Children having an English class at the Language Center in Vietnam

Teaching English in Vietnam – Pay, Visas and Finding a Job

When we decided to teach English in Asia we had a lot of decisions to make. Which country did we want to live in? How easily could we find a job? How much money would we make? What qualifications and experience did we need? We wanted to choose a country we felt we’d enjoy living in but with our travel fund running low we also had to consider where we could earn the most money and take into account visa issues. Continue reading

Me ready to go on the motorbike

How to ride a motorbike in Hanoi, Vietnam

It was late at night on a quiet Hanoi street (yes, such a thing does exist) and I was learning how to ride a motorbike. As I practised turning in the road Mr Nguyen, who’s renting me my slightly battered 125cc Yamaha for just £25 a month, advised me: “Make sure you use the horn so they know you are a bad driver!” The next comment was just as surprising: Continue reading

Visa Stamps in Passports

Changing Direction – Travel Plans for 2015

Yes, I know what you’re thinking, isn’t it a little bit early to be deciding where we’ll be this time next year? Not for me. I know that some people enjoy going with the flow and making spur-of-the-moment decisions but I’m not one of those people. Andrew and I have been making travel plans for 2015 ever since we moved into our apartment here in Hanoi and we’ve come to some surprising decisions about where we want to go next. Continue reading

Mango Shaved Ice in Taipei

Taiwan Travel Costs for 25 Days

Taiwan was the last country on our initial 15-month adventure; we’d heard many good things about the country so we were anticipating a great finale to the first leg of our travels. During our time in Taiwan we checked out the impressive National Parks and the beautiful scenic areas as well as exploring the night markets and geothermal hot springs. Here are our Taiwan travel costs for three and a half weeks. Continue reading

Five Channel Zone in Tainan

The Hidden Treasures of Tainan

We’d had high hopes for Tainan, the oldest city in Taiwan. We’d visualised something similar to Laos’ Luang Prabang; old colonial buildings, narrow streets, local markets and stunning temples – a complete contrast to modern Taipei.  Instead, when we got off the train we were greeted by an identikit Taiwanese city full of tall, glass buildings, malls, chain cafes and traffic. Confused, we tried to take a taxi to our hotel but despite showing several drivers the address in Chinese and getting a kind Taiwanese man to translate for us, everyone refused to take us. Continue reading

Pig Tree Stump in Alishan, Taiwan

Natural Wonders of Taiwan

There are two contrasting sides to Taiwan: the modern, high-tech cities which are sprinkled with colourful temples and the lush, mountainous countryside.  We spent roughly half our time in Taiwan exploring the bustling cities of Taipei, Tainan and Taichung and the other half hiking around in the National Parks, where we got to see some of Taiwan’s most amazing natural wonders.

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Sunset in Hanoi, Vietnam

Return to Vietnam – Our New Life in Hanoi

For me, the best and the worst part of travel is moving on. On the one hand, the promise of a fresh adventure and the possibility that I might fall in love with a new corner of the world is what keeps me travelling. On the other, saying goodbye to the places I do love, the people in them and the experiences I’ve had there can be really tough. As we boarded a plane back to Asia after our summer visit to the UK I was wracked with homesickness and nostalgia but I also felt a glimmer of excitement and possibility at the thought of our new lives in Vietnam. Continue reading