19/05/15
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A Weekend in Mai Chau

Our time in Vietnam is drawing to a close; we have just two and a half weeks left in the country and  it feels like time is speeding up. This is our last week of teaching and we’re struggling to fit in all the last-minute tasks we need to complete; packing up our apartment, sorting out finances, planning for the weeks ahead and saying our goodbyes. We’re also trying to squeeze in trips to places we haven’t had time to visit over the hectic school year; this past weekend we finally made it to the stunning country getaway, Mai Chau. Continue reading

10/05/15
Our Rental Car in New Zealand

Our Plans for a European Road Trip

After finally completing the school year in Vietnam we are itching to dive into the excitement and trepidation of travel again; of new places, plans and ideas. In fact, we’ve plunged straight in, fleeing Hanoi by night train on the very day we completed our final classes and now we look forward to months of new adventures. There will be a huge difference in the next stage of our journey though, we’re saying goodbye to the often hellish bus and train trips we’ve been used to in Asia and travelling by rental car through America and Europe instead. Continue reading

2/05/15
A boat floating down the river in Tam Coc

Time to Leave – Tam Coc and our Motorbike Crash

We’d been sat on the bus for an hour, yet we still hadn’t left the station. The sun was heating up the inside of the vehicle in sync with my rising temper and the beat of the awful music blasting us at full volume. We’d been waiting months for this holiday, this precious escape from the city into the countryside, and we couldn’t even make it out of the bus station in Hanoi. Continue reading

19/04/15
Vietnamese Student

How Much Money Can you Earn from Teaching in Vietnam?

We’ve spent the last few weeks trying to transfer the bulk of our hard-earned teaching dollars safely back to the UK. After four trips to Vietcom bank, multiple phone calls to our English bank and the help of a Vietnamese colleague to translate, we heaved a huge sigh of relief when the money finally landed in our account. That is, until we saw that we’d lost £300 in the hefty exchange rate. Oh, and we still have another instalment to transfer next month but hey, we’re halfway there! Continue reading

28/03/15
Mac Lake at Cuc Phuong National Park

Cuc Phuong and the Bike Ride from Hell

I found myself alone on the path, surrounded by trees all clamouring for the grey sky. Groaning, I felt my thighs start to burn as the road sloped upwards once more. How long had I been cycling now, three hours? I wasn’t even at the park centre yet and I still had to make it all the way back to our hut by the lake before nightfall. This wasn’t quite the relaxing break from city life I’d been expecting. Instead, our trip to Cuc Phuong National Park had turned into the never-ending bike ride from hell. Continue reading

19/03/15
Eating Hotpot in Vietnam

Our Favourite Places to Eat in Hanoi

Our living costs in Vietnam are so low that we could afford to eat out every day if we wanted to. While this might sound like heaven, searching for decent places to eat three times a day gets exhausting pretty quickly; after a year and a half of travel we were excited to finally move into an apartment in Hanoi and have our own kitchen to cook in. I’m also a vegetarian and a fussy eater who doesn’t (shock horror!) particularly love Asian food. Despite my picky habits, we still eat out at least twice a week and after seven months here we’ve developed a list of our favourite places to eat in Hanoi. Continue reading

14/03/15
Happy New Year Sign in Sapa, Vietnam

Celebrating TET in Vietnam

One of the great things about living in another country as opposed to just travelling through is that you get a more in-depth taste of the culture you’re living in. I’m not going to pretend I know everything about Vietnamese life after being here for just seven months, but I have learnt that festivals are very important and none more so than TET, the Lunar New Year holiday. Continue reading

1/03/15
Sapa Rice Terraces, Vietnam

Soothing Our Souls in Sapa

Being up in the mountains empties my mind and soothes my soul in a way that nothing else does. As soon as I catch that first scent of pine needles on the wind, fill my lungs with clean, cold air and look out at the endless peaks on the horizon I feel calm wash over me. My love of the mountains is a discovery I’ve made only recently in life, a gift from my travels. Now, I dream about the mountain towns I’ve loved and left behind and I long to discover new ones. Continue reading