Saturday, 30 March 2013

Ha Long and Hanoi

After our horror train we just walked out of the train station to have some breakfast (26.03.) at a nice little restaurant the Dutch guy from Dong Hoi recommended us (just opposite the queen mini hotel). Afterwards we hassled our way through to the bus terminal (which is really close, although everyone wanted us to take a taxi^^). Unfortunately, the last bus to Ha Long already left 3pm. So our plan to visit gorgeous Ninh Binh area by motorbikes was screwed. Troubles met by many travelers often untold for the sake of everyone... however, I'm to give you at least some details: this morning everyone was to find a solid toilet place, probably still due to the fish from the day before^^ After Ben, Flo and Jan rampaged the hotels toilet next to the restaurant we had breakfast in, Tob and I plagued a hotel near the bus terminal :P
The bus ride to Ha Long was not really pleasant, but they luckily stopped right in front of our hotel :) We went to the bay and had some overpriced beer before we went to book a tour for the next day and went to sleep - what we absolutely needed. Our next days tour was typically touristy... unfortunately, it is no good season to visit Ha Long bay... not many tourists, but no great vistas either. Still, Ha Long bay was impressive to see. And we enjoyed the boat ride along the bay a lot. Although, the boat look nothing like on the advertised picture and it would have been cheaper if we went to Hanoi and took a day tour from there - one is always brighter afterwards^^ It was a typical touristy route... entering a cave (lighted more like LasVegas, pleasant but unspectacular after the paradise cave), visiting a seafood farm, go to a small beach, go kayaking through some caves if you were willing to pay some extra cash, having some poor lunch and funnily modern talking as music in the background^^
not the best weather, but it was beautiful nevertheless
natural beauty filled with boats of tourists
the gang at one of Ha Long bay's beaches

Our bus ride from Ha Long to Hanoi the next morning (27.03.) led us through quite a traffic jam... at one time when our insane bus driver was to pass some cars again he hardly found a way back into line and nearly crashed into a truck that came against us. You know that you are REALLY in danger when the ticket guy from your bus opens the side door and is about to jump out. Luckily, we made it in the last sec :D We had to switch buses and the locals in the north were really rough and unfriendly... it led us to remember the stupid propaganda movies from Saigon... probably the northern people were truly engaged with the regime's thoughts. From the bus terminal a ride on taxis who's drivers had no idea about the city brought us to our hostel after we led them by GPS - thanks to modern technology :)
The day was young, so we went to explore the city. HaNoi's old french quarters are gorgeous and the city has a nice vibe. SIimply walking through the streets or sitting at a café lets you indulge the city's relaxed charm. Also HaNoi is filled with motorbikes even if not as much as Saigon.
Later we were to explore the city's nightlife. We planed to get wasted again dancing all night long... the plan had some hurdles tho^^ First we had a beer at the rooftop of our hostel. Tob and Flo were happy about all the backpackers around - even if it was 90% guys - while Ben and I were fed up by their talks. Australians were the worst as usual... they are truly embarrassing for mankind :/ We then continued to Finnegan's, Hanois irish pub... it was empty tho. We then made our way to a street bar close to our brother hostel and enjoyed some beers there. This is where we met the 2 Italian girls from Dong Hoi again - small world :) Right at 12 o'clock the police came with trucks, closed the bars and took any alcohol they could find... quite a party killer... it is law in Vietnam that bars have to be closed after midnight - only enforced in Hanoi though :P We were told that we only had to wait 30minutes and they would reopen - but they didn't as the police continued to be around. We were able to catch one quick beer on the second floor of some bar before we had to leave that one as well. So we made our way back to our hostel and hoped for the next evening.
The next morning (28.03.) Ben and I went to see Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and the museum next door. We were lucky as the queue was short. We forgot our cameras though to take some pictures from outside. All the Vietnamese going there were well dressed to greet their hero. He was well prepared in the mausoleum. At the museum next door, a young student took us on a small tour around the complex. She was truly enthusiastic about her national hero explaining us all the places he used - including his phone to reach the propaganda minister^^ I couldn't but feel a bit sorry. I mean I really believe that Ho Chi Minh was a man who sought to do good to his country and lived a spartan life instead of being greedy like many of the western politicians. However, not understanding economic systems and turning against a capitalistic system still cost the population of his country years of development and is one of the main causes why they are still stuck being a developmental country. Kinda sad to fail heavily with such good intentions. Later we met the other and walked again through the old quarter and then along the Hoan Kiem lake.
At the evening we went for the nightlife again.  This time we started early. First we entered some upfloor shisha bar as we got some flyer to buy 1 - drink 2 + free shisha :) The beer was ugly tho and we weren't really up for shisha. After 2 more cocktails and some pool with some black guy we left for the next bars. We entered the dragonfly bar where Tob and I talked to some girls. Then we opted the bar on the opposite of the street, already quite drunk some rich Vietnamese invited us for drinks. It was time for midnight again and the police closed the doors... now we ended in Phuc Tan, a nightclub located at right at song Hong river between the bridges. The club was recommended to us by the Dutch from Dong Hoi and some other travelers and locals as well. The Dutch and some other told us of naughty Hanoi girls who wanted to be with some foreigners and no hookers. Driven by that description and since all other places were closed we made our way there. It appeared like some underground club as all the area around was completely dark. Partying at the river with banana trees in sight was a great feeling tho^^ Unfortunately, it was not very packed... the stories of naughty girls were not false, but you got to be REALLY drunk to fall for these girls. Although, we felt really drunk - it still wasn't enough to pursue us^^ After a baguette next door we went back to our hostel. The next morning (29.03.) a taxi drove us to the airport were we flew to Bangkok and from there on to Krabi airport.

the gang explores the old quarter
look who's there :P

shisha and beer overlooking the street beneath us

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Dong Hoi and the Phong Nha cave

Our first ride on the sleeping train was ok... it was quite loud and not really late enough to get proper sleep. We checked into Nam Long hotel (absolutely advisable!) and wandered around to get some food... not easy as the town is kinda totally to sleep at midnight :/ We found a local street restaurant tho, where the people were utterly happy to house us as guests... a noodlesoup and beer later we were on pictures with them^^
We met a friendly Dutch guy who advised us to rent some motorbikes to visit Phong Nha paradise cave. And indeed it was way cheaper and a lot more fun than booking a tour :D The next morning (25.03.) we got a map, filled our tanks at the gas station and got some extra fuel in bottles following the Dutch's advice - and we needed it^^ 60 km and a lot of fun later we passed the police security without paying entrance and then climbed the way up towards paradise cave. The most amazing cave I have seen to date! absolutely huge and stunning... on the way out we met the 2 Italian girls we shared our room with... they obviously decided a little later to take the same route^^
On our way back we stopped for lunch at some local restaurant... they made us local fish - causing most of us diarrhea^^ However, the locals enjoyed having us there :) Going around the villages on motorbikes is hell lot of fun and not to miss!
On the way back Flo and I went to explore Dong Hoi on our bikes a bit and enjoyed the sunset of the river. Unfortunately, Flo's motorbike went out of fuel, so I went to get him some new... afterwards we found out that the fuel was ok but the spark plugs of his bike were defect :P
True freedom riding your bikes through these gorgeous mountains
our skinheads on their bike - poor engine :P
stunning paradise cave - massive!

the gang as explorers of the cave

natural beauty in this region
waiting for the fish soup and the following diarrhea^^
sunset over Dong Hoi's river...
all the fisher boats anchored.
Back at our hotel we emptied plenty beer, went for dinner with our Dutch friend and emptied even more beer... we got to know that the Dutch's girlfriend separated from him which is why he went on a several months travel. He started in Vietnam and stuck here quickly... after several days in Hanoi he arrived relaxed Dong Hoi, received a job in the language center and stayed there for 3 weeks already :D After all the beer we were ready to go with the next sleeping train towards Ninh Binh - at least we hoped so^^ The train surprised us as the dirtiest place I slept in during all my SOA travels (and I slept in quite some filthy places :/). We saw cockroaches climbing around. The blankets were dirty and the pillows stank... another sleepless night - Yay! ^^ It caused us some terrible laughing flashes though^^
Tobias hunting cockroaches in our train cabin :D

Monday, 25 March 2013

Hoi An and Hue

At the evening we arrived in Hoi An, searched a hotel for us and then just had dinner and beer before we felt for sleep^^ The next morning (23.03.) we explored the lovely city. Breakfast at the river and then simply strolling through the city... the Unesco world heritage bridge is lovely if small - and you can avoid entrance if you enter from the other side^^ The streets were colorful, peaceful Vietnamese riding their bikes, quite a lot of tourists tho - but that hardly vanished the city's calm flair. Craftsman working on the street, colorful markets, small temples... all in all a nice place - we enjoyed it a lot :)
In the afternoon we took a taxi to the beach - which was better than Nha Trang's! Good to linger at the beach again^^
the river of relaxed Hoi An
Breakfast with our fresh made skin heads^^

a lush and colorful city
want a fruit? I love SOA markets :D
Hoi An's southern beach

The next morning (24.03.) a bus brought us to Hue where we went straight to the train station to book a cabin for the sleeping train we were to take later. Then we left our luggage at a restaurant nearby the train station and explored Hue. We walked straight to the old palace complex. Unfortunately, Vietnamese government has little interest in preserving historic places. Even the Unesco world heritage palace rods... well, they started to give it a fresh painting at least - hard if you have to spend all your money on brainwashing propaganda :/
As we had plenty time left, we slandered through the city and explored some nice places :) Later we had dinner and plenty beer at the restaurant where our luggage was placed and we took some baguettes for the way on the train. They didn't last long tho on our way to Dong Hoi^^

the gang to place the luggage at a restaurant next to the train station^^
A pavilion at the old palace complex

The old palace complex

crossing in Hue's center and Flo talks to some locals^^
life on the city's river - we saw an old woman taking a shit just a few meters ahead :/

the gang found a temple to take a compromising shot :P
our baguettes didn't last long - but we enjoyed every bite as one can see :D

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Da Lat and Nha Trang - on Vietnamese sleeping buses

happy before the horror ride started in the sleeping bus^^
A crazy bus ride brought us from Saigon to Da Lat... although I didn't recognize much of it, as I was the only one of us who slept, the others told me about the horror ride :) We arrived early morning (21.03.) in Da Lat and were welcomed by the morning market. We chose to have a warm noodle soup and coffee at a nearby local restaurant and watched the bustle of the market. A visit to the tourist office helped us to organize another sleeping bus overnight to Nha Trang. But before that we took a taxi uphill and visited the Truc Lam monastery with its pleasant gardens. We found the cable car to be too expensive... but the taxi took us downhill to some park where we wandered around and listen a small waterfall while taking a nap^^ Most of the big waterfalls were not worth visiting at this time of the year as it was dry season. We then went back into town, had a small lunch and then caught the sleeping bus to Nha Trang.
Da Lat's morning market
the gang took an exhaustion nap in front of the tourist office (Tob, Ben, Jan)
finding our way to the bus terminal

From Nha Trang bus terminal we took a taxi to our hotel. It was still time to catch some dinner and to enjoy some beer at the beach - what we did :) Unfortunately, all of Nha Trang is packed with Russian tourists. Felt like an all inclusive package tourist spot in Turkey :/ The next day (22.03.) was dedicated to beach time - a whole day lingering at the beach, swimming and reading books :D Ben and Tob used the time to take account for a prior bet they made back in Germany and got their heads shove :) At the evening a bus brought us to Hoi An.
Nha Trang beach

Sunset from our hotel

Friday, 22 March 2013

Blackberry Z10 Bermasalah

Beberapa hari lalu temen saya ada yang kasih kabar kalau blackberry mengeluarkan ponsel terbaru nya yaitu blackberry z10 yang mengadobsi model full touchscreen , dan mulai meninggalkan model lama qwerty nya. Sebenarnya saya ingin membeli blackberry z10 tetapi saya ingin bersabar melihat review-review dulu dari pengguna yang telah membeli handphone blackberry ini.

Biasanya sih kalau ponsel model baru itu pasti aja akan ada masalah2 yang timbul, seperli suka ngehang atau apalah gitu, maka dari itu saya ingin melihat review masalah-masalah dari blackberry z10 ini sebelum memutuskan untuk membeli nya karena handphone ini terbilang ponsel yang cukup mahal. Harga blackberry z10 kisaran 7 jutaan.

Berikut ini saya kasih foto blackberry z10 hasil googling.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Tas Kiso Ayam Jago Spesial

Tas Kiso Ayam Jago sangat dibutuhkan sekali untuk membawa ayam andalan pergi jalan jalan khusus nya saat ada laga pertandingan sabung ayam :D

Ini ada sebuah produk tas ayam dari yang sangat spesial khusus untuk anda semua pecinta ayam bangkok aduan. Apa saja kelebihan dari tas kiso ayam aduan ini ??
  1. Tas Ayam ini sangat flexible untuk digunakan membawa ayam kesayangan berpergian.
  2. Tas Ayam Jago terbuat dari bahan kain tebal berkualitas dan mudah dicuci.
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  4. Tas ini akan meringankan tugas tangan dibandingakan dengan kiso fiber / kiso rotan yang harus dijinjing dengan tangan. Saat berjalan atau naik sepeda motor Tas ini sangat membantu.
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The Mekong Delta

A relaxing 15 EUR per person brought us on a full day Mekong Delta tour. A bus brought us to My Tho, where we entered a boat riding along the river arms... the floating market was over already - if one was to see that, you have to be there in the very morning which means staying there over night... still it was nice to see the life on and at the river. The tour then brought us to some typical touristy stuff... traditional honey making, the making of coconut candies, popcorn making and traditional liquor pickled with snakes (we tried some of course^^). We then had lunch on a river island where we cycled around. Very pleasant! At they brought us on a fruit farm where we could enjoy lots of different fruits and in the end they performed some traditional play. The latter was a bit strange when some elder women perform a play for young tourists who can't really valid it and even have to hold back laughing - a bit embarrassing to both parties :/

If we were here in the morning we were to see the floating market :P
typical snake liquors...
Flo and I tried some :P drinkable but not tasty - they propose its healthy tho :P
The life on and at the river was nice to see
the gang cycles the island - only stomach sick Jan took a nap
However, all in all it was a great tour to see the Mekong Delta life and I would absolutely recommend it. Back in Saigon we checked out of our hotel, went to the bar from the evening before where our beloved waitress was happy to see us back and continued making lots of fun with us :D Later the bus took us to the hill side town Da Lat.
Tob and the waitress, who caused us laughs for 2 evenings :)

Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City - or better: the motorbike city!

Our route to go through Vietnam - nearly 2500km in 11 days
 Entering Vietnam was really relaxed as we got our visa before from the embassy in Berlin. The only hurdle was our taxi driver missing the address we told him... and somehow he was really pissed about it - something the locals, who came to calm down the situation, did not understand either. At our hotel we just got to hear that two of us had to sleep at a neighbouring hotel, as this one was full. However, we went straight to some restaurant for dinner and beer :D
bus ride from the airport into the center
Jan encountered two boys: "look at this fat twins, let's give them a titty-twist and run away"
Flo agreed "oh yea! cool :D", while I shook my head "You sick bastards!" :P
 The next morning (19.03.) started with some good fresh baguette. Then we went to see the Binh Thanh market and walked through the center along street markets, enjoyed coffee, saw the old post office and cathedral and enjoyed the vista from the rooftop bar of Sheraton Saigon. A short trip to the Jade Emperor Pagoda before we went to see the old residential palace where we watched some propaganda movies of how happy the south Vietnamese people must have been when they had been "rescued" by northern troops from the American occupiers. Regimes must be really wacky to make up such stories :/ We then took a taxi to china town... we were unsure whether the driver really brought us to the place we sought to... however, after wandering along the neighborhood of a market we had dinner at a really local restaurant. Nobody spoke english and we just ordered across the menu (which was in English tho^^). We ended up with Vietnamese wraps and all waitresses starred at us while we ate the food and had a lot of fun about it :P However, they helped us a lot and it left us with plenty laughs as well. At the end of the day we enjoyed some beers in a bar nearby our hotel.
Ben doing some morning fitness^^
central roundabout with statue of Tran Nguyen Hai
street markets... always so amazingly colorful in SOA :)
the gang :P

motorbikes everywhere^^

visiting the old post office
view from Sheraton level 23 rooftop bar
and enjoying :D
The next day (20.03.) we went on a trip to the Mekong Delta...