Friday, July 13, 2012

Vietnam in Pictures


Well we are back from our Vietnam "Babymoon" and had an absolutely fantastic time. 

I have so many stories buzzing around in my head but for now I hope the following pictures will provide the essence of what our adventure entailed.

As it turned out, our time in Vietnam progressed organically through 3 different stages as we visited 3 completely different areas of the country - Culture Shock (Hanoi), Relaxation (Halong Bay) and Settling-In (Hoi An).


If you are looking to jolt yourself out of your normal every day life of parenting then I can thoroughly recommend starting in a city like Hanoi. It is so fantastically different that just a couple of hours in the city will leave you feeling like you've been away forever. Not least because you are so focussed on not being killed by a car, motorbike or Cyclo. We quickly learned that the key is to be completely committed to crossing the road. No sudden movements or hesitation. You just casually step on the road and proceed at a steady pace and watch all the different transport weave around you. Amazingly this system works so well and I did not see a single bit of road rage.

 The French influence is still strong in the city, in the architecture and the cuisine. They love their little birds, even if they hang the cages from high voltage power lines :-)
 Walking the streets of Hanoi was a total treat for the senses - the smells, the food, the colours and the historic sights were overwhelming.
Halong Bay

The second part of our trip was all about relaxation and to that end we went on a 3 day cruise around Halong Bay on a traditional Junk with Paradise Cruises.
 The boat sailed so peacefully around this beautiful World Heritage Bay. We ate, slept, read books, chatted, did Tai Chi on the top deck at Sunrise and Vietnamese Cooking at Sunset.
 The tiny limestone Islets are dotted with caves and we visited one of the largest in the Bay. We also went on some traditional Vietnamese row boats and the highlight was visiting one of the Floating Villages, which I will Post about next time.
Hoi An

Finally we were ready to settle-in and embrace some more of the Vietnamese culture and so we headed for the Ancient town of Hoi An.

Here, you just want to stroll the lantern-filled streets at night, visit the wet markets and indulge in more Vietnamese food. I swear I could eat this food forever.
 Hoi An had a really relaxed and bohemian vibe. I could have spent a lot longer here just watching the daily going-on's.
 We hired some scooters for a day to see the surrounding countryside and get to the beach. We carried on like two crazy teenagers without a care in the world. 
The "Bump" made its presence known while we were away and suddenly I found myself looking pregnant. Really pregnant actually. How did that happen?

While the highlight was visiting the Floating Village in Halong Bay, the lowlight was vomiting all over the Pianoman while on the back of his motorbike on our way to Red Bridge Cooking School. Unfortunately we missed doing the Vietnamese cooking class while I spent the afternoon wondering what on earth had caused it as well as rinsing out The Pianoman's clothes ready for our flight home that evening.

Needless to say, it's great to be home and I missed the Kids like crazy while we were away. We soaked up every inch of this trip knowing that it would not be a while before we would get the opportunity to do something like this again. Actually, 10 days felt like a very long time and I can honestly say if it is another 10 years before we get to go away like this again then so be it. 


  1. The photos are wonderful, it looks like a beautiful place and is on my wish list. Glad you had a relaxing time - but it's always good to be home!

  2. Wow! Colour me green. What an amazing holiday! Fabulous photos. Looks like you had a great time :D

  3. Wow!
    That trip just had it all.
    I'm loving these pictures - and that gorgeous bump.
    :-) xx

  4. We did almost exactly the same trip...10 years ago
    Loved every minute of it (that I wasn't being terrified about being killed on the roads)
    And the food...
    You look fabulous, happy and relaxes....glad it went so well...who needs Paris?

  5. Great photos. Looks like you had a great time and yes the bump has made itself very known. Hope you are well rested and no doubt you will need it for the next few months.

  6. God that looks absolutely divine. Really I feel so thrilled you could get a break away from the kids - though i know you would have missed them! And the baby! Look at you! Exciting times. I'm now thinking a Vietnamese holiday is in order.

  7. Um, that trip looks totally amazing Mel! And look at YOU! You gorgeous Mama with a bump, you look lovely. You two have to be the coolest parents ever, good on you for getting in and enjoying everything Vietnam had to offer.
    And that throwing up story is SO one of those ones you'll laugh about in the future, but I bet it was horrendous at the time. Can't think of anything worse than throwing up on someone... at least it was the love of your life I guess!
    Thanks for sharing your fabulous pics and stories xo

  8. welcome home
    the pictures show a really lovely holiday.
    I love your baby bump...suits you.

  9. Now that's the way to be pregnant- whooping it up on a scooter! Go girl!!! That baby will be a thrill seeker!

  10. Oh Mel, what a stunning post. I'm thrilled you had such a ball. And the photo of you two is fabulous. One for the pool room! J x

  11. I must have been living under a rock or something.

    I just saw your photo with your baby bump! Congratulations! (belatedly!)
    I must have missed reading your post re "the announcement".

  12. Oh my, you really have popped out. Anything after the first 3 children i think your body just thinks 'here we go again, expand' & da dah, you're super pregnant for the last 6 months!! You're looking beautiful & that time away is so precious. I bet your 4 children were so happy to have you home. Still getting used to you as a brunette, gorgeous as ever, love Posie

  13. Oh wow Mel, I feel like I've been on that holiday with you after seeing all your lovely snapshots. Thanks for sharing them with us. You're look fantastic too with your gorgeous bump!! x

  14. What fabulous photos and so love that you were roaring around the Vietnamese countryside on a scooter whilst pregnant! Woohoo!!!! The lantern and bird cage photos are divine! x

  15. You look gorgeous Mel! Glowy and very clearly pregnant! How'd the kids go whilst you were away?