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6th June 2024

Da Nang, Vietnam

I have now settled into my apartment and sorted local shopping and transport.
I had been considering (and planning) a trip to Europe in June but have now cancelled that idea. I will be doing a "Visa Run" mid June and have decided to make it into a short holiday. I fly Da Nang to Bangkok on June 15th, stay 1 night then fly to Vientiane, Lao for 5 nights followed by a flight to Luang Prabang, Lao for 2 nights and back to Vientiane and Bangkok before flying home to Da Nang. Trip includes 9 nights accommodation and 6 flights.

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24th March 2024

Da Nang, Vietnam

I am now back in Vietnam and today I moved into a serviced studio apartment in Da Nang. The apartment is within a hotel called "My Hometel" although I don't think it operates as a hotel anymore just permanent rentals. It is about 300 metres from the beach and about 1 kilometre south of the main beach/expat/tourist area. My rent includes high speed Wifi, drinking water, linen change, cleaning and electricity.

Lounge-Bedroom    Kitchen-Dining    Bathroom    Swimming-Pool    Rooftop-View
Lounge-Bedroom                Kitchen-Dining           Bathroom          Swimming Pool                   Rooftop-View    

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16th March 2024

Cairns, Queensland, Australia

I am now in Cairns and will be here until 20th March. I am enjoying my time here although it is very quiet with an obvious shortage of tourists. I have just received a new 90 day visa for Vietnam (I had problems) and have booked flights etc. to return to Vietnam:
20th March fly Cairns to Brisbane and then Brisbane to Ho Chi Minh City
Arrive early am 21st March Ho Chi Minh City and later that day fly on to Da Nang
Booked for 3 nights at the Celina Hotel whilst I look for an apartment.

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11th March 2024

Kuta Beach, Bali, Indonesia

I was unable to get a new Vietnam visa (long story) so I had to leave. I went to Kuala Lumpur for 3 nights and then on to Bali. I arrived here on the 7th March and leave for Cairns on 14th March. I have booked 4 nights in Cairns and also re-applied for a Vietnam visa. I am hopeful my visa will be approved as I have not done anything wrong. Assuming my Vietnam visa is approved (3 months single entry) I plan to live in Da Nang. I have visited Da Nang several times and have considered moving there before. Nha Trang (where I lived for 4 years) has lost it appeal for me (mainly due to COVID) and I do not think it will recover any time soon.
Today in Bali is the public holiday of Nyepi - it is a Hindu religious holiday and erveryone (yes everyone) is required to stay indoors at home and be silent. The holiday lasts from 6am today to 6 am tomorrow (even the airport is closed for 24 hours).


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10th February 2024

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Happy Lunar New Year!

Golden Dragon - Pattaya, Thailand
The Year of the Dragon

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12th January 2024

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Yesterday I signed a 12 month lease for a 2 bedroom apartment on the 27th floor of the Oceanus Complex in northern Nha Trang - I also moved in yesterday. I have an ocean facing apartment with great sea views from the main bedroom as well as the balcony. The Oceanus is about 300 metres south of Scenia Bay where I lived for 12 months prior to moving to Laos. On the ground floor there is a supermarket, a great deli and lots of small restaurants.
I had been undecided about where to live this time around as rents have increased a lot over the past 12 months (up to 50%). My decision came down to location and cost. The Oceanus is beachfront on Hon Chong beach and also on the bus route to town (about 5 kilometres south). I could have rented places for less but not with the location - the more expensive places were not in better locations but simply slightly better quality. I am paying 10.5 million vnd a month which sounds like a lot but equates to around 150 AUD a week (a similar place in Australia would probably be $700+ per week).
The photos below were taken 4pm this afternoon (note the shadows from the buildings) - the first 2 were taken from the main bedroom through the window which confused my camera's autofocus so they are bit fuzzy) the other 3 were taken from the balcony.

Hon Chong Beach    Hon Chong Beach    Hon Chong Beach    Hon Chong Beach    Hon Chong Beach
Hon Chong Beach From My Apartment

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10th January 2024

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Back in Nha Trang after some drama getting here. First my Airasia flight was cancelled (they did give me a total of $60 in food vouchers plus a night at the Holiday Inn at the airport (+$30 hotel credit) and $60 credit voucher in my Airasia account). The following day my flight was cancelled again but I managed to get transferred to another flight.
Finally arrived yesterday afternoon and checked into the Smile Hotel which is wonderful - I do not understand how I did not know of it until now - it is a 3 star hotel (with rooftop pool) in the Tourist Area near the beach - my first impression is that it may well be the "Best Value" hotel I have ever stayed at (anywhere in the World) at $18/night!!
This morning for breakfast I had a premium Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich), 25,000 vnd ($1.50), changed some cash - $1030 Australian dollars became 16,436,740 Vietnam Dong. I then went to Viettel and got a new SIM card for 650,000 vnd ($40) 3 months access with unlimited phone calls and texts plus 8 gb of data Per Day. Next stop was the barber for a haircut (50,000 vnd - $3).
I have arranged to inspect an apartment at the Muong Thanh Luxury Hotel on the beachfront in the central Nha Trang tourist area. I will not be able to move in until the 1st February but if I like it I will just stay at the Smile Hotel until then.

Smile Hotel Pool              Banh Mi
Smile Hotel Swimming Pool          Banh Mi                 

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1st January 2024

Bundeena, Australia

Happy New Year!

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28th December 2023

Sydney, Australia

I went on a self guided day trip today from Bundeena to Parramatta and back - I started by taking the Bundeena Ferry to Cronulla followed by train to Circular Quay (Sydney) and the River Cat Ferry up the river to Parramatta. I made the return trip by train from Parramatta to Cronulla and then the ferry back to Bundeena.

Bundeena Ferry        Circular Quay Sydney        Parramatta River Cat
      Bundeena Ferry        Circular Quay      Parramatta River Cat

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25th December 2023

Bundeena, Australia

Merry Christmas!

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3rd December 2023

Bundeena, Australia

I am now in Australia (arrived 11th November) where I will be staying until early January next year. I am staying with relatives in Bundeena (a suburb of Sydney).
I do not have any solid travel plans whilst I am here but will have a few day trips around the Sydney area.
I am booked to fly to Nha Trang, Vietnam on the 7th of January via Kuala Lumpur and will be staying in Nha Trang for at least a year.

Bundeena Ferry    Jibbon Beach, Bundeena
Bundeena Ferry and Jibbon Beach

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2nd November 2023

Vang Vieng, Lao P.D.R.

I am in Vang Vieng for a few days as part of my "Goodbye Laos" tour. Below are a couple of photos taken from the rear balcony of the Domon Hotel where I am staying. I arrived yesterday from Vientiane on the high speed train. I travelled in 1st class this time as it was only a few dollars more than 2nd class. The first class carriage was almost full which surprised me as the last time I caught this train it was empty

Vang Vieng, Laos    Vang Vieng, Laos
The View From The Rear Balcony of the Domon Hotel in Vang Vieng, Laos

Drone Video of Vang Vieng Mountains, Town and Nam Song River.


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23rd October 2023

Vientiane, Lao P.D.R.

Just got back from a weekend away in Luang Prabang, Laos. I again flew with Lao Skyway as it is faster and cheaper than the train. Luang Prabang is my favourite place in Laos because, in my opinion, it is the most authentic city in the country and fairly undeveloped.
The highlight of my visit was a trip to the night market which mostly sells local merchandise and also has an excellent food court selling "Street Food". This will be my last visit to Luang Prabang (I have visited 4 times including 3 in the last 6 months) as I am returning to Australia next month for a while, after which I will probably return to live in Vietnam.

Luang Prabang Nigh Market    Luang Prabang Nigh Market    Luang Prabang Nigh Market    Luang Prabang Nigh Market    Luang Prabang Nigh Market

Luang Prabang Nigh Market    Luang Prabang Nigh Market    Luang Prabang Nigh Market    Luang Prabang Nigh Market
Luang Prabang Night Market

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9th October 2023

Vientiane, Lao P.D.R.

Tomorrow I am catching the bus to Udon Thani, Thailand. I will be staying for 5 days to align
my visa dates. This is my last "Visa Run" as I am leaving Laos on November 13th and returning to Australia via Bangkok.
I have also booked flights and hotel for a weekend away to Luang Prabang as a "Goodbye Laos" trip. I will also be going to Vang Vieng by train sometime before I return to Australia.

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12th August 2023

Nong Khai, Thailand

Another monthly "Visa Run" to Nong Khai. Whilst I prefer Udon Thani to Nong Khai the Nong Khai trip is shorter and takes only 2 hours each way. I had been thinking about a trip to Vang Vieng but the monsoon season has started and it seems like it rains most days in Vang Vieng. I may go to Vang Vieng next month when the rains ease.

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19th July 2023

Vientiane, Lao P.D.R.

Back in Vientiane after a trip to Udon Thani in Thailand for visa renewal.

I do not have any plans at the moment but I may take a trip on the high speed train to Vang Vieng sometime in the next month.

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26th June 2023

Vientiane, Lao P.D.R.

I have just had a quick trip to Luang Prabang for the weekend. I flew there and back with Lao Skyway a budget airline I have not flown with before. The plane was a Chinese built Xian MA60 a twin engine turboprop - and the trip was uneventful in both directions. The total cost of the flights was less than $50. This is the third time I have visited Luang Prabang since Covid (4 times total) and whilst there are still some tourists around (mainly backpackers) the volume is well down on pre Covid levels.

Xian MA60
Lao Skyway Xian MA60

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12th June 2023

Nong Khai, Thailand

I am in Nong Khai, Thailand, just overnight as a "Visa Run" to get a new 30 day Lao tourist visa. I caught the International bus from Vientiane to Nong Khai and all went smoothly - the entire trip took less than 2 hours including exit and entry procedures.
I have been to Nong Khai once before for a single day visit and was not impressed. I would describe it as a nothing town.

International Bus Vientiane to Nong Khai                                       Golden Buddha Statue Nong Khai
International Bus Vientiane to Nong Khai          Golden Buddha Statue Nong Khai

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23rd May 2023

Vientiane, Lao P.D.R.

I am now in Vientiane, Lao, at the Belle vie Apartments which has both a swimming pool and a gym. I moved in on 15th May and have pre-paid 6 months rent on a serviced studio apartment.
The complex is not far from the centre of town but not near the Mekong Riverfront area.
I have a 30 day tourist visa and have not decided yet wether to get a longer duration visa or simply catch the bus to Thailand each month for a "Visa Run".

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7th May 2023

Nha Trang, Vietnam

The apartment I had arranged to rent is no longer available and so I will just go to Vientiane, Laos, and look for an apartment whilst staying in a hotel. I would like an apartment in a complex with a pool and gym but there are very few like that so I may have to settle for less.
I do not have a set time for staying in Vientiane and had originally planned to get a "Long Stay Visa" for 12 months. I have since decided to stay for 6 months to determine if I would like to stay longer.

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26th April 2023

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Today I moved out of Scenia Bay where I lived for the past 12 months. I am booked into the 4 star Royal HPM Hotel in the central beach area of Nha Trang which is close to the beach and many restaurants. Nha Trang has not recovered (at all!) after Covid - it is a tourist city with one thing missing "Tourists". Despite my hotel being 4 stars and central I am paying less than $14 US per night for the 16 nights I will be here. I plan to be like a tourist whilst I am here and eat in a different restaurant every day.

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25th March 2023

Nha Trang, Vietnam

I have now got my plans in place for the move to Laos. Once my lease at Scenia Bay ends (26th April) I have booked the Summer Hotel in the central beach area of Nha Trang until I fly to Bangkok on 12th May. After 2 nights in Bangkok I fly to Vientiane and move into the apartment at AS Apartment.

  AS Apartment Swimming Pool                           AS Apartment Garden Area
AS Apartment Swimming Pool      AS Apartment Garden Area

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19th February 2023

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Today I have arranged to rent a 1 bedroom serviced apartment at AS Apartment in Vientiane. It is not in the area that I had been looking at but is close to the airport. The complex has a pool, gym, Wifi, cable TV and includes cleaning and linen changes. I will be moving in on 15th May. My lease at Scenia Bay in Nha Trang finishes on 27th April so I am not sure what I will do in between.

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8th February 2023

Vientiane, Laos

I spent the day walking around the city checking out the locations and surroundings of several apartment complexes. I visited a few that looked OK, especially one that had a pool and gym and was close to the city centre but the owner could not tell me if they would have a vacancy for when I was planning to move. The only one that could guarantee a vacancy was too expensive.

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6th February 2023

Vientiane, Laos

Arrived today hassle free visa on arrival went smoothly ($40 US) (last time I entered Laos was in Luang Prabang and they charged an extra $1 "processing fee"). The local airport bus does not seem to be operating, so I walked a while and caught a "Tuk Tuk" to the central bus station that was close to my hotel,

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3rd February 2023

Nha Trang, Vietnam

I am going on another mini trip starting this Sunday. Mostly it will be a "Visa Run" but I am also going to Vientiane, Laos, to look into accommodation options. At this stage I am almost certainly moving to Laos at the end of April when my lease at Scenia Bay ends.

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17th January 2023

Nha Trang, Vietnam

There is no new news on Vietnam visa policies but I do believe that things will change - how soon and by how much I have no idea. Today the president of Vietnam was asked to resign due to corruption charges against people under his authority when he was prime minister. This suggests that the efforts against corruption in Vietnam are gaining momentum. I have believed since pre covid there have been many corrupt actions that have affected tourism in Vietnam. I think this is a great shame and feel sorry for the Vietnam people that have been affected by this. I feel that the current government is doing a good job and is cracking down on corruption and making moves to encourage more foreign tourists.

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1st January 2023

Happy New Year from Nha Trang, Vietnam

I am about to go on yet another Visa Run this week. I will be leaving on Wednesday, flying to Bangkok where I am staying for 2 nights before flying back to Nha Trang. There are new rumours that the visa situation may be going to ease in Vietnam but I have been hearing that for months and no action has been taken. It appears that Vietnam have no interest in any visitors that would like to stay more that a few weeks, or people that would like to travel to several Asian countries, or digital nomads, or retirees.
My current apartment lease is until the end of April and if the visa situation is still unchanged then I will probably be moving to Vientiane, Laos.

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