Let’s be adventurers … Vietnam part V – Phu Quoc – the end of the journey

Like every journey, also this one must end once…. So if you want to recover from the monthly trek, there is no better option than Phu Quoc 🙂

 

A small Vietnamese island in the Gulf of Thailand, near the Cambodian border where we got by the Vietnamese airlines (Sajgon  – Phu Quoc).

After a mountain trek, hundreds of kilometers on the train and kilometers of hiking, all I wanted to do was swim in the sea, eat and lay around all day long watching the clouds float by.

We stayed in a lovely bungalow on the beach with a small restaurant where we ate shripm curry sipping coconut water.

Due to the fact that the island is only 25 km wide, it can be easy explored on a scooter in two days.

Phu Quoc is almost all covered with pepper farms, which look like hops plantations 🙂

In the evenings, we were catching squids on the boat, with another breathtaking sunset in the background… Then, the squids were fried in the deep oil until they were crunchy 🙂

And that is how the squid fishing rod looks like:

And so it is…my journey came to an end…

That is why I would like to write something really very private … This trip actually saved my life…twice 🙂 The first time when I went to Vietnam and i found out that it was my  place on Earth and the second time when I was writing about it in let’s say… quite specific  time of my life…Sometimes what you are most afraid of doing is the very thing that set you free. As Hemnigway said once it is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. I realized that to be more alive I had to be less afraid, so I did it, I lost my fear and brought power back to my life. I do not know if it’s the people I met or the views I saw, the food I tasted ot the memories I brought up….but since that journey everything has changed and yet I’m more me than I’ve ever been.

Thank you for being a part of my journey.

Vietnam <3 See You Soon !

Stay tuned 🙂

Continue Reading

Let’s be adventurers … Vietnam part IV – Mui Ne

So this is it. From Hoi – An I took  a night  train to Mui Ne. The trip was „super comfortable”. I was sleeping on a bunk bed with a fluorescent lamp glowing straight into my face almost all night and the bed was so close to the ceiling that I could hardly move.  I truly couldn’t  stop laughing 🙂 Well…  at least it was the cheapest way of traveling:-)

Mui Ne is a fishing village in south-eastern Vietnam, on the South China Sea. This was one of the most ”touristy” places so far on my trip. It is main attraction  for enthusiasts of beautiful beaches and kite surfing.

Mui Ne is a place with a lot of coastal pubs with fresh fish and tons of rats that you have to get used to being around. For me with a phobia of rats was not easy to settle down and get used to the different atmosphere.

You must keep in mind the constant use of filter cream, as the sun is very strong there. I forgot about it in the first day and I could hardly move for a next few days cause of my sunburn …

If I’m honest, if you do not like sunbathing and you do not kite surf, then there is not much to do there. For me Mui Ne is mainly a fishing port, a lot of colorful fishing boats … and a sunrise … one of a kind … To see it, we got up at 4am, went by scooter to the top of the village and saw this:

If anyone is interested in this seaside town, I recommend the book below by Andrzej Meller:

From Mui Ne I went to Saygon… But i do not feel authorized to  write about it cause I was there only two days. Saygon (Ho Chi Minh) is the business capital of Vietnam … a little bit not my climate … but surely one day I will spend some more time there, then I will write you more 😉

Next post will be the end of my journey … on the Vietnamese island Phu Quoc …

Stay tuned!

Continue Reading

Let’s be adventurers … Vietnam part III – Hoi – An

Hoi – An … meet my second home 🙂

I think about this place at any moment of my life.

I have a warm feeling in my chest when I’m thinking about colorful lanterns, lovely market with a huge variety of fishes, fruits and vegetables whose names are a mystery to me till now, when I’m thinking about Van- my cooking teacher at the Green Bamboo Cooking School, and about banh-mi  the best sandwiches in whole  Vietnam (according to Anthony Bourdain!).

banh-mi

Crispy baguette, lightly soaked with a light meat sauce and mayonnaise, filled with roasted, fried and grilled meat, pate, fresh coriander and sliced tomato and chilli.

Address: 2B Phan Chau Trinh street, near the crossroad of Phan Chau Trinh and Hoang Dieu.

Open time: 6 a.m – 10 p.m

Vietnamese hot coffee with  condensed sweet milk

Green Bamboo Cooking School

Before class we get to choose the dish we will cook from a range of meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes. The class starts at the local market, where we buy the ingredients for our chosen dishes and we learn about local produce.

Then we head back to Green Bamboo Cooking School to cook a variety of local dishes of our choice.

Afterwards we share our creations and  drink together around Van’s kitchen table!

Address:
Truong Minh Hung st Hội An
http://www.greenbamboo-hoian.com/
van@greenbambo-hoian.com
Van – my dearest cooking teacher from Green Bamboo Cooking School
Hoi – An is well-known for its custom-made leather goods and clothes… I just wish I had known about this before I arrived, as I likely would have had a shopping list of leather goods! So this time I plan to do very big shopping … I can’t wait 🙂
and for lanterns… lanterns everywhere <3
If you ask me where I would like to spend the rest of my life, I would say that definitely in Hoi – An…
I left my heart there … so I’m so glad that I’m  coming back there soon… and stay or not to stay ?
That is the question 🙂
Stay tuned <3
Next stop: Mui Ne
Continue Reading

Let’s be adventurers … Vietnam part II – SAPA

I often recall my stay in the mountains of northern Vietnam. Wake up at 4 am, train trip, bus transfer, which is about an hour climb up the mountain slopes to get off just in front of the Grand View Hotel… I turned around and saw this:

***

Często wracam pamięcią do mojego pobytu w  górach na północy Wietnamu. Pobudka o 2 nad ranem, podróż pociągiem, przesiadka do busa, który około godziny wspinał się po górskich zboczach, żeby nad ranem wysiąść tuż przed hotelem Grand View, odwrócić się i zobaczyć to:

At the Grand View Hotel I met Na Lo Thi, our 19 year old tour guide, who was  never anywhere else but in the mountains in her whole life.  Too old to get married, looking after her sick mother and younger brother. Interestingly, almost all of the inhabitants of the mountains have a facebook account 🙂

Then a group of colorful highlanders joined us. From that moment on, I had my private support: lovely lady at the age of 80, who hold my hand every time I climbed the steep slopes… Didn’t I write before that two weeks before our mountain expedition I twisted my ankle in Bangkok? But again, this is another completely different story … 😉

Obviously her help wasn’t selfless 🙂 All this was to buy her colorful fabrics in the nearest village….

It was two days of intense trekking between rice fields, bamboo forests and waterfalls …

***

W hotelu Grand View poznałam Na Lo Thi, naszą 19 letnią przewodniczkę, która w całym swoim życiu nie była nigdzie poza tymi górami. Za stara, żeby wyjść za mąż, opiekowała się schorowaną matką i młodszym bratem. Co ciekawe, prawie wszyscy mieszkańcy dzikich gór posiadają konto na facebook’u 🙂

Już na starcie przyłączyła się do nas grupa barwnych góralek. Od tego momentu miałam swoją prywatną podporę  w wieku 80 lat, która trzymała mnie za rękę na co bardziej stromych zboczach. Nie pisałam Wam jeszcze, że dwa tygodnie wcześniej skręciłam kostkę w Bangkoku? Ale to znowu zupełnie inna historia… 😉

Oczywiście pomoc staruszki nie była bezinteresowna 🙂 Wszystko to po to, bym w najbliższej wiosce kupiła jej wyroby z kolorowych tkanin.

Przed nami były dwa dni kilkudziesięcio kilometrowgo trekkingu między polami ryżowym, lasami bambusowymi i wodospadami …

Night in a homestay

After exhausting hike, we reached a small mountain hut where the hosts provided us with accommodation and meals: rice, spring rolls, pumpkin leaves and rice wine. It was one of the most charming moments 🙂

Price for trip:

A trip to Sapa can be booked at the reception of your hostel for 150 $ (3 days, 2 nights). It was the highest price including sleeper train both ways.

Food and drinks:

Three breakfasts, three lunches, and two dinners are also included, as is all the rice wine you can drink. Water, coffee, beer, and soft drinks are extra. Coffee and soft drinks are universally 20,000 VND each. Beer is approximately 30,000 VND for a bottle. Water is 20,000 VND for a 1.5L bottle.

1 USD is more than 20 thousand dongs !

Next stop: Hoi An – the city of lights

Stay tuned!

***

Nocleg u wietnamskiej rodziny:

Po wyczerpującej wędrówce, dotarliśmy do małej górskiej chatki, gdzie gospodarze zapewnili nam nocleg i posiłki: ryż, sajgonki, gotowane liście dyni i ryżową wódkę. To był jeden z bardziej urokliwych momentów 🙂

Koszt trekkingu:

Wycieczkę do Sapa, podobnie jak do zatoki Halong, można wykupić w recepcji swojego hostelu za 150 USD (3 dni, 2 noce). To jest najwyższa cena z uwzględnieniem pociągu z wagonem sypialnym w dwie strony.

Koszt jedzenia i napojów:

W cenę wliczone są trzy śniadania, trzy obiady i dwie kolacje, podobnie jak wino ryżowe, które można pić bez limitu 🙂 Woda, kawa, piwo i napoje bezalkoholowe są ekstra płatne. Kawa i napoje bezalkoholowe kosztują po 20 000 VND. Piwo kosztuje około 30 000 VND za butelkę, woda – 20 000 VND.

1 USD to więcej niż 20 tysięcy dongów !

Następny przystanek : Hoi An – miasto świateł 🙂

Continue Reading

Let’s be adventurers … Vietnam part I – Hanoi – Halong Bay

I remember that moment when I stood on the shore of the Halong Bay and i could hardly breathe. I felt a weird feeling in my chest. I’ve never felt something like that before…

I lost my breath again, when I got off the bus and I saw at my feet bright mountains in Sapa all covered with terraced rice fields.

I did not think anything could surprise me anymore. I was so wrong…

I was speechless again when at 5 o’clock in the morning I was watching sunrise and the hundreds of fishing boats arriving to port in the fishing village Mui Ne in central Vietnam…

That was this moment when i realised that I found my place on Earth 🙂

***

Pamiętam moment kiedy stanęłam na brzegu zatoki Halong w Wietnamie i zabrakło mi tchu. Nie mogłam oddychać….Jeszcze nigdy czegoś takiego nie czułam …

Znowu straciłam oddech z wrażenia, gdy wysiadłam z autobusu i ujrzałam u moich stóp skąpane w słońcu góry Sapa pokryte tarasowymi plantacjami ryżowymi…

Myślałam, że już nic nie będzie w stanie zachwycić mnie tak bardzo…myliłam się…

Po raz kolejny mnie zatkało gdy o godzinie 5 nad ranem obserwowałam wschód słońca i przybijające do portu łodzie w rybackiej wiosce Mui Ne w środkowym Wietnamie…

To był ten moment kiedy wiedziałam, że znalazłam swoje miejsce na ziemi – WIETNAM.

 

Jourany that changed my life forever

Hanoi – Halong – Sapa– Hoi An – Hue – Mui Ne – Ho Chi Minh – Phu Quoc

If I had to write about all the attractions, emotions and impressions, it would become quite a big travel quide. Blog does not correspond to long writing. So let’s start very briefly with Hanoi and Halong Bay.

To be honest, I have no idea how to explore Hanoi. I guess the best way is to get lost there. On the way back to your hostel, visit Green Pepper Hanoi at 27 Tạ Hiện  where you can drink cold famous beer Bia hoi. It is must – see place full of little crowed restaurants where you can eat hot-pot: vegetables, meat and seafood, that you put by yourself into the boiling broth.

Oh, and don’t let yourself to be run over by the millions of scooters which are actually everywhere. One wise Vietnamese advised us to close our eyes and just walk ahead and we can be sure that the sea of scooters will part like the Red Sea … 🙂

***

Jakbym miała napisać o wszystkich atrakcjach, emocjach i wrażeniach, powstałby niemały przewodnik… Blog nie sprzyja długim treściom, zatem w wielkim skrócie: Hanoi i Halong Bay.

Nie mam recepty na podróżowanie po Hanoi. Po prostu się tam zgubcie… a w drodze powrotnej do hostelu zahaczcie o Green Pepper Hanoi  na 27 Tạ Hiện gdzie napijecie się słynnego, zimnego piwka Bia hoi. Wszędzie dookoła roi się od małych knajpek gdzie zjecie np. hot-pot’a (warzywa, mięso i owoce morza, które sami wrzucacie do wrzącego bulionu).

I nie dajcie przejechać się milionom skuterów jeżdżącym wszędzie i w każdym kierunku. Jeden Wietnamczyk poradził nam byśmy zamknęli oczy i po prostu szli przed siebie a morze skuterów niczym morze  czerwone samo się rozstąpi… 🙂

Halong Bay … My beloved bay where „tomorrow never dies” …. I will never forget a three-day cruise among hundreds of islands and floating villages …

„Halong” means „Bay of Descending Dragons”  and it is in northern Vietnam, 170 km  east of Hanoi.

You can pick up a Ha Long Bay cruise for almost any budget, boats can be broadly grouped into budget (under US$60), three-star ($60-$110), four-star ($110-160) and five-star plus ($160+), with prices based on a three – day, two-day, one-night cruise with an overnight stay on the boat. The best way to order such a trip is to book it at the reception of your hostel.

The trip includes stay on the Cat Ba island coverd with evergreen rainforests with a lots of caves, biting monkeys and spiders… but it is another long story … 🙂

***

Halong Bay…. Moja kochana zatoka, gdzie „jutro nie  umiera nigdy”… Nigdy nie zapomnę trzydniowego rejsu między setkami wysp oraz pływającymi wioskami…

„Halong” oznacza „Zatokę Zstępujących Smoków”, która znajduje się 170 km na zachód od Hanoi.

Ceny rejsów uzależnione są od standardu statków: dwugwiazdkowe kosztują poniżej 60 USD, trzygwiazdkowe kosztują od 60 do 110 USD, czterogwiazdkowe kosztują od 110 do 116 USD, pięciogwiazdkowe kształtują się w granicach powyżej 160 USA i trwają od dwóch do trzech dni. Rejsy po zatoce najlepiej zamówić w recepcji Waszego hostelu.

Wycieczka po Ha Long obejmuje nocleg na wyspie Cat Ba, porośniętej wieczne zielonymi lasami deszczowymi, gdzie jest pełno jaskiń, gryzących małp i pająków…ale to już zupełnie inna historia … 🙂

It’s hard to describe in a few sentences how much this journay has influenced my life… All the people I met, all the places I was, the food I tried … That’s why I decided to go back there 🙂 Maybe not for whole life yet, but someday … who knows 🙂

Next stop: SAPA

Stay tuned!

***

Ciężko w paru zdaniach opisać  jak wielki wpływ na moje życie miała ta podróż … Wszyscy ludzie, których poznałam, miejsca w których byłam, jedzenie które spróbowałam… Dlatego postanowiłam tam wrócić 🙂 Jeszcze nie na całe życie, ale kiedyś… kto wie 🙂

Następny przystanek: Góry – Sapa

Continue Reading