Random Travel Notes

January 17, 2011

1. I love exploring a city on foot, getting lost & finding hidden places that you would otherwise never have come across. Some of our best meals in foreign cities have happened this way, by stumbling upon a random little gem.

2. A hot, steamy shower at the end of a long day is pure bliss.

3. Every time I pay for a meal in Vietnam or Thailand I still feel the need to say to Ben, “all this cost $2!!”

4. I actually really enjoy getting massages & spa treatments. Prior to this trip I had had 2 manicures in my life & the same number of massages. & I kind if prided myself on that fact. Now I’m a little addicted…

5. Without meaning to sound patronising, I love how ‘simple’ life is here in Vietnam & Thailand. Family, work (often family businesses), food, life. Less drama, less distraction, more life.

6. I wholeheartedly believe that the best food in Vietnam & Thailand is not found in restaurants, it is found on the street or roadside cafes.

7. Yoga is a great way to start the morning. It helps me to focus my energy (usually I run in the morning, but in large, crowded, manic cities this can be troublesome) & helps keep me *cough* regular – let’s just say my body is used to wholegrains, which are noticeably absent in most Asian cuisines.

8. Travelling together highlights how similar Ben & I are. We both enjoy the same sightseeing activities, love exploring a city in a more off-beat way, get sick of clothes shopping but love anything to do with food (hello supermarkets!) & find great happiness in searching out local hangouts & trying to blend in. Ben often achieves this (so many locals have questioned “you Vietnam?”), but I kind of standout. In fact they take pictures of me. And then I blush & go red.

9. I am terrible at haggling. No need to expand on this, it is a fact. Ben, on the other hand, loves to play the game & sees it as a sport. Most of the time he wins.

10. Hairdressers in Vietnam love funky, 80s styles & play early 90s music.

11. Beer tastes better when you’re on holidays.

12. Long bus/train rides are a nice way to catch up on some reading, sleeping or do a little writing. Right now we’re on our way back to Hanoi from a day trip to Hoa Lu & Tam Coc (beautiful inland caves reached by boat). We rode bicycles between the towns. It was fabulous. I’m only just able to feel my toes again – it’s slightly chilly up the north of Vietnam!

Hanoi is such a fantastic city, I’m a little in love.

Tomorrow we are off to Halong Bay, staying overnight on a boat & doing some kayaking. I’m so looking forward to it.

Heidi xo

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  • Kath (Eating for Living) January 18, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Thank you for sharing! It's great you have such a wonderful time! I often think that, as a couple, you really get to know each other when travelling together. It's good to know you're of the same kind! 🙂

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) January 18, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I couldnt agree more re the best food being from street vendors! I am sure that I broke every travel insurance rule when I travelled to Thailand 🙂

  • Anh January 18, 2011 at 10:36 am

    HAHAHA! The comment about Vietnamese hairdresser cracked me up. lol THEY NEVER CHANGE these hairdressers!

    have a great trip xoxoxo

  • Merowyn January 18, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Gorgeous little quips, beautiful little memories. I agree about the street food thing but I'm so damn scared I'll get food poisoning. Ha! When I was a little kid I would eat the food as if it was going out of fashion, now I'm probably overly cautious hahaahaha

  • Hannah January 18, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Wonderful wonderful! And I agree with so many of your points, either from experience or hypothetically (as I haven't been to these countries myself). One of my favourite things when traveling is just to walk out of my hostel/hotel and wander, which usually leads to the second favourite thing: exploring supermarkets 🙂

    I, too, am completely hopeless at and uncomfortable with haggling… and how I wish I could be having cheap regular massages right now! Keep having a fantabulous time, Heidi!

  • Kelsey January 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    ive been searching all over for travel deals. i NEED to get out of this little city and explore, anywhere! these tips are fantastic and theyre making me want to get out even sooner hehe <3

  • xoxo E January 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Your picture taking is phenomenal 🙂

    Just to let you know, I nominated you for the Stylish Blogger Award – see here: http://flyinfoff.blogspot.com/2011/01/stylish-blogger-award.html

  • msihua January 18, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    You're having such an exciting time! I can't wait for you to come back to do a proper full lenght post , but this is an awesome live blog 🙂

  • The InTolerant Chef January 18, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    The street food is definately better than the stylized food of restaurants geared for tourists. I think if must have an addiction, a spa addiction is one well worth cultivating!

  • KittyCate January 18, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Looks like you're having a lovely time!
    I nominated you for a blogger award hun – http://allcatsaregrayatnight.blogspot.com/ xx

  • Anna Johnston January 19, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Couldn't agree more, the street food is amazing & I'm the same as you…., I can never believe I've had such awesome food for $2 🙂 Keep having the best time, love your updates.

  • this is me without you January 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Your holiday is looking amazing!!! I hope you keep having a wonderful time, and enjoying delish food.

    I've nominated you for a Stylish Blogger Award!


  • Heidi January 19, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    hehe I'm glad you've liked this post, lovelies. Sorry for yet again another quick reply. there is much to do in Hanoi tonight (i.e. there is dinner to track down!). Halong Bay was wonderful. & tomorrow we've booked in to do another cooking course – a last minute decision. cooking course trumps museums, right?? hope so!

    Thank you so much to xoxoE, Cate & this is me without you! I feel very special 🙂 from what I gather, I hand it on & tell 7 things about myself? I will do this soon, hopefully. Thanks so much again, I am stylish, apparently – how lovely 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Jacqui January 21, 2011 at 2:50 am

    Heidi I love the way you write!:)
    Happy to hear you are having a wonderful trip!:)
    Keep on the updates!

  • Milly January 23, 2011 at 3:27 am

    Loving your blog… I'm following!

    Would love you to enter my giveaway:



  • Ashley January 27, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Lovely little travelling thoughts! And I agree with a lot of them (although I am a clothes shopping addict still. ;)) Your assortment of instagram photos is a lovely touch too! 🙂