Kylee runs Travel Vuda focusing on travel for women, from her base on the Coromandel Peninsula, in this guest post she writes about how it all started. She is also a fully licenced travel agent, so if you are looking for one, contact her.
In one of many boxes I’ve unearthed some old travel notes from a big adventure I went on with my sister and good friend back in 2006. Click here to have a little read. It’s actually the trip when I fall in love with Vietnam and from which Travel Vuda all began. On the same trip we ended up in Croatia as a spare-of-the-moment unplanned side trip from Turkey (oh how carefree we were back then…..).
Reading these notes gets me all excited and start reminiscing how much fun we all had and how beautiful Croatia is, which is good timing for me to announce the final itinerary for our new ‘Croatian Dreams, Prague to Dubrovnik’ tour. That Travel Bug sure is beginning to itch….Travel Vuda
Kylee’s off on an eight week adventure! (the 2006 one that is!)
What started out as a 10 day tour of Vietnam snowballed into an eight week adventure. So, I’ve dusted off the backpack, found some great travelling companions (sister Loren and friend Kassie) and off we go.
After Vietnam we head to the Greek Isles for some Island hopping, along the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, up through enchanted Cappadocia with their fairy chimneys, onto the great city of Istanbul, a fun filled weekend in London before heading to the beautiful islands of Thailand.
I absolutely can’t wait to try all the different cuisine, watch the sunset in Santorini, take a tuk tuk ride in Ho Chi Minh City, barter in the Grand Bazaar, go for coffee in Notting Hill, go sailing on the Mediterranean and the many more experiences we will have along the way. Did I mention hot air ballooning at sunrise?
Vietnam: Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh
What an amazing country! We have seen and done so much over the last week; I could write pages and pages. Highlights have been the food, shopping and experiencing the culture. All the food is absolutely amazing!
For a great experience and atmosphere I recommend Highway 4, Hanoi, where we ate a hot pot/steam boat. All the food is served raw and you cook it in a steaming pot in front of you. The restaurant is well known for its flavoured rice wines and all around the walls are marinated bees, herbs, bugs and seafood.
We also had a great time in Hoi An attending a Vietnamese cooking class in a beautiful old restaurant on the riverfront. I also tried a scorpion at dinner last night!!!
Having now travelled nearly the whole length of the country, north to south, we have experienced all sorts of transport. The modes have included planes (inflight entertainment a must!), taxis, slow cylo rides in Hanoi, cruising along Halong Bay in a boat whilst eating a seafood lunch, crowded overnight local trains; but the best so far has been riding a push bike from Hoi An, out past miles of rice paddies to the beach for a cool swim. Also riding on the back of a motorbike around Ho Chi Minh City was great fun.
Vietnam: Week 2
It’s an amazing sight in Saigon in lightning storms at roof top bars, watching the city lights as the traffic roars. Hanoi, with its weaving streets, is fascinating, watching the cyclo drivers and the hazy green shaded lake. Sweet Hoi Ann with glowing lanterns lining the sleepy river streets – Vietnam we will miss you. Best place to shop: Hanoi’s old quarter is great for shopping. Each street is named after the merchandise that is sold on that street: eg. Shoe Street, Silk Street and so on. It’s great for traditional handicraft.
Hoi An is known for its tailoring where in between fittings you can check out the café scene and nearby beaches. Wherever you go, leave plenty of room in your suitcase, you can get a lot for your New Zealand dollar here.
Hint: Move Vietnam to the top of your holiday list. Vietnam offers a great cultural experience; it’s easy to travel around, has great relaxing beaches and island destinations, excellent and exciting dining, night life and shopping – it has it all.
Phrase of the week: Same, same … but different.