Ha Long Bay on a budget and away from the crowds

Ha Long Bay

About 5 hours from Hanoi in northeast Vietnam lies Ha Long Bay; a UNESCO world heritage site with 1,600 limestone islands sprouting from emerald coloured sea.

Anyone taking a trip to northern Vietnam will most likely pay a visit here as it’s one of country’s most well known attractions.

The problem with it being such a popular tourist attraction is that there are a huge amount of tour agencies competing with each other, a lot of them offering expensive, poor quality trips.

With arranged boat tours from Hanoi having a reputation for cramming 30+ people on poorly maintained boats and providing a crowded and rushed experience, it was hard to know which agency to go with.

I’m a fan of doing things independently wherever possible but it was proving tricky to find a way.

Then I heard about Cat Ba Island… Read more

Bag snatching in Ho Chi Minh City

I met a lovely French girl on a bus in Laos who, after the usual exchange of travel plans, told me she got mugged in Ho Chi Minh City (AKA Saigon). Luckily there was another westerner nearby who responded to her screams and tackled the criminal to get her bag back. “It’s a great place, just be very careful with your bag” she said. Considering Adam and I had plans to be living there for nearly 3 months, I was thankful she warned us even though I was yet to discover how common an issue it is.

Unfortunately, even after being warned, I wasn’t so luckyRead more