Permanent Vacasian

The traveller sees what he sees; the tripper sees what he has come to see. – G. K. Chesterton

Forget Phu Quoc

February 28, 2011
by Stuart
2 Comments
7,791 views

Saigon, Phu Quoc, and Con Dao, Vietnam – Full hotels, sold out ferries, closed restaurants, and about a million more motorbikes. That’s what Saigon was like when we visited last time – which was also the first night of Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. So, since we were in the neighborhood, we decided to stop by and see what the city was normally like.

Our second visit didn’t start out so well: We insisted the cab driver from the airport use the meter so he took the long way to our hotel, and I mean, long way, which ended up costing us over twice what it should have. Then the hotel got our reservation wrong and didn’t have a free room.

Courtyard;

Courtyard; “The Pain”, Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum

Fortunately in the backpacker section of town, all the hotels are basically the same, so we found a room just down the street, with a nicer owner who suggested a pho place nearby which made everything alright.
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Vigan is for eaters

February 15, 2011
by Tina
2 Comments
5,230 views

Norther Luzon, Philippines – The next stop on our itinerary was the Ifugao Rice Terraces in and around the town of Banaue. We were indecisive about going because the area is frequently fogged in and rainy – hiding the terraces from view – and with the luck we were having with weather, we weren’t sure it was worth the trip. But this is one of the highlights of the Philippines and a Unesco World Heritage Site so we decided to take our chances.

A typical tricycle.

A typical tricycle.

We arrived in Banaue in the early afternoon to a surprisingly sunny day with the people in town saying it was raining the day before and sun this soon was unusual. Knowing that it probably wouldn’t last, we quickly hopped in a tricycle (a motorbike with a sidecar that seats two) and headed up to the view points just outside of town. The tricycle broke down about a kilometer away from the first vista point and we decided to hoof it rather than wait for the driver to fix it. We knew that he would come find us eventually – we hadn’t paid him yet.

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Beggars Banquet

February 4, 2011
by Tina
6 Comments
6,249 views

Northern Luzon, Philippines – After spending the night in Laoag we took a bus a few hours north to Pagudpud, a beach dubbed the “Boracay of the north”. I’m not so sure how accurate a comparison that is – they are both beaches, sure, but Boracay has fine white sand and clear, calm water. Pagudpud has corse yellow sand and rough water. Boracay is littered with hotels, restaurants, stores and even more tourists. Pagudpud has a smattering of hotels, no restaurants or stores, and precious little people.

Welcome to paradise.

Welcome to paradise.

Staying true to form, it started pouring down rain as soon as we arrived – which put us in a good position to negotiate for a few dollars off the cost of our room. I was totally bummin’ that once again it was raining at the beach and decided to mope in the room, but Stuart coaxed me out and we thew on our rain coats and took a long walk along the beach. There are worse things to be doing than walking down a quite beautiful beach in the rain with the man I love – even a “Debbie Downer” like me had to admit that.

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