Travel Blog - World Travel + Travel Photos

 

 Video Postcards - Travel Archives - My Lifetime of Travel - Site Map - Contact Me - Photo Index


29th July 2022

Back in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Back in Nha Trang after a few days in Kuala Lumpur to renew my visa. My arrival in Nha Trang was evenful - first the pilot had to abort the landing and go around for a second try (I am fairly sure he was about to land on the wrong runway - Nha Trang now has 2 runways) - then when I got to immigration my passport would not scan (when I left the guy had to try several times) and that got many people involved and eventually I was alowed in (well after the rest of the passengers had gone) although I have no idea what the problem was and was told nothing (it will be interesting to see what happens next time I leave the country).

----

25th July 2022

Nha Trang, Vietnam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I am now in Kuala Lumpur after flying from Nha Trang today. Air Asia started direct flights from Nha Trang to Kuala Lumpur which makes it easier to fly out of Vietnam (I don't have to fly via Ho Chi Minh City). Next month Air Asia starts direct flights from Nha Trang to Bangkok so that will probably be my next trip.

Photos of Kuala Lumpur Taken on a Previous Trip


----

24th June 2022

Vang Vieng to Vientiane, Lao

Another wonderful trip on the new Lao high speed train from Vang Vieng to Vientiane. The trip took just on an hour which is 3 hours quicker than the bus takes (and so much smoother). I have not mentioned that the Lao trains are very popular despite only been in operation for 6 months - the 3 trains I travelled were almost full. I am sure I will be back to do this trip again.

        Train Seats               1st Class Train Seats                     Arriving Vientiane Station 
                  Train Seats         1st Class Train Seats          Arriving Vientiane Station

----

23rd June 2022

Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng, Lao

I was pleasantly surprised with todays's trip as I thought I was going on the slow train again but it was the high speed train. Apart from the obvious speed difference for me the best thing was the seats - the slow train had bench type seats that were uncomfortable and had little leg room - the high speed train has "Airline Like" seats but with more leg room and so it was a "MUCH' better experience. The last time I did this trip was on a "VIP EXPRESS" bus that took 16 hours (no toilet on board) mainly due to multiple landslides - but the advertised duration was between 5 and 5.5 hours - todays trip took 45 minutes!
I am only staying in Vang Vieng overnight before continuing on to Vientiane. I think my train for tomorrow is the high speed train and I will try to take a couple of photos. I forgot to mention that the slow train has no food or drink available on board but the high speed train has a catering car (according to online info - I have not checked) that I will visit tomorrow if possible.

Nam Song River          Nam Song River          Nam Song River          Nam Song River
The Fast Flowing Nam Song River

----

22nd June 2022

Trip to Thailand & Lao

I am now in Luang Prabang in Lao after flying from Nha Trang to Bangkok via Saigon on to Udon Thani and accross the Thailand border to Vientiane in Lao. I had planned to catch the new high speed train from Vientiane to Luang Prabang but it was not running (no reason given) and the only option was the standard speed train. The seats on the train were uncomfortable and had little leg room. The trip took just under 3 hours with 3 stops along the way.
My hotel in Luang Prabang is right on the bank of the Mekong river. This evening I took a walk around the night market and also had a great stir fried chicken and ginger dish that cost 20,000 Kip (less than $2 Australian).
Tomorrow I am booked to travel by train from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng (I have done this trip before by bus that took 16 hours) again on the slow train and it should take less than 1.5 hours. I am spending only 1 night in Vang Vieng before travelling back to Vientiane for 3 nights and then back accross the border into Thailand on to Udon Thani. Only 1 night in Udon Thani and the fly back to Nha Trang via Bangkok and Saigon.
The 2 main reasons for the trip were to renew my Vietnam visa and travel on the new high speed Lao train. Hopefully when the Chinese border with Lao reopens the high speed train will operate and I may try again.

Vientiane Railway Station                     Luang Prabang Hotel View                    Lunch Mekong                    Ferry Across The Mekong
             Vientiane Railway Station    Luang Prabang Hotel View          Lunch Mekong           Ferry Across The Mekong              

----

28th May 2022

Flight Through My Scenia Bay Apartment

My 1st Indoor Drone Video

----

28th April 2022

Scenia Bay Swimming Pool

The Scenia Bay swimming pool on the 31st floor.

Scenia Bay Swimming Pool          Scenia Bay Swimming Pool

----

27th April 2022

My Apartment

Today I moved into my Scenia Bay Hotel and Apartment complex apartment and all is well. Tomorrow I will go shopping to stock up on food etc. The apartment is furnished and includes bed linen, microwave, rice cooker, pot, pans, cutlery and crockery.

Scenia Bay Balcony View                   Hon Chong Beach View
      Scenia Bay Balcony View      Hon Chong Beach View        

Scenia Bay Lounge and Bedroom     Scenia Bay Kitchen/Dining     Scenia Bay Spare Bedroom      Scenia Bay Bathroom
Lounge/Bedroom      Kitchen/Dining       Spare Bedroom      Bathroom

----

25th April 2022

Apartment Arranged

I have arranged to lease a furnished apartment in the Scenia Bay Hotel and Apartment complex for 12 months - I move in on Wednesday - the rent is 7.5 million a month which sounds a lot but equates to $326 US a month (or $105 Australian/week) and includes cable TV and unlimited high speed internet. The sea view apartment (I think all of the apartments have sea views) faces southeast and is on the 12th floor.
There is now a new local bus service (started 22nd April) operated by Futa Bus and has all new buses (orange). The 05-2 bus runs from north Nha Trang to the Vinpearl jetty - the route is very similar (but not exactly the same) as the previous number 4 bus.

----

24th April 2022

So Deserted

I have been coming to Nha Trang for more than 10 years and 10 years ago it was relatively quiet with only a few tourists (mainly backpackers) but it was not like it is now. It is deserted and not just missing tourists but even the locals seem to be staying home. The number of restaurants that have closed is amazing. Also the main central beach multi level shopping centre has lost 50% of its businesses - the supermarket is gone and also the top floor food court.
I visited the Scenia Bay Hotel and Apartment complex this morning and that has also suffered badly from the pandemic. Despite being a new development the bottom few floors that were supposed to become a shopping centre are empty and fenced off. It is hard for me to imagine that there will be a shopping centre there anytime in the next few years.
I got so hot and sweaty walking around that I stopped at the Blue Sea beach bar for a cold one.

Paradise
"Paradise Is" an ice cold beer at a tropical beach bar

----

23rd April 2022

Back in Nha Trang After Almost 3 Years Away

I am finally back in Nha Trang after a very long wait to return. Nha Trang has obviously suffered badly from the Covid Pandemic as the main beach area that is known (was known) as the "Tourist Area" is deserted without any tourists - also almost all of the restaurants have closed down (gone completely) plus a lot of the travel agents, cash exchangers, mini marts and even ATM's have gone. Also I noticed whilst coming in on the airport bus that a major beachfront waterpark has closed (it catered mostly to Russian tourists).
I am booked into the 4 star Maple Hotel ($20 US/night) in the central Nha Trang beach area for the next 4 nights whilst I find an apartment to rent. I am hoping to have a look at a few apartments tomorrow in the new 5 star Scenia Bay Hotel and Apartment complex in Northern Nha Trang.

Maple Hotel Pool    Nha Trang Beach    Vinpearl Land
Maple Hotel Pool    Nha Trang Beach    Vinpearl Land

----

22nd April 2022

Day Trip to Mekong Delta

I spent today on a day trip to the Mekong Delta. I have done a version of this tour before but decided to try it again. The Mekong Delta is a 1.5 hour drive from Saigon. Our group consisted myself, a Danish couple, a French couple, a Polish man, a German Girl and three Singaporean girls. Our first stop was the Vinh Trang Pagoda. Once we arrived at the Mekong we caught a boat to one of the Mekong islands to visit a honey farm. We then caught a smaller boat to another island where the main business was candy making using only natural ingredients (coconut, malt and natural fruit flavours) and no sugar. We then travelled to another farm for a folk music demonstration and lots of fresh local fruit. Then back on another boat to travel via one of the island canals for lunch at a local restaurant. All up an enjoyable day out.

Large Smiling Buddha    Reclining Buddha    Vinh Trang Pagoda    Vinh Trang Pagoda    Mekong Tourist Boat    Mekong Canal    Mekong Delta Lunch
Buddha Statues                    Vinh Trang Pagoda                    Tourist Boat            Canal             Lunch

----

21st April 2022

Here Again at Last!

I am now in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) after flying from Sydney yesterday afternoon - I flew Jetstar "Business Class" which is not business class and should be called "Premium Economy" because that is what it is (That is "Premium Economy" compared to Jetstar's standard "Budget Economy".
So a new chapter of travels begins although the Covid situation will be affecting things for a long time to come.
The check in procedure at Sydney airport was daunting, complicated and time consuming. But I do not have much sympathy for the airport management that blamed travellers for congestion, confusion etc. (particularly over the Easter period) the main cause was obviously the failure of airport and airline management to prepare for a return to more normal travel patterns. The arrival procedure at Saigon airport was well organised but still took people by surprise. A lot of people had the understanding that once they had provided all the health check and other information at Sydney check in that they would not have to do the same again on arrivaval - which is incorrect as the officials at Ho Chi Minh Airport were checking all passengers for "Health Declarations", Covid tests and Vaccination Status.
As a welcome back gift my taxi driver tried to charge me 10 times the charge on the meter and I had to get someone from my hotel to assist me.
I am staying at the Central Palace Hotel in downtown Saigon (Area 1, close to Ben Thanh Market), it is a 4 star hotel (no more "Mr. Cheap") and cost $27 US/night including breakfast. I spent most of the day in and around the rooftop pool relaxing (I have trouble relaxing), but also took  a stroll down to Ben Thanh market which was completely deserted.

Central Palace Hotel Rooftop Pool
Central Palace Hotel Rooftop Swimming Pool

I have booked a Mekong Delta tour for tomorrow to pass the time - I have previously done a Mekong Delta tour and was not impressed.
On Saturday morning I am flying to Nha Trang where I will be staying (for how long is unknown) - Nha Trang is were I have previously lived for 3 years. In keeping with the "No More Mr. Cheap Theme" I have booked 4 nights at the 4 star Maple Hotel whilst I get organised. I got a good deal I think at $22 AUD/night including breakfast (the hotel also has a private area on the beach with free sun lounges)

----

21st March 2022

Ready to Go!

I have booked my flights and hotel for my return to Vietnam. I still do not have a visa but am waiting on my application. I am leaving Cairns on 20th April - flying to Sydney and then on to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon. I have booked 3 nights in Ho Chi Minh City at the 4 star Central Palace Hotel - $27 USD/night including breakfast! I will then book my flight to Nha Trang where I will be living.

----

3rd January 2022

Happy New Year!

Another year with very little travel due to Covid but I am an optimist and believe that (finally) the worst is over. Despite ongoing high infection numbers the death rate is falling.

I am back in Cairns after flying to Sydney for the Xmas/New Year period (I had to get tested and get a Border Pass to be allowed back into Queensland).

I am still planning to return to Nha Trang, Vietnam to live but at this stage that will not be possible until the beginning of April. I may well go to Bali for a month as the border there is going to open early February.

----

30th November 2021

Brisbane Trip

I am now back in Cairns after my 2 day trip to Brisbane. Whilst I had no plans of what to do whilst there it was a refreshing break. I actually did nothing but walk around - The City, the river, the Botanical Gardens and South Bank. The weather forecast had been for rain both days but I struck no rain at all. I was surprised that the flight down and back were both almost full but the airport terminals at Cairns and Brisbane were deserted compared to the pre pandemic era and several businesses had closed.

Brisbane city was quite busy and the centre was operating as normal (compared to Cairns where the city centre is mostly deserted with many empty properties).

----

25th November 2021

1st Trip for More Than 2 Years

This coming weekend I am flying to Brisbane for two days just to go somewhere. I have not travelled away from Cairns since I returned here in July 2019. I am not going to Brisbane for any reason - just to "Get Away". I will not be doing anything whilst I am there (which is good as the weather forecast if for heavy rain). The pandemic appeared to be easing over the past few weeks but has now taken off again. I still plan to return to Vietnam to live but do not know when. My current plan (not really a plan) is to leave Australia at the end of Januarly next year - depending on conditions at that time this may change - plan A is to fly to Nha Trang, Vietnam to live as my base - Plan B is to go to Bali for 1 or 2 months and then on to Vietnam - Plan C is to go to Phuket, or Jomtiem, Thailand for 1 or 2 months and then on to Vietnem.

----

3rd June 2019

Time Off

I am about to take some time off travelling - perhaps a year or more. Feel free to browse all the photos etc. on this site.

----

7th May 2019

Working, Working, Nha Trang, Vietnam

I have been working to update the City Directory Sites (and all their listings) to make everything up to date and secure. This will be an ongoing effort for several months (like having a real job).

----

4th April 2019

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Visa Trip

On Saturday I fly to Kuala Lumpur to renew my Vietnam visa - this is something I have to do every 3 months now as Vietnam has stopped issuing 12 month Business visas (except for US citizens).
I do not have any trips planned for the rest of the year (other than visa renewal trips) as I am trying to save money. I will probably be returning to Australia to live within the next 12 months.

----

3rd March 2019

Bangkok, Thailand

Back in Thailand after a week in Laos - I will only be in Bangkok for 2 days before flying to Dalat, Vietnam, where I am staying overnight before catching the bus down the mountains to Nha Trang.

----

27th February 2019

Vang Vieng, Laos

Today I caught the bus from Vientiane to Vang Vieng - I arrived very relaxed probably due to the rough road as I imagine the 4 hour trip equates to a 4 hour massage. I visited Vang Vieng several years ago but arrived at 2am (during a major storm) and had to leave at 7am. Vang Vieng reminds me of Koh Chang (Elephant Island in Thailand) because it is a small, relaxed, hard to get to, location - but it is quite authentic (despite the backpacker tubing bars etc.)

Beer Lao, Vang Vieng
Liquid Gold, BeerLao, Vang Vieng, Laos

----

25th February 2019

Vientiane, Laos

After a relaxing 3 weeks in Thailand I have moved on to Vientiane, Laos, where I have been several times before. I am here for a week, during which time I will be eating the local food and having a few beers (Beerlao, my favourite beer). It is unseasonally hot in Vientiane at the moment (36-37C) but thankfully not very humid. On Saturday I fly back to Bangkok for a couple of days before returning to Nha Trang, Vietnam, via Dalat.

----

4th February 2019

Smiling in Thailand

I am now in Jomtien, Thailand, where I lived for 4 years from 2009 - I am visiting friends and having a holiday - I will be here for 3 weeks before flying to Laos for a week and then home to Nha Trang, Vietnam. I am staying at the Arcadia Beach Resort, a new condo resort complex - I have rented a 1 bedroom apartment and so far am impressed - it is "Up Market" compared to my usual "Mr. Cheap" locations but at around $20 US a night it is good value.
I have no special plans whilst I am here other than to try and force myself to relax.

Arcadia Beach Resort Pool
The View From My Apartment at Arcadia Beach Resort

----

2nd February 2019

Dalat, Vietnam

Caught the bus from Nha Trang to Dalat yesterday on my way to Thailand - Dalat is about 130 kilometres from Nha Trang in the mountains and it was quite cool this moring at around 12C which is about 10 degrees colder than Nha Trang.
 I am flying from Dalat to Bangkok today and then catch the bus to Jomtien tomorrow - I will be spending 3 weeks in Jomtien visiting friends and relaxing before flying to Vientiane, Laos, for 1 week - then back to Bangkok for 2 days, Dalat for 1 night and then bus back to Nha Trang.

----
Previous Page

----

This is the travel blog of Tony Saunders covering my World Travel from 2006

I am the Webmaster of the following Business Directories:

Sydney City Directory

London City Directory

Melbourne City Directory

Birmingham City Directory

Brisbane City Directory

Leeds City Directory

Adelaide City Directory

Liverpool City Directory

Perth City Directory

Manchester City Directory