Saturday, October 25, 2008

Back in the Hoch

We got back into Saigon yesterday. It was really good to be back in the relative calm of Ho Chi Minh City. I especially loved my bed last night - it's never quite as comfortable in a hotel.

Last night we went out for a slap up meal at the Sheraton Hotel, as a treat for Gareth's birthday (this coming Tuesday). They do a fantastic buffet with all kinds of food that you can think of and free-flow Australian wine. The problem was that my stomach just wasn't big enough to taste everything. I did my best though and had to sit for a while after dinner because I couldn't walk with such a full tummy! After dinner we went to met our friends at a nearby bar. It was good to catch up with everyone.

Now it's Sunday and I only have one more day to enjoy my holiday baaaaaah. I have to stay in the flat and wait for Gareth's birthday present to be delivered - he has been locked in the bedroom until it comes!

Hanoi and Halong Bay Photos

Cruising round Halong Bay.

A floating village.

Pagoda on a single stilt.
Across the lake in Hanoi.
Gareth having High Tea!
In the "Surprising Amazing Cave" - beautiful but not that surprising for a cave.
Water puppets - quite terrifying when all in one place.
Our hotel road - you wouldn't believe our clean, top class hotel is hidden on this shabby street.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Halong Bay

We got back from our cruise round Halong Bay last night. It was really beautiful - like something from a Chinese fairy tale. It was really relaxing and the people we went with were really nice. Luckily there were no nuts in sight as I was a bit nervous about having to eat bananas for 2 days. We had lots of plates of meat, seafood, rice... so I could choose exactly what I wanted without looking rude. Loads of people were really fussy about the seafood so I really didn't feel embarassed at all.

We're now in Hanoi for another day and night then back to Ho Chi Minh tomorrow. It's been just long enough to see everything but I do wish I had another week off before getting back to school. We have our production in 2 weeks and reports to write aaarrrggghhh! Anyway I mustn't moan as we still have 3 more days to relax. I am taking Gareth to the Sheraton buffet dinner on Saturday night for his birthday so I'm really looking forward to that. Photos soon!

Monday, October 20, 2008


We arrived in Hanoi yesterday afternoon and had a nice Italian meal in the old quarter - where we're staying. Hanoi is really crazy. The streets are tiny and busy but really interesting. Some people can't stand the madness of it and have hated their visit to the city but we're both really loving it.

We took a walk today from the lake, in the middle of the town, through lots of little streets. Just like Ho Chi Minh they have streets selling loads and loads of one thing - like metal furniture, shoes or charcoal... It was really interesting as we went from one street to the next. The blacksmith street was like I imagine parts of London to have been 200 years ago, the sound was incredible. The apothocaire street, full of herbal doctors and potions almost knocked us down with the smell. There are some amazing handicrafts here - so much cheaper than Ho Chi Minh. I really like the oriental lanterns. I just hope I don't end up spending too much.

We had a lazy afternoon in our hotel after walking so far in the morning and we plan to go to a French restaurant tonight for steak. Yum! We're off to Halong Bay to take a cruise in a junk for a night on Wednesday.

I will put on photos as soon as we get back home.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

At the orphanage

Yesterday I bought a really nice lamp which makes our flat look so cosy. I went to the orphanage this morning with Isie and Ali. It was nice to have a cuddle and a gossip, except that all the kids were reallt snotty today - I hope we don't all get ill.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The weekend at last!

This has been the longest week of my life. It just seems to have dragged on. I had parents' evening on Thursday night - talking for 4 hours straight after teaching all day is really a killer. I even had one cheeky parent say I was just making excuses by not running my club after school on that day. Bear in mind I got rid of the last kid at 2.45 and received my first parent at 3pm. That time was very quickly used for the loo!
So I am really please I have 2 lovely days to relax. I am thinking about having a massage. Tonight I have to go to a friend's birthday - while Gareth goes out to watch football. But no other plans. Last night I got my new couch - now Gareth and I don't have to scrap about who gets to lie down to watch a film any more. Yey! Now we need a nice standing lamp so I will have to start saving. I have already spotted one so might pick it up soon.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Lovely Meal

Went to a great French restaurant last night that we love. Had French onion soup and steak and chips. Yum! Went for a couple of drinks afterwards - although I was just on the water as I have a sore throat again. Went to the orphanage today and played with some cute kids. Then we had a lovely long brunch in the courtyard of the Refinery - which does a fantastic 3-course breakfast menu. Yum again! Went shopping after and got caught in a torrential downpour. Bought some really cute fairy lights but each one is a tiny white Chinese lantern and a really nice tribal ceremonial wall hanging traditional to the area Sapa in northern Vietnam (that I've had my eye on for ages). This week my new sofa comes and I want to get a nice teapot and cups set too. Lots of shopping!

Friday, October 03, 2008


We had a great night last night. The school band played at a pub in An Phu. I sang an Aretha Franklin song and was so scared and nervous. It was ok but I couldn't really hear myself so the higher parts were a bit wobble. It was really good for me to sing in front of an audience but I'm not sure how soon I'll do it again!