My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

Float down the MeKong


Opted for a day trip to float down the MeKong, it was sort of a flop of a trip but what did we expect for $16/pp.

First stop was to visit Vinh Trang Pagoda with 3 distinct Buddha’s. Happy Buddha who one would pray to for their future, Standing Buddha that one would pray to about the present and lastly Sleeping or Lying Buddha that you pray to for those that are no longer here with us.  IMG_3395.jpgIMG_3393.jpgIMG_3397.jpgIMG_3386.jpg

Though it is advertised as a cruise it is boat ride at best!   We got in a wooden open aired boat and went across the Tien River to the Qui (Tortoise island ). On the way we passed Dragon, Phoenix and Unicorn islands. Once off the boat we walked through a village, ate local fruit, listened to some local song, tasted local chocolate and honey and eventually made it to lunch.


After lunch we got a short small boat ride thru the mangroves, then we headed back to the bus and back to HCMC.   It was an okay day but a bit touristy for us. Not as good as our other day trips. But what did we expect for $16.IMG_3178_2.JPG

Leave a comment »

Ninh Binh, Vietnam a MUST visit area


We had decided to go on a one day tour to Ninh Binh today. We were picked up at 7:30 on the dot. It was a full 12 hour tour that included a general visit to the area, a boat float, a temple hike up a mountain and a bicycle ride followed by lunch.

Ninh Binh is a hidden gem in Vietnam just S of Hanoi (60 miles). We did not even read much about it in advance of our visit, but I would say DON’T miss this place.IMG_2982.jpgIMG_2989.jpgIMG_2756.jpg

It is full of 100’s of limestone monoliths. They rise out of the ground and surround you with such lush greenery.  There are NOT a lot of tourists in this area and I could see us staying here a few days if we had known.

We learned the difference between a temple and a pagoda! A temple is for kings and heroes. Gifts given as blessings can be almost anything including alcohol. A pagoda is for a spiritual being and gifts must be vegetarian and you must take your shoes off to enter. Bai Dinh and Bich Dong were beautiful and worth the visit.


On our river ‘float’ we were rowed by a woman who used her legs to paddle, it was quite a talent. We went into caves and along a stunning river at the base of the limestone structures. We saw a lot of birds on the ride including a variety of king fishers and herons. To be honest the river float could have been shorter. It was 1.5 hours and 1 hour would have been plenty.IMG_3024.jpgIMG_3025.jpg


Once we arrived back to Hanoi we had an evening walk around the lake and the Friday night market that was certainly geared to locals. It was fun to see the lake come alive and see what the locals do for fun!XFFF4494.JPG

Leave a comment »