A dream land – a sweet end of the journey (Phong Nha & Hanoi)

Leaving Hoi An behind and going to new town with no expectation; Phong Nha.

Took 8 hours sleepers bus to get to Phong Nha from Hoi An. Went to the hostel i have booked and already saw some bunch of tourist hanging out at the restaurant. Checked into a nice dorm room with two bunk beds. Tried to sleep for an early tour to the caves. Didnt see much of the town at night, but when i woke up in the morning and saw two big rock hills right behind the hotel, i felt excited instantly.

We went with two small vans with about 18 people in the group, going thru the national park with lime stones hills, beautiful, but my jaw only dropped right when we entered Paradise Cave.

p1948820130-3(photo credit : http://www.hungontheworld.com/p288769096/h7428A2A2#h7428a2a2)

I took a really slow walk to really enjoy this nature master piece, it was like going to the elf’s world. It was massive and magical. The path is about 1 km long. This is the part of the longest cave is Asia, i forgot how long, didnt pay attention when the guide explained about it. My jaw was still dropping.

The second cave we went is called Dark Cave. This was when the slight adrenalin and more fun happened. It included Ziplining, mud pool, swim in cold water, kayaking (the kayak was too stubborn).

11779868_10153646780327845_1187427612075315010_oIn Phong Nha i met some wonderful people that gave me enough reason to visit the country, that i have never thought of going before. Phong Nha it self is such a beautiful place.

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As i had to fly back to Indonesia thru Hanoi, i was happy to catch up with Vincy, my host. The gang took me for a night ride across the old bridge, after a fabulous dinner, awesome dessert, hanging out on the bridge looking at the river and the new bridge with light while eating such yummy chicken feet till some police told us to leave. I missed them already.

I left Vietnam with such a content and grateful feeling for the experiences and mostly for the people that i met along the way.

Thank you, Universe for the chance! One dream fulfilled, it was an awesome gift!

A dream land – when all the expectations collapse (Hoi An-Vietnam)

In that morning, after the sex by the new roommate in the dorm happened, then i couldnt find my rented bike, thought it was stolen. I walked by the market fixing my dissapointments. I even lost my desire to take pictures, taking my dslr camera but had no willing to use it. 

After the broken expectation of meeting a friend and the hope to travel together a bit in Hanoi didnt work out ( that then i was hosted by a vietnamesse girl i knew from CS) . Then the evening walk to the so called Ancient Town, the hightlight of the city, turned out to b just a lane with shops, and the other side the bridge were just bars and restaurants. Then the bad dorm experience. Seeing bunch of young tourist acting like they are part of the cool kids to be able to get drunk and wasted in foreign land, abusing the local values. After such a highly recomendation from most people i know, Hoi An became the unpleasant part of my trip. 

The market was fine, i ve seen the same thing in my own country. The prices are not as cheap as my friends excitedly describing. 

There is nothing wrong with the place, i know. I may be just traveling in changed time zone, different era. I should not even build any expectations at all. 

And that point, i decided to buy my self some flowers, a prize being there and for Thomas, one of my dorm mates who showed me around had a fun conversation and without him i might come to hate Hoi An. 

Hanoi and Hoi An turned to a better place because of people that i met and spend time with. 

A dream land -traveling, a frantic running? 

I had to deal with a dilema today, deciding whether i should leave the city earlier than i thought i would stay for, to join a trip package to some famous caves. I have the time, pretty tight tho, but i have the time. 

Overheard the chats on breakfast tables from other tourist bout the cave, looked at the pictures on the tour banners. It did look pretty tempting. 

But sitting here watching the rain outside, having yummy iced milk coffee after an hour bike ride and 2 hours in the sea ( the chair lady on the beach wondered where we had gone for so long, while we were just in the water) with a stranger i met sharing the room with 4 other people, having conversation bout random stuffs; i thought “Naaah! I can do without cave”. 

I just arrived, and i still want to really take my time absorbing everything presents at the moment, rather than rushing taking one bus to another for a cave. I am sure it will be so much fun and good experience, but i dont want to get caught up busy checking things i have done and regreting ones i have not done. 

Call me old for avoiding the buzz. 

A dream land – Hue (Vietnam) 

Got to make the stop in this city before  continue the bus ride to Hoi An. After about 13 hours in a sleeping bus, we were asked to go out of the bus to change bus, but next one would b at 1 pm. 

We got hassled by the local guys at the bus station. The lady from the travel agent didnt do much help. I ended up going with one of the guys on his bike to get to the travel office. This was when the rip off become a bit hostile as the guy asked for more money and stared at my wallet. Told him back that the money is for the next city. He hissed and left me to hassle the othe people. I was among two group of people, one group of Taiwanesse and the other group of French, both speak equally poor english as the vietnamesse. So i suppose i did better than them. 

It was because i picked the wrong travel agent when i was in Hanoi. There is one famous travel agent got famous then all travel agent use the name even fake the address in the same street. So…well. 

After noodle breakfast and a glass of iced milk coffee and a stroll by the river, AND COLD SHOWER. I am feeling back on track.