Time for a nice cup of tea

Time for a nice cup of tea

September 19-22

From Langkawi we flew back to the mainland to escape the heat for a few days in the old hill stations of the Cameron Highlands. We planned to catch up on some eating, go hill-walking, drink gin and cool down a little. As ever, our travel arrangements ran on well-oiled wheels. Continue reading “Time for a nice cup of tea”

The Retreat to Malaysia

The Retreat to Malaysia

13 – 15 September

After weepy farewells, we departed Hà Nội (though not for the last time, as it turned out), and resumed our travels.

There had been a surprisingly short discussion a few days earlier about our onward destination. The Rider, previously determined to backpack into the wilds of northern Laos and on into Cambodia, had apparently changed his mind. It is not for me to say what prompted this volte face – possibly spending too much recent time in primitive toilet facilities, and the not-unlinked loss of over a stone in weight. Just let it be noted that The Pillion, being a middle-aged wuss, was delighted to find herself aboard an Asian Airlines flight to Malaysia instead. Continue reading “The Retreat to Malaysia”

Ninh Binh: caves, cathedrals and pangolins (allegedly)

Ninh Binh: caves, cathedrals and pangolins (allegedly)

11 – 12 September

As there is no rest for the wicked, or even the elderly and sweat-stained, we were picked up at an obscenely early hour the next day by Newly-Married Son, who shunted us onto a minibus with his Father and Brothers, the Best Man and the Best Man’s lovely lady, all of them still sensibly asleep. Continue reading “Ninh Binh: caves, cathedrals and pangolins (allegedly)”

Trekking with the Hmong (and a tiny motorbike)

Trekking with the Hmong (and a tiny motorbike)

September 5-7

To spend time in the stunning northern mountains which are home to the surprising Hmong tribes, you take an overnight train from Hà Nội to Lao Cai.

We very nearly fell at this first hurdle. Despite written instructions from the hotel, and us telling him we wanted to go to Ga Hà Nội, our taxi dropped us off at the wrong station. Well, it did have a big rooftop sign saying it was “Ga Hà Nội”, the old French name still in use. We were certainly fooled, until a frantic phone call from Fifth Son convinced us otherwise. Continue reading “Trekking with the Hmong (and a tiny motorbike)”