Tam Coc

Tam Coc Dates: 2 May My last stop in Vietnam was Tam Coc, nearby to Ninh Binh – also known as the inland Ha Long Bay. I drove here on the bike I rented from Tigit, but as far as I’m aware it’s very easy to get a bus down here from one of the many tour operators on the streets of Hanoi. With rivers running through huge limestone rocks and rice paddies. The main thing to do here is a relaxing boat ride, taking you right through the middle of the rocks & paddies and through a few small …

Hanoi 2

Hanoi & Dong Xuan Market Dates: 29-30 April After being sat on a motorbike for 800km during my road trip to Sapa I needed a couple of days on my feet and relaxing around Hanoi, so I decided to go and shoot some street work and some portraits of the market workers at Dong Xuan Market in the north of the Old Quarter. It’s a really cool local market that sells lots of clothes and some bits of food in certain parts, with a couple of souvenir shops also on the ground floor. I stayed at K3 Hostel for my …

Road trip to Sapa

Road Trip to Sapa – Hanoi > Mai Chau > Moc Chau > Nghia Lo > Than Uyen > Sapa > Lao Cai Dates: 22-27 Apr As mentioned in my previous post about Hanoi I messed up on my visa. So instead of going from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh like I had initially planned I opted to go for a couple of road trips, the first of which was five days on the road to Sapa. This is only my second time ever on a bike, the other time was a scooter in Pai. So while I was thoroughly …

Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter Dates: 18-21 Apr Back to South East Asia. My first stop in Vietnam was Hanoi, naturally I chose to stay in the Old Quarter. I spent 4 days in Hanoi before setting off on a road trip to Sapa. I did initially plan on driving from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh but I stupidly didn’t check visa requirements and only got 15 days on arrival rather than the 30 that I thought I was going to get… So I decided to stay in the north instead and do a couple of road trips on a motorbike I …

Jeju

Jeju Dates: 12 Apr After spending a few weeks in Japan I decided to stop off in Korea to see some friends who now teach English there – Heather & Ben, I actually shot their wedding in early 2016. I did a lot of walking and spent a lot in Japan so I definitely needed a week of relaxing, catching up with my blog & journal, and some home comforts (I drank so much tea, sorry for ravaging your Yorkshire Tea supply guys). I did go for a walk with Heather & Ben one of the days though along the …

Osaka – Nara

Osaka – Nara Dates: 6 Apr Nara is a must-do day trip from Osaka, takes around an hour on the train from Osaka > Nara station, then it’s around 20-30 minutes walk from the station to the deer park & main temples. Unfortunately when I went the main temple with the big buddha had construction work going on so the outside wasn’t too pretty, but it was still a lovely walk around and pretty cool feeding the deer – who can get fairly aggressive if you have food and don’t give it to them! I had my pockets nibbled at …

Osaka – Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle Dates: 4 Apr After hiking up Mount Misen the previous day, I wasn’t up for doing a lot with my sore legs so I took a leisurely stroll around Osaka Castle and checked out the Ghibli shop in Namba Walk. The Ghibli shop was a pain to find, and honestly I don’t know if I could find it again. I think from Namba Station you head East, until you get to BIC Camera. From BIC Camera there will be some escalators down, which if you’re viewing on a map appears like a triangle coming out from the road …

Hiroshima – Miyajima, Mt Misen & Itsukushima Shrine

Hiroshima – Miyajima, Mt. Misen & Itsukushima Shrine Dates: 3 Apr This marked the last day of my Japan Railpass, so I had to rush around Miyajima before jumping on the Shinkansen over to Osaka in the evening. Easily done. To get over to Miyajima you hop on the train down to Miyajimaguchi Station then take the ferry, which is free with the JR Pass, over to Miyajima island. I did have fairly limited time on the island however I had plenty of time to get the main attractions done – Itsukushima Shrine & Mount Misen. Itsukushima Shrine is a …

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Castle

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Museum, Atomic Dome & Hiroshima Castle Dates: 31 Mar – 3 Apr I couldn’t go to Japan and not visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Museum, it’s such a unique place and something that will never be forgotten. I obviously knew how devastating a nuke is, but until you read the stories from survivors and see the various items in the museum it’s hard to grasp just how much damage they cause. What really stuck with me was the aftermath – a large chunk of the people that died didn’t directly die from the …

Penang – Kek Lok Si Temple

Dates: 24 & 28 Jan I went to Kek Lok Si temple twice on the week of Chinese New Year. Once on the 24th because we saw an advert saying it was open, it wasn’t. I did see a lot of the temple and the lights from the outside that night, and I also snook in to the Buddha statue with my travel friend for a couple of minutes before we got kicked out, so I managed to get a shot of it at night & while it was quiet before the business of Chinese New Year fully kicked in. …

Penang – Chinese New Year’s Eve

Dates: 27 Jan Gong Xi Fa Cai, 恭禧發財 Mandarin for “wishing you to be prosperous in the coming year” (pretty much, anyway). This is a very common greeting around CNY and is similar in effect to “Happy New Year” to English speakers. For the first time, in 2017 I was actually somewhere that celebrated Chinese New Year properly – Penang, Malaysia. I spent it at a guesthouse (there is another story to this place, click here and read the recent 1* reviews to see) near Love Lane in Georgetown. On Chinese New Year’s Eve we spent the evening in the …