A Travellerspoint blog

Day 6- arriving in Beijing

Beijing

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After a rocky sleep I woke up ready for the remainder of my day, relaxing, enjoying the scenery of the train trip and playing cards with my new pals. The train trip took a while and I was keen to get a real walk in when I arrived in Beijing. Wow! Arriving in Beijing at night time is mind blowing and slightly overwhelming. The city is huge and there are lights every where. I quickly made my way to my taxi transfer and arrived at my hotel where I dumped my stuff and went out for a real dinner at the Fat Duck Soup. At dinner I devoured a duck soup that literally was a 'fat duck soup'. When my dinner came out there was a whole duck sitting in a broth in front of me. I nervously tucked in and it was delicious. Duck_soup.jpgNightife_at_Beijing.jpgBeijing_Streets.jpg

Posted by sherington 05:14 Archived in China Comments (0)

Day 5- Vietnam

'Tam Biet' Vietnam

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Today I woke up sad to leave the amazing city of Hanoi but keen to catch my train to Beijing. I had a light breakfast and got to the train station where I boarded the train. The trip was lovely. The train was comfortable, air conditioned and the food was pretty decent. The scenery was also amazing. We chugged along the coast the up into the hills where I saw rice fields and water buffalo. The people I shared my carriage with were very sweet. We all played cards together and shared our adventures from Hanoi and boasted about the adventures we were about to embark on. Feilds_to_Beijing.jpgTrain_to_Beijing.jpg

Posted by sherington 05:14 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Day 4- Vietnam

Master Chef Here I Come

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I woke up this morning feeling a bit sore after yesterday's adventure but eager to start my plans for today. I love my food. So how could I not go to Hanoi and not do a cooking class? I don't know! So yes, today I participated in the Blue Butterfly cooking class that was both inspiring and tasty.
The class began with going to the Dong xuan markets and selecting the freshest ingredients to start cooking with. I was excited by just going to the markets. They had a bold, colourful atmosphere and the aroma that wafted in the area was delicious. It was than back to the kitchen where I watched a demonstration. All through the demonstration I was on the edge of my seat as I was keen to begin. I than got to begin and whipped up a banquet of green papaya salad, Hanoi spring rolls and stir fried chicken with lemon grass. While I was cooking I accidentally dropped a bowl and shattering it. I felt awful. They cleaned it up and assured me it was alright. But on the bright side Guess what? I actually learnt how to make carrot flowers! They are now going to be used in nearly every meal back at home. Before the class ended our dishes were tasted and judged. My efforts weren't quite enough to crown me cooking champion, however, I proudly received a participation certificate for Vietnamese Cooking!

After having a quick snooze and packing up it was time to end my time in Hanoi by watching the famous water puppet show. I quite enjoyed the show with the puppets performing the daily life of Vietnamese farmers. I got a really good feel of the Vietnamese culture. The live music and and traditional instrumental music was exciting to watch. I never knew that some of the instruments used ever existed! The only down fall of the show was that the family next to me, child, got scared of the puppets and started crying.
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Posted by sherington 05:14 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Day 3- Vietnam

Well, Hello Wall!

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I had an earlier start today but that was no problem. I was rearing to start my biking and kayaking tour around West Lake. We begun our tour with a bike ride over Long Bien bridge. I loved the feeling of the fresh air whipping against my hair as I rode across the bridge marveling at the scenery. Once on the other side we rode for around 4km along the Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural. Unfortunately, while riding along here I got distracted by the breath taking artworks and actually ran head first straight into the wall! I was alright and able to soldier on, thankfully. We than quickly stopped at Kim Lien Pagoda, where I saw incredible architecture of Buddhism buildings in Vietnam. Here I got numerous photos of both the architecture and me being taught how to meditate properly. It is a lot harder than it looks! Back onto our bikes we got passing "Valley of Flowers" were I observed beautiful gardens and lotus ponds. I soon discovered that you need to be very skilled to take photos while you ride and I just didn't have it in me. It was then, fortunately, time for our buffet lunch that over looked the West Lake. It was scrumptious and I was feeling satisfied when I finally decided that I was full. After lunch it was time to go kayaking! It was beautiful being out on the water. In the fresh air and quieter atmosphere, I easily got lost in my thoughts and before I knew it was time to go back to my motel. However, on the way back the bus transfer driver quickly stopped at the lakeside cafe were I indulged in a famous West Lake ice cream! On arrival to my hotel I was exhausted and ready for a relax.Kim_Lien_Pagoda.jpgKayaking_view.jpgIce_cream.jpgHanoi_Cera..saic_Mural_.jpgThe_wall.jpg

Posted by sherington 05:14 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Day 2- Vietnam

The Water Buffalo Incident

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After a great night sleep and a beautiful breakfast full of exotic fruit provided by my motel it was time for my Duong Lam Anciet Village Tour. It was like walking back in time and sighting some Vietnam's culture, traditions and architecture. But not only was the actually town incredible but the drive along the Northern Red River past many agricultural villages was amazing. When we were out visiting a rice field I had the most scariest moment in my life. I was trying to get a close up photo of a water buffalo but before I knew it the water buffalo (what I thought was a calm animal) charged at me! I sprinted along the soggy field, my heart pounding and hid behind a tree. All the locals were laughing at me. I soon realised that I had interfered with a male protecting its female. Despite this incident some highlights of the tour would definitely be visiting and learning about the life of Vietnamese pheasants working along the Terrance. They were all so lovely and wanted to take hundreds of photos with me. I felt like I was Beyonce, everyone wanting a photo with me! I don't know why, but I also adored the village main gate with the massive, old tree growing over it. It just looked so peaceful and was a perfect entrance for the village.

After a quick rest back at my hotel it was soon time to go back out to the Street Food Tour. Oh my gosh! It blew my mind away. The food was so succulent and just pure mouthwatering. I loved the every aspect of all the food. A favorite dish was definitely the sweet black rice porridge with coconut milk and natural yogurt, that I could just squeeze into my stomach! I give it one word- de-lish-ious. Smile, was my guide (and yes she did live up to her name) and did an amazing job, informing us me about the history and culture of the food. She also gave some great recommendation tips. By the end of the tour I was absolutely stuffed. I managed to half walk, half waddle back to my motel where I fell straight asleep.
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Posted by sherington 05:14 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

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