Showing posts from June, 2014

The glamorous life of adventure travel about which no one talks

Adventure travel is about seeing exotic places, doing exciting things, and pushing the limits. But what about those things that no one talks about... like after a long day of adventure, having to hand wash your clothes. These are some of my tips. Or... how to wash and dry your clothes when traveling. First, it helps to travel with quick dry clothing made of polyester or wool. In many countries small packets of soap or washing detergent can be bought. But if none is easily available I simply use shampoo or a bar of soap. I often travel with a flat round sink stopper that helps trap the water in the sink. Here's a tip to help you dry your clothes faster. After hand washing your clothes lay one of the items on a dry towel.
Roll up the towel with the item inside. Then twist the towel with your hands. The towel will absorb much more of the water from the clothing and thus the item will dry quicker.
Don't leave your clothing hanging inside the bathroom to dry. The bathroom is probab…

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay (descending dragon bay) is a world renowned tourist destination, Unesco world heritage sight and I was hoping that it would be a highlight of my trip. I booked a mini tour with APT Travel.  The next morning a bus picked me up in the Old Quarter of Hanoi and shuttled me and a group of about 20 to Ha Long Bay City. At the port we were joined by a second group.  Our tour guide Peter Zoom tried to organize the large group because we needed to fill in a registration form that was on one sheet. His instructions were not real clear so some people filled in the form incorrectly. As a result, we ended up spending about 1 1/2 hours trying to complete the form and waiting at the port. We were the last boat to leave the dock. Not a great start. Our boat was called Yen Ngoc. Like many of the boats that tour Ha Long Bay the boat was a traditional wood boat, traveled slow, three levels, sleeping quarters and a small staff of about five people operating it.
Once we boarded the boat we we…

Hanoi Explorations... Part 3

I found traveling around Hanoi to be relatively easy. There are a number of transport options such as buses, taxis, moto taxis and simply walking. Many of the tourist attractions are located in the central area called the Old Quarter. I was staying just west of the Old Quarter so I decided to take a bus to travel to the center.  It was easy enough to use Google maps to find my route and the nearest bus stop. Once I boarded the bus there was a ticket assistant that collected my fare which was 7000 dong.
Then to find my bus stop I tracked my movements with either google maps or a gps mapping app that I have called pocket earth. The #14 bus took me to the Hoan Kiem Lake stop and near the Old Quarter.
Today was Sunday, so I decided to check out the St. Joseph's  Cathedral and the mass. The cathedral is a noted landmark in the city, but also a very active parish.
I walked in and sat down on the right side. It did not take me long before I noticed that all of the people sitting around …