Asia

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Yen Duc Village, Part 1

I know, I know. This is over a year old, but it's still worth posting, so gracias for your patience. Before arriving at our final destination of our time in Vietnam last May, I was a bit timid. Our boat ride in Bai Tu Long Bay had been a slight disappointment (in the management front, not the view!), and I had purchased an add-on day at a local village from Indochina Junk, the boat company, as they had a partnership with the local village. But when we pulled into Yen Duc Village, my humidity…

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The Road Back from the Mountains

Is that a book title or something? It sounds familiar. What is not as familiar is the landscape we traversed back from Sapa, where we tried cupping for the first time, met local friends who held our hands as we hiked inches in the mud, hiked down the terraces, with the water buffalo, and took a rope bridge to lunch. Sapa remains one of the most hidden places we've traveled, a misted land of ancient traditions and welcoming souls. As we drove further from the China border back into Vietnam (with…

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Hang Múa Mountain and Hoa Lư Temples, Vietnam

After our zenity serenity float through Ninh Binh's grottoes we asked our guide to take us to the long-hunted spot that I had seen photos  of months before. He added a bonus stop first, at the Hoa Lư temples. We learned from him a lot about these ancient spots, now just few ruins in a large cement park, but only a few tidbits of knowledge remain with me here, 3 months later. One was that one of the temples had shorter doors to signify that the army general who became emperor was not as…