Archive for May, 2008

Published by Linda on 29 May 2008

Vietnam – Hanoi & Halong Bay

Ahem……..Gooooooooooood Morning Vietnaaaaaaaaam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry just had to!! Well I arrived in Hanoi, it’s as you would imagine bodies and mopeds everywhere!! it is all goooood though :-) Totally mental. I was warned that it’s really hard to cross the road here but I think Cork being the jay-walking capital of Europe has helped a lot!! Just gotta keep going and they don’t run you over. Really warm here, even some of the locals look a little overcooked these last few days! I reckon it must be 34 or 35 degrees. Pretty hot for walking around in!! Doesn’t help being so white because they constantly try to sell you stuff. Most of it is pineapples or “tat” but I’m determined not to buy any tat!!!! Went to see a water puppet show which wasn’t completely my scene but entertaining nonetheless!

Headed up to Halong Bay on monday just overnight. Got to spend a night on a boat which I was really looking forward to in theory, the reality was hot and sweaty!! Very enjoyable trip though, really beautiful scenery and we had the boat to ourselves which was a real treat. Also had some seriously good seafood straight out of the the South China Sea. Crabs are Gooooooooood!!!! In fact all the seafood is really good.

 

 

Did some cultural things today, including the Ho Chi Minh Museum, got to see the man himself, well in preserved format anyway. Little bit creepy though as his wish was to be cremated. Anyway the man is a GOD here so we went to check him out. Also went to see The Museum of Literature and Hanoi “Hilton” which is the prison where they kept political prisoners. Now that was a bit disturbing considering it wasn’t that long ago.

Tonight we begin our journey south and are getting an overnight train south to Hue where I’m planning to do nothing cultural and just chillax on the beach. The train journey is sure to be pretty nasty so I’ll fill y’all in on that in the next few days……..

There are 8 of us in the group now and everyone seems lovely. We’ll have more joining us along the way!!

More photos on http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindybear/sets/72157605298213792/

Published by Linda on 23 May 2008

Hong Kong Continued

Had a huge stroll around Hong Kong on Sunday. Loads to see here, especially all the tall buildings. website nameservers . Seanie told me all the names of them but I didn’t retain much of them. What’s interesting or scary, depending on how you look at it, is that they use bamboo for scaffolding here. Dad I know you’d be freaking out at that!!!!

Finished out the afternoon by taking a tram ride up to the peak for some great views of Hong Kong. The only thing is HK is quite smoggy so even though this was a lovely day, the air isn’t very clear.


More photos on http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindybear/sets/72157605119881394/

Published by Linda on 23 May 2008

Chillaxing in Phuket

Hey all, so I decided to temporarily escape from Hong Kong and take a few days out relaxing before the tour starts on monday. Flew down to sunny Phuket. Man is it hot there!!!! Had to spend most of my time in the shade or I would have burnt to a crisp. Now usually if a place has Starbucks or Boots chemists and the like, I consider it to be officially ruined but I stayed off the beaten track a little which was much nicer.

The beaches are lovely here too, quite unspoilt which is a treat. Serious waves here for any surfers among us – Mick O’Connell you’d be in your element – probably for more reasons than that too :-)

As luck would have it I also met an old friend of mine here, Pam, who will be living here for the next few months. It was great to catch up with her as it had been way, way too long.

The Thai people are so friendly and nothing is too much trouble. They do, however, ask you sooooo many questions, What’s your name? What age are you? Where are you from? Where are you going? Who are you with? How long are you here for? And this was just a guy selling his wares from a street side stall! Now I am armed with my Lonely Plant guidebook which does warn that they will ask a load of questions, they don’t perceive it as an invasion of privacy. So the book gave sample questions including… What weight are you? I kinda thought, come on, they’d never ask you that!!! So out he comes with it…….What weight are you? I just had to laugh and said…. what? like in kilos???

No visit to Thailand would be complete without a traditional thai massage which come at the bargain price of 5 – 7 euros. So I ventured in and was met by a quintessentially teeny tiny Thai lady. (Lads they’re like a different species, especially when they’re stood next to a feckin pale freckled giant!!!) However, she didn’t feel quite so tiny when she was walking up and down my back!!! It was great though and I left with all my joints cracked and feeling like I did almost as much work as she did but completed re-energised and relaxed (or at least as relaxed as I can get) Oh and before any of you ask, no, I did not ask for or receive a “Happy Ending”

To finish off I should probably mention the Mosquito War. Up until the ripe old age of 29 I have never been bitten, EVER!!! The little feckers more than made up for it this time though. So on winged side approximately 40 BILLION mosquitos and on my side, little old me, a newly acquired bottle of repellant and a disgruntled lizard who I EVENTUALLY managed to gently coax into my room on my last night (alright, alright I hunted him into my room) Anyhoo I survived without getting any new bites so I was delighted. I am painfully aware that Round 2 is about to begin in Vietnam, but for now, I am happy to be quietly satisfied with the outcome of this particular battle.

This little guy is just turning red after jumping onto a nearby chair.

Didn’t take piles of photos but there’s another couple on http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindybear/sets/72157605211347648/

Published by Linda on 18 May 2008

Hong Kong

Howdy, it’s currently 6am on Sunday in Hong Kong and I can’t sleep, even though I only went to sleep at 3am after a night out! So I said I might update y’all with some mindless rubbish. Arrived on friday, we were waiting at Heathrow on the plane for 90 minutes which you never psych yourself for!! But got 3 seats on the plane so all was forgiven :-)

Hong Kong is quite different than I expected, not sure what I expected to be honest but it’s all good. Very clean city and I’m crashing in my friend Sean’s place which is really central. The only drawback are the dried fish shops on his street aren’t the best on a hangover. The weather has been kind too, not too hot or that humid which is unusual for here but good for acclimatising. I’m down to wearing two layers which is good for me coz I’m a coldy cat!!

Headed out friday and last night. Met lots of Sean’s friends who made me feel really welcome. There’s a huge ex-pat community here and everyone knows everyone (bit like Cork, like!) It’s nice, they have a good group. There is a kind of “bar street” area which is mental but good for vodka jelly shots (yes, yes I know what happened the last time!! I blame you Avian :-) ) We mainly hung out at a few more chilled out places around there. This is Michelle, myself and Sean. (sorry about the photo Sean but you looked like a corpse in the other ones!!)

My plan was to head into China but with the Olympics this summer it’s much more difficult to get a visa (god knows why, you’d think they’d want people to go!!!) So now I’m waiting until Monday to get a last minute beach break at the travel agents – may or may not work out, we’ll see.

Going to be back in Hong Kong next weekend anyway, I fly from here to Hanoi on the 25th. Hong Kong is a great buzzy city and I’d recommend it but you tend to hemorrhage money here so not quite in my backpacker league :-) Wouldn’t mind meeting another few on the trail anyway but first things first – a few chillaxy days on the beach, now let me see, where to……..

P.S. More photos on my flickr site.

Published by Linda on 13 May 2008

The Goodbye

It’s so hard to say goodbye to everyone, I feel really sad :-( I know I’ll home before I know it but goodbyes suck big time). And that’s why I have to get a cab to the airport!!! Airports make it worse than it is. Shed a good few tears tonight and there’ll be more tomorrow I bet. Emotional Bear at her best! The lead-up was too long, I should have decided to go last week and left this week!!

Anyway only one more day left at home and then it’s Hong Kong for Lindy. I promise the blogs will get better and cheerier then :-) All this pre-departure stuff is really just for me to look back on. Great to have this site, so once again thanks Donal, you’re a star :-)

P.S. Thanks again to everyone, you’ve all been so great. Will miss you all so much.

Published by Linda on 12 May 2008

Packing……

…………what the hell do you take for a year??? I had a rough idea and had everything laid out ready to pack in my fantastic rucksack on wheels (i know, i know) Kept putting it off for ages, so I started to pack tonight. Everything fitted in BUT you couldn’t tell what was on the bottom layer and would have ended up pulling loads of stuff out to find things. Got REALLY annoyed because I’m pretty organised and I like to be able to see everything. So I decided to switch it up a little (probably goes against all golden rules of packing) still rolled everything but have them standing up instead of lying down. So here are my clothes for the next 12 months……

My house for the next 12 months!!!!!

Pretty neat eh? You can see everything and can extract one thing at a time. You wouldn’t believe how much is in there!!! Even have an empty 15 litre pouch at the front for laundry. Yeah for Lindy (God I’m such a nerd!!) It isn’t too heavy either, any weight in it is down to the feckin toiletries which I’m not going to get annoyed about because I love my potions…… :-) I think this means I’m ready to go……

P.S. Thank god it’s a year of summer, there’s no way a winter wardrobe could have fit in there too :-)

Published by Linda on 10 May 2008

The Send Off

The GirliesHonestly everyone has been so good for saying goodbye and marking the occasion with a few drinkies. I know I might come across as ungrateful but if I started to show appreciation, I’d burst into tears! I’m pretty emotional and easily get teary eyed!

Johnny & KateKenny & Lindy

So thanks to everyone for the best send-off. I’ll miss everyone so much. Stay in touch, no big emails necessary, just line here and there or a text would be great. 

 

Lindy & HughWork Gang

YEAH!!!!!!

Published by Linda on 10 May 2008

First Travel Blog……

………..okay so I haven’t actually left yet but my world tour is beginning on May 15th and I’m hoping to log some of the highlights here on myspace. I’m pretty much ready to go now. Have my flights, visas, aussie bank account and most of my vaccinations sorted and it’s all getting a bit scary……. Why the hell didn’t I do this when I finished college???? Getting too old to be reckless! Anyway, I guess I’ll put off growing up for a year or so.

Starting my trip in Hong Kong (to my friend Seanin) & China for a couple of weeks and then I’m going on a tour (where I’m sure I’ll be the granny of the group!!) of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Malaysia. That will take me up to July 12th and then I’m off to Darwin where I’m planning to work for a few months. 

I’m also getting a wee bit lonely now, I’m really, really going to miss everyone here. Boo :-( Once I’ve left I’m sure it’ll be all good, it’s just I’m already saying goodbye to people. Even though this has been planned for a good 18 months and felt like it would never come around, the last couple of months have gone by in a blur! I only have 4 weeks of work left!!

Anyhoo that’s about it for now. Will start my blog properly once I’ve left the green isle.

Lindyloo