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Vietnam

December 2009

 – 

January 2010

Christmas and New Year's Eve in Vietnam. First a stopover in Hong Kong to visit Joy and her sister Pauline who flew in from the Netherlands for Christmas. From there we flew to Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, traveling further south to Hoi An and Hue and ending our journey back in Hong Kong where we saw a bit more of the city and Hong Kong island.

We arrived first in Hong Kong where we stay with our friend Joy in her nice apartment over Christmas before flying to Vietnam.
On the left Pauline, Joy's sister who also came to visit Joy (in the middle)
Lunch fun
Lunch fun
Lunch fun
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
The city is constantly reclaiming land from the sea because demand for houses and building sites is still enormous
Old ferry boat between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, on the other side of the bay
Looking towards Kowloon
On the ferry to Kowloon
On the ferry to Kowloon
On the ferry to Kowloon
On the ferry to Kowloon
Hong Kong
And ofcourse: a good glass of wine!
On our way to the restaurant, Kowloon side
Magnificent views from the umpteenth floor
Pasta chef doing his dough wizardry
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In Joy's apartment
Christmas brunch in Joy's apartment
The flower market in Kowloon
The flower market in Kowloon
Bird market
Great shop names here
Bling bling advertising
Hongkong interpretation of nature
Too sweet to handle
Bye Hong Kong, see you again soon!
The lake in the centre of Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi
Much photographed bridge, understandable
Hanoi
What!? Britney Spears died? In Vietnam!??
Digital barbed wire
Hanoi street life
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Hanoi
Hanoi
No thanks, won't fit I'm afraid
The boys from 'Nam
Threat of rain, but nothing came
The noise of motorbikes and their horns is omnipresent
Moving stock
Everything here is multi-storey, multi-purpose
Railroad Xing
AkzoNobel, eat your heart out!
Gardeners with too much time on their hands
The temple of Literature
The temple of Literature
The temple of Literature
The temple of Literature
The temple of Literature
The temple of Literature
Craftsmanship is everywhere
Hanoi is famous for it's old water puppet theatre. These are replica dolls for tourists.
Inside the Temple of Literature
Temple of Literature
Temple of Literature
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Temple of Literature
Temple of Literature
Giant bronze bell
In a Vietnamese riksja
Look closely and you'll find some weird shit in these streets...
Bike tour with our guide Dan in the western outskirts of Hanoi
West of Hanoi
West of Hanoi
Nice and relatively well to do villages
With Lieutenant Dan
Entrance gate to the next town
The average age of Vietnamese people is really low. Somewhere in the early 30s we heard. So lots of kids everywhere
Continuing our bike tour west of Hanoi
Drying the crop
Lunch at the local petrol station
Local temple
Inside the local temple
Beautiful stone carvings
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Ha Long Bay is about 3 hours drive east of Hanoi.
We embark on an old wooden luxury cruise ship
Our small but very comfortable hut
Crafty carvings
Misty Ha Long Bay
The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes
Once out on open water, the sails help to keep fuel usage low
Quiet, so quiet...
Mythical landscape with this light and atmosphere
A floating town of 700 inhabitants
We were not the only visitors...
The largest caves in the bay
Having a good time!
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Village inhabitants show us around in their daily lives
Village inhabitants show us around in their daily lives
The morning starts with a T'ai Chi lesson
After that, we climb Tee Top Island for a nice overview of the bay
A great place to be
Bat Trang, about 15 kilometers east of Hanoi is famous for its handmade pottery
Bat Trang
Bat Trang
Bat Trang
These noisy boats dig up the clay from the bottom of the river and bring it ashore
Bat Trang
Bat Trang
Our beautiful and spacious room in Hué
Our beautiful and spacious room in Hué
View from our balcony
The Citadel in Hué
The Citadel in Hué
Construction of the citadel began in the early 1800s. Originally the wall was made of earth, then a covering of bricks was added. It took tens of thousands of Vietnamese to do this by hand.
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Within the citadel itself is another, smaller, citadel - the Imperial Enclosure or Forbidden Purple City. This functioned largely as a private residence of the emperor, his family and servants.
For a dollar or two tourists can dress up as the emperor and his family and have their photographs taken.
New Years Eve starts with a dragon dance in front of the hotel
Lovely New Year's Eve dinner
At dinner with people from England, Australia and South Africa.
Sprawling buffet
It's 2010! Let's see what this year will bring...
Our hotel room on the outside
Our hotel room on the outside
January 1st at poolside. What a punishment
Our beachside cottage in Hoi An
Outdoor patio shower
What a nice place
The old centre of Hoi An is lively and lovely
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Hotel at the beach
Room on the inside much more appealing than on the outside
Foot massage time
Eating in the streets of the old town
At Brother's Café
At Brother's Café
Bicycle trip around town. First stop: the local shipyard
Baking flat breads
Sneaker sweat shop
Graveyard Vietnamese style. Bodies are buried deep in the ground but the souls get their casket with open top above the ground so they can roam at will.
Approach to Hoi An via the river
Brother's Café again, now in daylight
The food market
The old bridge in town (Chùa cầu) is a unique covered structure built by the Japanese, the only known covered bridge with a Buddhist pagoda attached to one side.
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We're back in Hong Kong again, some evening shopping
Ladder Street
Old Chinese quarter with lots of antiques shops
Between bleak concrete structures sometimes a hidden gem - a tacky one but still
Downtown park with the tall bank buildings as backdrop
Edo got a bit too much sunshine...
View from The Peak
On the rattling old cable car
Obligatory tourist pics with view on The Peak
Dim sum lunch in Luk Yu Tea House
The tea house gets its name from the Tang dynasty poet Lu Yu who wrote the legendary "The Classic of Tea" which describes the history and culture of Chinese tea.
Des Voeux Road
Stanley is a small port town on the other side of Hong Kong Island
Can you spot the girls in the sun?
The Pier at Stanley
Aberdeen. This bustling town is also called small Hong Kong.
Finishing this journey in Aberdeen where traditional wooden buildings and modern high rises come together.
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by @edoch in Spain