All posts tagged: vietnam

Chaos and calm in Vietnam

Saigon has charmed us by the time we travel from the airport to our hotel. Absolutely buzzing with activity, people and scooters everywhere, the footpaths struggle to contain the masses of people eating, chatting and cooking, as close as they can get to the middle of the road without being run over. The three and four storey terrace-style housing means everyone is living on top of each other, so groups congregate out in the hot air under the street lights, perched on parked motorbikes and impossibly small plastic stools, forcing the traffic into single file.  Our hotel, the Duc Vuong, in the bustling District 1, is like a tiny, cool oasis in which to recover from the heat and sensory overload of the street. Ironically, I have succumbed to the “holiday flu”, the one that you manage to avoid during the stressful planning, booking and packing stages but that finally gets you once you are airborne and relaxed. Upon checking in, the manager mentions a “free dinner” to be held at 7pm for anyone in …

Happy Snaps

I’m going on an overseas holiday. I lose count of how many times I have explained my itinerary, which day I’m leaving and when I’ll be back. “Sounds great, make sure you take lots of photos!”, they all say. Why should I? Are they really going to want to look at them when I get back? Holiday snaps pose a timeless dilemma, one that has haunted travellers, be they backpackers, gap-yearers or newly retired empty nesters, for generations. It’s actually quite a challenge to enjoy the moment if you are continually yelling, “take one of me in front of the statue!” You know you’re in trouble when you find yourself assessing the scenery not in terms of how magnificent it is, or how it makes you feel, but rather which angle or camera setting will give the best shot when it’s printed in 6 x 4 matte. There’s nothing like walking for hours to the top of a mountain, only to take a few photos and walk back down again. Something to show the folks …