Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Back in the saddle

Since my little tumble I've not been back on my bike, so I'm hoping that the combination of body balance, Pilates and the odd bit of swimming will have helped.

It's always an early start to the day on cycling adventures, but thankfully Vietnamese breakfasts make getting up early worth.  With all the tropical fruit on offer it's easy to get my 5-a-day!

And I'm quite fond of stir fried vegetables and chicken noodles at this time of the day too.

Cycling for one is quite a luxury because I get a cycling guide and driver all to myself.  Let me introduce the team

Tan my guide and Tuhn the driver.  And down below the bikes all fitted out and ready to go.

Well we were until I spotted dragons - of the leafy kind - they were huge, the place was filled with them all ready for delivery.

Cycling the Mekong Delta is a little different. There's no roads to speak of, so we're using the many lanes and by-ways that cross the region and of course we had to

use the many bridges that connect the land.  This one is fairly substantial compared to some of the rickety bamboo affairs I spotted, but thankfully didn't have to peddle across.

The mighty Mekong brings rich soil deposits down to the Delta, so the surrounding land is lush and, if you'll forgive the terrible pun, fruitful.

The area we cycled today is known for its huge Jack fruits.

Don't you just love the shape and line of this? No idea what it is, but knowing the Vietnamese I bet they eat it...

We stop to sample local produce as we go.  Tan's favourite is the custard apple, which tastes more like pear to my mind.  The bright red ones are mountain apples and at the top a pile of different types of mango.

Everything is transported by boat.

At the floating wholesale market each boat advertises what they have for sale by tying some to a long bambo pole and hoisting it above the boat!

The land shops operate both sides, to cater for land and river customers.

Finally, after 30 km we reached my hotel, Mekong Riverside Boutique Resort and Spa.  This is the view as I sip my welcome lemon grass and honey tea; a bit of a perculiar combination.

Pretty table flowers.

India was all about the doors, maybe this Vietnam trip will be ceilings?

See the long poles? Fishing bambo rods.  Don't think that's for me...

All the rooms are little houses on stilts over the water lily lake

This is mine, no.5

I love the blossoms on my towels and see the present on my pillow?

Much nicer than a chocolate!

All around the organic gardens are bursting with flowers

and my Monday night swim was just devine!

Monday, 27 February 2017

Good morning Vietnam

Yes, I know I used the same title last time I landed in Ho Chi Mihn, but it still makes me smile.  So...warm and humid when I made it out of the airport to be met by my guide for the next 7 days - Tan.  A half hour drive through the city - can there really be even more scooters than last time?- to the hotel Northern.

Just an average kinda place, bit sad there were no water lilies to greet me, but

I was so glad to see that bed....

Quick travellers tip: suitcase too large for now?  Pack it out with air filled bubble wrap care of the renowned internet store that packages everything so well, in this case my new cycle helmet!

It was dusk by the time I woke, so after a quick shower I headed off out for a stroll and dinner.  


 I passed up the street food for now; take a close look behind the vendor, see the guys eating?

I passed up this option too,

and settled for a bowl of pho with chicken.

There's lots of colourful lights strung all around

and crowds gather to enjoy the evening atmosphere.  It's a very young country, where ever you look there are crowds of young people just hanging out doing their own thing,

who needs restaurants when a street picnic will make the perfect place for a girly catchup?

There does seem to be even more scoters on the road this time, if that is at all possible, 2,3,4 on the bike.  No problem!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Time for another adventure

This time of year it's mostly cold and bleak in the UK, so I think it's a perfect time to have a little foreign adventure.  Two years ago I cycled the length of Vietnam and had a ball, so I thought 'why not go back and explore some more?', so I am!

Bags packed, holiday toes paint...

I had an excellent chauffeur to T4 - thanks son, pay back time for all those hockey training runs!

I dream of being upgraded, but for now it's go with the flow.  Still seat 34g is on the upper deck, so a girl can dream...

Bags checked in, G&T poured  (somewhere in the world the sun has to be over the yard arm :-) )and films selected.  Aaah!

There was even time for a bit of sewing before we had breakfast (even though my body says is only 11 pm...) and then landed in drizzly Kuala Lumpur.  The stopover of doom.

But hey! Stay positive, a girl can learn from her mistakes*....can't she??
* puzzled?, go read this blog from the beginning to see how I faired during my last visit to KL

Loved this window display for goods I can't afford, but can't find the fabric shop that was here last time.

A change of planes in Kuala Lumpur leaves me in a bit of a dither...Given my track record!
But I found the connecting railway, I even got onboard AND made it to the right gate.....Surely a good start?

Just hoping my baggage has made it too!