants and 5 Million motorcycles.
We are also missing the TucTuc. The only thing below a taxi are motorcycle taxi and that is impractical with the kids and dangerous.

With our good luck for being at the right place at the right time we visited the reunification palace 30-April, the day Saigon Fell (or was liberated) at precisely that place. Tank 843 crashed through a gate of that palace which marks the end of the war.

So half of Vietnam was at that place too.
The place is now only used for tourists.

We also went to the basement, there is a large bunker.
Compare this (check sign on left!)
To this:
War-Room Doctor Strangelove
In case you do not know the scene, listen to the last words (spoken by the president of the USA).

Went onto a city tour to see all in one day, here the central post office. The kids wanted to do another search picture. Make it bigger before you search.
You have to find:
-Ada (easy)
-Astrid (easy)
-Lena (difficult, you can only see her hair)
-Uncle Ho (very difficult because in plain sight)

A must do in Saigon are the Cu Chi Tunnels, where there are over 220 km of underground tunnels system from the American (Vietnam) War. The system is explained one can see traps, other stuff and pass through one of the tunnels (enlarged for tourist). Lena could walk upright. They would not let me go in the smaller tunnels.

Ada in einem stylish Restaurant : “ich würd’ nöd schöön choche, sondern guat”

We then went to the Vietnam Water Puppet Show, very neat.
That is also where the following took place:
Lena : “warum händ di da Saili um de Chopf?” (why do they have ropes around their head?)
Here is what she saw: