When you travel, remember “Small Is Beautiful”
“Small” mentioned here is applied for both luggage and travel group. Trust me, I’ve experienced enough pain traveling with big luggage and large group that I have learned “never to do it again!”
In my first trip abroad to Poland I brought with me a huge 23-kilo suitcase, plus a backpack, a small purse and a laptop, so those made 4 separate items in total. And it was funny how I ended up using only half of what I brought while still having to buy extra stuff during those 3 months. I carried with me high-heel boots, piles of clothes (since it was winter), hundreds of medicine types which I never used, but didn’t even think about bringing a hair dryer, slippers and an electrical adapter. Fail!
And another funny fact was that I managed to get my laptop lost right on the first day in Poland since I forgot it in the taxi from Warsaw airport to the bus station. However, during my solo and tiring trip across Europe under the snowy and gloomy sky I sometimes thought actually I was lucky not having to bring with me another 3-kilo laptop bag(!) Read the rest of this entry »
Beautiful tropical beaches of Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc has been famous among travel experts as the most beautiful island in Vietnam (obviously the biggest island of the country too). Although it has been a long-time tourist attraction, the island is quite under-developed and the roads here are such disasters. Either they have not been built at all or just half-way built and no one is actually working on building them. However, the beautiful beaches compensate for it all. And actually the road trip may turn out to be a memorable adventure.
(More info about the island, accommodation and things to do at the bottom of the post)
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Updates on my life in Saigon
Image source: www.citypassguide.com
Once again I’m leaving my city Hanoi to look for a new adventure elsewhere. Poland, then India, and the next challenge now comes from my own country. Yes, the destination is called Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon), a city in the South of Vietnam, also the biggest city of the country. I remember sometime ago a Saigon friend said to me that “Hanoi seems like another country to me”, I think I can now tell him the same thing “I feel like a stranger here in my own country”.
This is not the first time I’ve been to Saigon, but the last time was already 3 years ago when I was just a visitor touring around the city. So much fancy about Saigon then! Taller buildings, wider streets, friendlier people, better services, etc. But things have changed so much since, and especially when you live here it is a lot more different and more REAL than when you are only a tourist.
Travel in India, Part 1: Jaipur – the Pink City
Let me open this blog series about my travel in India with one affirmation: I desperately love traveling in India! Despite all the bad luck confronting me during those 3.5 months I enjoyed traveling here to the limit! (you can read about my bad luck in the previous post)
In this blog post, I’m gonna show Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan, also known as “the Pink City”. This was my first trip outside of Delhi, I went there with a group of 8 people from 6 countries. This was quite a funny fact since wherever we went to people kept asking us the same question “why are you from so many countries traveling together?”.. “Well, it all starts with AIESEC..” (loooooong explanation!)
India is a strange country..
So up to now I have been living in India for 2 and a half months. And I’ve just decided to go back to Hanoi in mid-December, which means I have only 3 more weeks left. I’m pretty sure that I will be very sad when leaving.. About 2 weeks ago, I talked to a Serbian girl, and she said “India is a strange country. Can you tell anything here that is better than your country? For me, no, nothing! And I can complain whole day about what I don’t like here, but above all, I still love to stay”. In this term of meaning then India must be the strangest country I have and will ever visit.. Too much bad luck came upon me in the last 2.5 months but I have never really wished to leave..
Northern Vietnamese people and the story of “traveling abroad”
I am a Vietnamese from the Northern part of Vietnam and if compared with Southern people Northerners are considered quite conservative, even today. Thus, in the frame of this blog I would not say generally “Vietnamese people” but I will talk particularly about the travel habit of Northern Vietnamese of which I am one..
We all know that before the Doi moi (1986) Northern part of Vietnam was totally “blocked” from the Western world. The only connection we had was just the communist fellows such as China, Cuba and Eastern Europe. So people from Northern Vietnam at that time just moved from Vietnam to those countries to study and work with the only passion – coming back to help build up a strong communist society in their motherland (!).
But since the Doi moi (or no, later! From my limited knowledge then I would count from 1994 when my youngest uncle went for his master in Australia) let’s see how the situation has changed! We started to go to Western Europe, Northern America and Australia! And we began to enjoy going to those countries, and actutally we “enjoyed” going to the developed countries so much that for now whenever someone say “I’m going abroad” then the expected destinations would always be somewhere in the US or Europe (Western part preferred!) Many people nowadays (even the youngsters at my age) have summed up the meaning of the word “abroad” into 1/3 of the world with such way of thinking. Well, the world is not big but it’s not that small either.
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