Archive for the ‘Vietnam’ Tag

Blowing my own trumpet   1 comment

YES!!! A commendation on the Intrepid Travel website for one of my pictures. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/inspirations/win/photocomps/2012_june_winners.php

Fair play to the winner.  A superb picture.  We had an amazing time travelling with this company through China and Vietnam.

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

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Posted 19/07/2012 by Stefan Palmer in Vietnam

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October 2011 – 12 by 12   Leave a comment

Continuing our damp Vietnam experience, Kerry and I spent my birthday in Saigon and had a great Mexican meal. We visited the scary tunnels where the Vietnamese took refuge during the war with the US. It was then our first plane trip of our adventure to Kuala Lumpar. What a great place that was, with the spectacular Protonus Towers and panoramic night time views from the KL Tower. It was in KL that we visited the Elephant sanctuary and had a brilliant day being entertained by those wise old animals. Finally during October we arrived in Australia for the next leg of our adventure…….

By Stefan Palmer

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

September 2011 – 12 by 12   Leave a comment

Further continuing the highlights of our first year of marriage

In September we managed to visit three countries. The end of the first part of our tour found us in Hong Kong – an amazing city where East truly meets West in a fusion of English road signs, dumpling houses and mega malls. We spent the day on the beach a stone’s throw from the skyscrapers, and hardly slept for three nights. It was there we met our second tour group, and continued into Southern China where we were fortunate to be invited to a Chinese family’s house for their Autumn festival celebrations – a traditional meal including… chicken feet!!!

The tour continued into Vietnam where we trekked in Sapa, the mountainous north, all steep hills, thick mists and incredible views. Next stop was Ha Noi where the tour officially ended, but the group decided to visit Ha Long Bay where we found ourselves marooned on a deserted island called Cat Ba after a day of deep water soloing and sea kayaking. As has been a tradition on this trip the quietest places were the most fun and an afternoon of Cat Ba Games and Cat Ba Karaoke we fell asleep to the sound of the sea.

We said goodbye to our new friends on the mainland and Stef and I continued southwards through Vietnam. We visited the ancient capital Hue before heading on to pretty Hoi An , then managed to find an excellent dive school in Na Trang and finally finishing in Saigon. My overriding memory of Vietnam is the rain. From the second we bid farewell to our tour group until we finally made our escape it rained. Poured in fact. Every. Single. Day. But what a country!

By Kerry Feely

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

Dig for Victory   Leave a comment

I drafted this post a couple of months ago.  Straight after our visit to the tunnels.  I always do this with the intention of adding the photos when I get around to processing them.  Unfortunately I appear to have lost the photos.  So to illustrate the post I have pulled a few pictures off the net.

Today we ventured out of Saigon to the Cu Chi Tunnels. About 65km out of the city. These tunnels were used by the Vietnamese during the war with America to evade capture and maim and kill US soldiers.  There were some lethal booby traps that we were shown and had gleefully demonstrated by the guides.   Some of the tunnels entrances were just uncomfortably small and obviously built for the slight Vietnamese soldiers.  One that wasn’t quite so small I climbed into (Kerry passed on the experience…..wisely).  Just the crouching and crawling 20m was unpleasant in semi darkness.  The soldiers were brave souls to navigate them, especially with shells and gunfire going on above ground and US troops looking for them.  The guys in front of me missed the exit in the dark and I had to call them back, it was all a bit disorientating. That was only level one. Each level down, the tunnels get smaller and smaller. Not for me.  Just to add to the experience on the same site was a gun range, so while we were clambering into the tunnels we could hear gunshots in the distance.  All in all a very disconcerting experience.

Again after a bright promising start to the day it bucketed down by lunchtime . The tunnel site had compressed clay footpath. You can imagine the state they were in pretty quickly.

Here’s a link to more info about them

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

Posted 16/12/2011 by Stefan Palmer in Vietnam

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Monkey Business Part Deux   Leave a comment

While visiting the temple in a cavern, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur,  we came across a colony of monkeys causing mischief and mayhem. They found every scrap of food available, discarded by tourists and a few scraps the tourists were still eating!

They were extremely interested in plastic bottles too.  While they can be quite a menace they are fascinatingly human…..

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

Posted 13/12/2011 by Stefan Palmer in Malaysia

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The Vietnam Seaside   Leave a comment

We stayed in Nha Trang for a week, diving, swimming, dodging the rain and generally doing very little else. It’s a nice little resort frequented by mainly Aussies, New Zealanders and oddly Russians cos it’s so close to home (like Brits travelling to Spain). The bay we sailed out of to get to our dive sites was fantastic. There is a pleasure park on an island opposite the main bay called Vinpark accessed by cablecar. A new shopping mall provided me with the opportunity to buy new sunglasses. The town planners had the forsight not to overcrowd the beach area. As a result there are only two bars (both with their own beach/lounger areas). The rest is lovely green gardens. A nice buffer zone with the main road, masking all sound. A leisurely breakfast overlooking the beach on our none dive days was great, even with the rain.  One evening we ate fresh crab on the beach prepared by a Vietnamese family.  It was amazing.  The family were friendly and grateful for the money.  It was nice to help real people make a living and not the corporate entities for once.

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

Posted 25/11/2011 by Stefan Palmer in Vietnam

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Siagon   Leave a comment

The city of Siagon conjured up images of exotic mystery. Does it live up to the hype? We arrived in Siagon at 05.00 after a seven hour over night train trip, in which Kerry attempted to sleep and failed. I edited photos. For a major city the streets were surprisingly empty. Immediately it struck me, even in the early hours, the city was for more affluent than Hanoi. The streets looked cleaner, there were more skyscrapers, more shopping malls and the residents were better dressed. Our hotel was smack bang in the centre, in district one. The street we were located on had shops of every possible variety. Barbers, hair salons, art shops, clothes, every conceivable resturants, books, stationary, gifts and electronics. It reminded me of a UK high Street 25 years ago, before out of town shopping centres took all the trade. The street sellers in this city shuffle and mubble around trying to sell fake lonely planets and cigars/cigarettes. Scooters were again in abundance…..everywhere. The French influence is evident is some of the older architecture. It was a welcome surprise to see a classy colonial style residence amongst the standard Vietnamese concrete construction. We stumbled across a very British feeling church while trying to find a coffee shop complete with neon halo. From the outside shot you can just see one of the huge shopping malls in the distance. Did Siagon live up to the hype? Yes and no. It was an interesting fusion of France and Asia with some American influences thrown in for good measure.  However more and more I see cities around the world becoming standardized, even westernised with familar global tech, food and hotel brands all available. I’ve seen this even in my short 20 years of travelling the world. What a difference our parents and grandparents must have seen in thier lifetimes of travelling! It was a welcome break to get out of the town to visit the Chi chi tunnels. It is only when we travelled out into the sticks did we see the real countries.  Not many photos on this post due to heavy rain again and when you’ve seen one mall you’ve seen them all.  I did get a stunning shot of the sunset as we flew over Vietnam en route to Malaysia though.

 

Stefan Palmer

Posted 19/11/2011 by Stefan Palmer in Vietnam

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