“When I say I want to travel, I don’t mean I want to stay at fancy resorts or buy keychains from souvenir shops. When I say I want to travel, I mean I want to explore another place and become part of it. I want to discover hidden streets and experience new things. I want to hike mountains and walk along quiet beaches. I want to meet people who are not like me, but people who I can like all the same. I want to photograph the people and places I see. I want to be in constant awe of life on Earth. I want to see things with new eyes. I want to look at a map and remember how I was transformed by the places I have been to, the people I have met and the things I have seen. This, I think, is what is at the heart of adventure and that is exactly why I plan on making my life one…”
So we’re about to depart for our next adventure, to Vietnam and I can’t wait. Whenever I close my eyes, I’m picturing Halong Bay, the Mekong Delta, Phong Nha Ke Bang and the illuminated streets and waterways of Hoi An.
Our journey is to take us from north to south. We begin in amongst the crumbling colonial villas, mad markets, crazy roads and un-mistakenly Asian cityscape of Hanoi where we long to sample the delicious street food. From here we head on to the limestone karats of Cat Ba Island sitting in an emerald sea amongst a thousand other rocky outcrops and then down to the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park where Vietnam is at its most naturally beautiful.
Then it’s on to the DMZ (de-militarised zone) as no self-respecting history buff can pass up the opportunity to visit Hamburger Hill and see some of the Vietcong tunnels. From here we will head to Hue to gaze across the Perfume River towards the temples dotting the landscape. It’s then a short hop on to Hoi An with its illuminated streets and soft sands of An Bang where we will get a boat to snorkel at Cham Island before we head down into the far south to experience life on the mighty Mekong Delta.
There’s always a childlike excitement before heading off on a trip like this as you try to picture and imagine what you will see and experience… The quote I started this blog with was not written by me and sadly I do not know the author so as to give them the credit. But its words for me sum up the true beauty of travel… It’s all about experiencing something new and different that will stay with you forever and open your mind up to the beauty and diversity of our world.
If you have been to Vietnam and have any recommendations, please do leave us a comment, otherwise we’ll be back in September!
The beautiful colours and limestone karats of Halong Bay/Cat Ba
The temples of Hue
Hoi An shortly after sunset
Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park
River life on the Mekong Delta