Sunday, 4 August 2013

Chào & Sabaidee

Happy Sunday!

And here I am. Back with a huge backpack of memories, stories, experiences, photos, souvenirs. Today's and next week's posts I therefore dedicate to my trip to South-East Asia.

All in all, South-East Asia was great. I only want to describe shortly what I have experienced and underline my descriptions with some pictures. For all of you who are interested in more information and detailed addresses, I recommend travitips.

Since I started (Hanoi) and finished (Ho Chi Minh City) my trip in Vietnam, I want to start off by these two cities. Dropped off in Hanoi, I was overwhelmed by the heat, the people, the busy streets and the 1 million motorbikes that made it sometimes impossible for me to cross a street. Obviously, there are only few traffic lights that no one respects. The cultural program in Hanoi consisted of the mausoleum of the former president Ho Chi Minh (looked more like a wax figure), the temple of literature (first Vietnamese university), US-war relics, the old town, Houn Kiem Lake and the Hoa Lo Prison. On my way through the city I was asked at each corner whether I want a ride on a motorbike (NO!) and while once crossing a street, I was even slightly hit by one. In Hanoi I also met the group that was with me on tour until Ho Chi Minh City.
Compared to my 4 days in Hanoi, my 1.5 days in HCMC flew by. I managed to visit the central market - bought new shoes here -, to crawl the famous Cu Chi tunnels and to end my stay at the Independence Palace. And I also had to say goodbye to all the people that I spent so much time with. I will certainly miss them!

The other country I want to present today is Laos, my favourite country on the tour. We stopped in Vientiane, Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang before we spent two days on the Mekong river in order to reach the border to Thailand. Vientiane was pretty dull whereas Vang Vieng was a lot of fun: river tubing, Friends-watching, bike tour, swimming in the blue lagoon and partying with other backpackers. The village with two streets was such a relaxed place that I recommend to everyone. It was only topped by Luang Prabang. Here I did elephant trekking and could even sit on the elephant's neck and bath the elephant afterwards. Then I visited the Kung Si Waterfalls and went up early the next morning to see the monks for their daily ritual: monks only eat once a day and food is then provided by village people. As Laos is a very poor country family send their children to become a monk in early age to have a better future.
Houn Kiem Lake, Hanoi
Hanoi Houses
Lemonade on my favourite terrace
Blue lagoon
Vang Vieng
Monks' ritual
Kung Si Waterfalls I
Kung Si Waterfalls II
Before finishing I have one question to ask: I need a new mobile phone. What do you think? Is an iPhone 5 its money worth or should I rather invest into a different model? I prefer to gather your trustworthy opinions on that topic because all the reviews make me crazy.

See you next week with the report about Thailand & Cambodia. Enjoy your time!

P.S. This is actually my 100th post since I started this blog two years ago. Thank you for all your support during that time, I appreciate all of your comments a lot. And now: Time to celebrate!

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