4 March 2017

Sukhothai, Thailand

After a couple of days in Bangkok and seeing a friend, I came up north to Sukhothai. The ancient capital of Thailand dates back to the 13th century, and although the weather is well on the hot side currently, it was still interesting to walk around the large area of old town dotted with numerous temples and ruins.

27 February 2017

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

So my time to Vietnam came to an end in Ho Chi Minh City. Its an expanse of modern metropolis these days, and it was great to see the contrasts between new and old, starting here with the old central post office building still in excellent condition. This is followed by the Notre Dame Cathedral against modern offices in the background. After this a nightscape looking across the city from a trendy rooftop bar location.
Had some excellent Vietnamese food in my last few days, including these colourful spring rolls with the rice rolls pigmented using different vegetables, they looked good and tasted good.
My final afternoon as I walked the streets I spotted the 3A alternative art area with impressive street art.  Vietnam has been a fascinating country and I hope to return soon.

23 February 2017

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Enjoyed seeing the beach and having some hot weather at the beach in Mui Ne.  The beach itself is very long (nearly 20km) with resorts all the way along the road that runs next to the beach.
I enjoyed sitting on the beach watching the kite surfing though one day, and the following day took a basic bus tour to see nearby sand dunes. A good stop was the fishing village harbour, before sun set over the dunes.
A local dish I had not tried was banh xeo or rice pancakes packed with beansprouts and some beef. Here they were served with a bowl of sauce sauce for dipping and salad.
Now on to my final stop in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City!

20 February 2017

Dalat, Vietnam

Dalat is set in the southwest highlands of Vietnam. It was a very scenic, if abit bumpy, bus ride up into the hills from Nha Trang.
Spent the few days here relaxing with some friends. One day we took a pleasant boat ride across Tuyem Lam Lake to see the surrounding forest. Once there this group of many cheerful locals invited us to their weekend lunch picnic, so had fun here meeting and talking.
The night market was a very popular place at the weekend, packed with visitors. There was all kinds of souvenirs and clothes for sale, aswell as many foods such as vietnamese pizza on offer. Drinking hot milk also seemed popular at the market stalls.
A more abstract sight to visit in Dalat is the Hang Nga Crazy House. An ongoing creation of winding high bridges and stairs link different theme designed rooms. It was quite maze like and took quite some time to explore.

16 February 2017

Nha Trang, Vietnam

As I continue south in Vietnam the weather has improved. Which was good as I was staying in the beach city of Nha Trang for a few days. Whilst the middle stretch of beach is heavily populated with tourists, at either end the sand becomes quieter, with a good spot found for sunbathing here.
A popular sight in the north of the city are the Po Nagar Cham towers, built in brick between the 8th to 12th centuries. These are still used for worship today by many buddhists.
Walking around the city (to get away from the western and touristy eateries found near the numerous hotels and beach), there was a wide variety of local food. I found bò né to be an excellent brunch meal. This photo may not convey how tasty it was, but it is beef on a sizzling hot plate with eggs and some sausage served with a decent sized baguette, all for cheap price, brilliant.
Another local dish I went to hunt down and sample was nem nuong. First shown as the grilled minced pork, fried snacks, range of salad and herbs, with chilli sauce. These are then assembled onto rice paper to make your own rolls.