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Reisverslag Lunar new year, Halong Bay, Hanoi and Kathmandu
20 februari 2016
Lunar new year, Halong Bay, Hanoi and Kathmandu
So, from Phu Quoc I took a plane to Hanoi on Saturday the 6th of February. February 8th was Lunar New Year/Chinese New Year/TET. TET is the biggest (and almost only) holiday in Vietnam and is celebrated widely. Most people return to their families and Hanoi was almost deserted. This gave me an excellent chance to explore the city while escaping the hazards of uncontrolled traffic. So I spent Sunday walking around town with an American girl, enjoying some coffee and visiting a few shops that were open. When the evening came we took a nap and prepared for the fireworks at the lake. In the end we were with 4 people at midnight. Enjoying a firework spectacle of 15 minutes!
From Monday until Wednesday, I had booked a 3 day tour to Halong Bay and Cat Ba Island. This was awesome. You've probably all heard of Halong Bay, an almost mysterious place of natural beauty. The first day we cruised around, visiting a cave and enjoying the view. After a night on the boat, we began the morning in a kayak, we're transferred to the island, did a hike and visited monkey island. Pretty awesome. :) The night in the hotel I had my own room for the first time since I left home and it was amazing. Haha! Day three began with a good breakfast, followed by a cooking class on board of the boat, while we were cruising back to the harbour. After a terrifying bus drive, we miraculously safely arrived in Hanoi.
I spent the Thursday with two awesome German girls, mostly drinking coffee and hanging around, and didn't change much about that lifestyle on Friday and Saturday. I tried to visit Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum, but the line was about 2 km, so... But the outside was quite impressive as well, seeing all the guards. :)
And then Sunday came, my flight to Kathmandu. I had a 5 our transfer in Kuala Lumpur, which wasn't really in the right direction... It was, of course, Valentine's day and AirAsia had a surprise for us: one of the stuarts sang us a love song and later a very famous Vietnamese man gave us all presents! It was like the lottery, because some people had, next to their AirAsia BIG Points gift, a teddy bear, or an AirAsia cap. I arrived quite late in Kathmandu and the luggage took forever, but the pick up was well-organized and I arrived at the volunteer house around 22.00u. There was some dinner left and I went to bed.
Last Monday, my introduction week in Kathmandu started. We were with a group of ten people from different nationalities. We spent five days exploring the surroundings, hiking, taking local busses, visiting the Bouddhath stupa, learning the basics of the language and talking about cultures and religions. This was actually pretty awesome. Today we had the day off and with a group of four we took a bus to the monkey temple, after which we went to Thamel, a quarter, for lunch.
In three weeks I'll be traveling home, it's a strange feeling. But, a lot of awesome stuff is still going to happen. Next week I'll be up in the mountains in a small village called Mate, where I'll be doing some construction work as a volunteering project. They only have solar power, there is no wifi (so I will be very unresponsive ;) ), and apparently there also live some chickens and a goat in the house where we'll be staying. So, back to basics, that will be interesting. For now... bed time, because we have to leave early in the morning to arrive on time in Mate.
26 februari 2016 17:57 | Door: roma José
Ha Laura, je zult al wel bijna verzadigd zijn van al die indrukken en belevenissen die je ondergaat. Het einde laat niet lang meer op zich wachten, he? Zal je ergens wel jammer vinden, ergens verlang je misschien wel een beetje naar huis. Ik zal je leuke en interessante verhalen missen.
Ik hoop dat ik deze keer mijn reactie kan versturen, de vorige keer lukte het niet.
Heel goede tijd verder. Geniet van alles en liefs van oma.