Often called the last frontier of Vietnam, Hà Giang borders China and offers some of the most spectacular landscapes I have seen in over a year of traveling around Vietnam. It offers misty, green and brown hills in the background, and dusty, bumpy roads weaving through the country side from lower valleys to high mountain passes and the paddies! So many green, lush paddies everywhere! The air is saturated with the scent of the leaves and wood burning on the mountain slopes, and it’s fresh! Coming from the traffic and pollution of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Hà Giang is like a breath of fresh, cold air.
Vietnam is a fascinating country to live in. It’s warm, laid-back, beautiful but it can also be frustrating and overwhelming. It takes patience, strength and resourcefulness to figure out how to interact with the locals and how to fit in the dense Saigonese jungle.
Sri Lanka: Kandy, Adam’s Peak and Negombo. Lush tea terraces, thick forests, colorful sarongs, cheese kottu, rainbow tree, orange coconuts and masks!!
March 21st. Do you know what that represents in Vietnam? Nothing.
Three weeks ago I began teaching. In Vietnam. This means that I started teaching for the first time as a certified English Teacher and it so happens that it was in Vietnam.
Well, guess what? Cantonese fried rice is not all they eat in Guangzhou, ha ! My trip to the third biggest city in China was savory, inspiring, stimulating and much too short. Guangzhou, or Canton, struck me as an intense painting of grey skyscrapers, flashy neon signs and colorful blurs everywhere, from the boats on the Pearl River to the Canton Tower overlooking the city, undisturbed.
Who would’ve thought that in Beijing, even more so than in Ulan Bator, people really wouldn’t speak a word of English? In UB, I asked at the hostel and they gave me directions to an electronics store where I could buy a SIM card. My friends and I found the store, asked again for directions…
Mongolia is like a place out of time. Time is definitely not of the essence around here. Only the elements dictate everyone’s rhythm, everything revolves around the next heavy rain or the next below zero temperatures.
That evening there was a brief shower, then a wonderful bright orange sunset over the mountains. The feeling was indescribable, the wilderness and unlimited steppe all around, the fresh, unpolluted air we breathed happily, the mountains shaping up in the distance and this light, this very bright light bathing everyone and everything.
I think it was in January 2016 that I started considering traveling to Mongolia and exploring that remote, little known country stuck between Russia and China. On an impulse I bought a one-way ticket to Ulan Bator and that’s pretty much when I started planning my next big trip to Asia – on month in…
Have you ever thought of dropping everything, quitting your job and traveling to faraway countries? Well, getting up one morning and walking out the door isn’t the hardest part of the trip. Here is my own personal to-do list before moving abroad.
I miss India. I miss it so much. I miss the smells and the spices, so very different from the colorless stuff that we get in Europe. I even miss the mouth-burning yogurt sauces, eyes-watering samosas and the stomach-ache that usually followed.