Cambodia and Vietnam 2004
ContentsCambodiaSaigonHoi AnHueHanoiMai Chau Sa Pa/Bac HaHanoi 2Halong BayHanoi 3 
Cambodia and Vietnam 2004

Henning plans and guides the trip to Cambodia and Vietnam 13.03.2004 - 14.04.2004 and uses contacts from earlier visits in Cambodia/Vietnam. The participants are Morten, Jytte, Svend, Dora, Svenn, Elisabeth, Georg, Ernst and Henning
The whole group
E-mails from Vietnamese and Cambodian friends
Facts about Vietnam
Facts about Cambodia
Catch the flying dragon and get facts about Vietnam
Video from Vietnam
Vietnam news
Photo of ethnic minorities
Facts about 54 ethncic minorities
Vietnam maps
Danish Vietnamese society

Danish version


Cambodia and Vietnam 13/3 -14/4 2004.
¤ This part of the program is 95 % certain
* These things may take place at another time 

Saturday 13/3 We fly from Copenhagen at 14.30
Sunday 14/3 We arrive Bangkok at 06.50. We fly from Bangkok to
  Cambodia Siem Reap at 13.10, arrive at 14.00. Taxi will be
  waiting, we drive to our hotel and get our rooms. Probably 
  Sambath will be with us. Those who want ”blind massage”
¤ (massage given by blind persons) can get this now. I show the
  local market. Dinner on the market place at about 20.00. 
  We have to rise very early next day!

Monday 15/3 Departure from the hotel at 5.00 to Angkor. I get
  tickets for the group. We will see the sunrise in Angkor and 
  then we have breakfast in Angkor. We have our car available,
  so we drive from place to place. We concentrate on four places.
¤ Angkor Wat, Bayon, Royal Angkor Thom, Ta Prahm. It is better
  to focus on a few places. Angkor is unbelievable big, 20 x 20
  km. We have lunch in Angkor. I suppose that we are at the hotel
  at 15.00, Dinner at 20.00 in the town. There is opportunity for
  'blind massage' before dinner.

Thuesday 16/3 We drive with taxi to Ton Le Sap sea, sail on the 
  sea. On the way we drive through very big lotus plantations. 
  We eat at our hotel. We have breakfast at 7.30, drive at 8.00.
¤ After lunch we'll leave our rooms. We use a Totto taxi. It is a
  motorbicycle with a little 2 person car. We go to an interesting
  memory pagode built for the victims of 'The Red Kmer'. We drive
  back to the hotel. We drive to the airport at 16.45.
  We fly at 18.15 to Ho Chi Minh City, arrival at 19.25. We take 
  lodgings at Hotel Bong Sen about at 21.00.

Wednesday 17/3 Departure for the trip at 7.00. First we visit the
  Cu Chi tunnels built by Viet Cong. The first one built during the
  french occupation. In the sixties the tunnels were extended and
  made more than twice as big. There are about 250 km tunnels.
  Afterwards we'll see the religious sect Cao Dai. We will be there
  at 12.00. The procession starts exactly at 12.00 and ends one hour
  later. But we should be ready when the priests arrive. We have
¤ lunch out there. I completely forgot to tell, that Thu Ha will be
  together with us. She worked at a ceramic factory in Dong Thueu
  80 km north west of Hanoi. She makes money for her studies. She
  studies to be a kindergarten teacher. Now she lives in Saigon with
  her aunt. We visit her home on the way back. We have a room at the
  hotel Bong Sen, so we can take a bath before we eat at the hotel at
  20.00 We drive from the hotel at 22.00. The train leaves at 23.00
  to Da Nang. We have 1. class sleeping-carriage. We get breakfast/
  lunch in the train. Arrival Da Nang at about 13.00

Thursday 18/3 Da Nang. Here Thao will be waiting for us at the
  First we drive to The Marble Mountain, many stairs. We see a
  pagoda built by imperior Ming Mang. We see his mausoleum in
  Hue 25/3. If there are some specially ambitius we can climbe
¤ through the moutain. It is a spendid view. But very difficult.
  If there is at least one I will go with him/her. We drive now to
  Hoi An, take lodgings at Huy Yen. We eat dinner at Dong An, one
  of the best restaurants in Hoi An. We will see more of the owner
  Mao. He and his wife will come to our party. Maybe Nha will eat
  together with us. We will also see more of her.

Freday 19/3 We drive from the hotel at 8.00 to Village of Hope, a
  school for handicapped and orphans, nearly all sponsored by
¤ foreigners. I sponsor Chau, 10 years old. We will watch the
  lessons. Maybe we will be invited to eat with them. We drive back
  to Hoi An, visit a gentleman-lady tailor. I drive with you to the
  beach. We bicycle about 4 km. Everybody has got bicycles in the
  morning. At 20.00 my 30th birthday party starts. We will be about
  35 persons. Moi will entertain with guitar traditional folk songs.
  We will meet the 2 Danish Vietnamese Thao and her mother Chung.
  They will also participate at my 30th  birthdayparty 19/4.

Saturday 20/3 At 9.00 we bicycle to Luu's school. This will take all
* I issue the tickets to sight seeings places in the center of Hoi An.
  Dinner at Si or Nha or Lièn or Luu.
Sunday 21/3 We bicyle at about 9.00 from the hotel to a high speed
  boat with capacity of 22 persons. We are going to Camp Island. It is
  a island about 20 km from Hoi An. There is a very kind population,
* who very seldom see tourists. They live on the north coast. We go
  through the town, say hello to them, take pictures. It is very
  remarkable to come there. It is like coming to a place, where you
  never have seen a tourist. You are very welcome. We have 6 or 7
  vietnamese on the boat. They are with us for our sake. After we have
  finished our trip around the town, we go on board in our boat. 
  We sail to a untouched beach on the south of the island. We feel just
  like Robinson Crusoe. Wild bananas, a beach only for us, we swim, eat
  lunch, sing and have a splendid time, a big adventure. When we are
  tired, we sail at home to Hoi An. 

Monday 22/3 Bicycle trip. Our vietnamese friends will bring us on a
  bicycle trip. It is wonderfull not to think of, where we are or have
* the responsibility. ”Morten”! Lunch at Dong An. "Remenber we have
  tickets to 5 sight seeing places , or beach , try clothes, or do
  something else. 

Thuesday 23/3 Boat trip with Thao. We visit a wood carving and car-
  penter's workshop on an island. I have bought garden furniture there
  last year. I can tell about the costs. We also visit a ceramic
  manifacturer's village.
* After the visit we bicycle to Hoi An, we have bicycles on the boat.
  Thao finds a good place, where we can eat. After dinner we can go to
  the beach.
  Look at the sights, or try clothes, but remember to fetch ordered
  clothes. We go to Hue next morning.

Wednesday 24/3 We go from Hay Yen hotel and Hoi An at 07.00. We are
  going to Hue. There are many people to say goodbye to us. We have
  many friends in Hoi An. There are many, who would stay 5 more days
  here. Now the group is extended to 10 persons. Nha follows us to Hue.
¤ We drive through the Ha Van pass after we have left Da Nang, a very 
  beautiful trip. We are in Hue at about 11.28. We take lodgings in 5.
  Le Laye, a hotel at the Perfume River. I take care of bicycles. At
  13.00 we bicycle from the hotel, we bicycle to a restaurant, where
  deaf people serve, recommended by ” Lonely Planet”. After lunch we
  bicycle first to The Royal Palace, which is under reconstruction.
  It was destroyed during the war. After that we bicycle to the big
  market. Here we stay as long as we want. We bicycle home to the 
  hotel 5. Le Laye. At 19.15 we go out to eat. There is ordered a
  table at the deaf's.

Thursday 25/3 We go for a boat trip on the Perfume River at 7.30. We
  bicycle to the boat. It is a  5 minutes bicycle ride. First we sail
  to the Ten Mu pagoda, a very famous pagoda. After that to the Ming
  Mang Mausoleum, over the river and then we bicycle to Kai Diem
  mausoleum, about 2 km. After the visit back to the boat. The bicycles
¤ stay on ashore. We sail to the middle of the river, drop the anchor
  and have lunch. After lunch we sail to the coast. We now have 2
  opportunities. We can take the boat back, or we can bicycle back
  12 km. Those who arrive first get the key to the room, where we can
  bath one by one. At 16.00 we have four bicycle taxis to our luggage.
  There are 400 meter to the railway station.
  The train drives at 16.40 to Ha Noi. We take leave of Nha. When the
  train comes, we say hello to Thao. She and her husband and daughter
  have got on the train in Da Nang. We say goodbye to Nha and hello to
  Thao. We have now a long trip to Ha Noi. We will be in Ha Noi between
  5.00 and 06.00 in the morning.

Freday 26/3 We are in the capital Ha Noi, we arrive at the hotel as
  early as possible. Maybe we can 't get all the rooms. We meet at
¤ 12.00. We have lunch at Little Ha Noi. I have ordered bicycles for
  everybody after lunch, round trip in Ha Noi. Dinner at the Westlake.
  Coffee at Hoa Kim lake or somewhere else. Today Jesper Kullberg and
  his wife Signe and their 2 children will join us some days. They will
  go with us to Mai Chau.

Saturday 27/3 We bicycle to Ho Chi Minh mausoleum at 08.00, look at the
  park. There are always many people in the mausoleum. After that we
* visit the museum for literature = The old Univesity. Lunch at Little
  Ha Noi. We meet at ?. We'll be in the water theatre at 19.30, after
  that we go to a very fine restaurant at Hoa Kim Sea. Coffee at roof

Sunday 28/3 We'll go to Mai Chau. We drive at 7.00 in the morning. The
  suitcases must be in the reception. We have packed a small bag or some
  plastic bags. We shall leave the rooms. We are away for four days.
¤ We must remember electric torch, rainproof cape, sleeping bag and
  personal things. We have bicycles with us from Ha Noi. First we visit
  a silk factory. We drive through Hoa Binh, the city with the big power
  station. We should arrive in the city of Ban Lack 12.15 Here we take
  lodgings in White Thai cottages. There is lunch afterwards. We do a
  round trip in the two cities, which belong together.
  Dinner at 20.00 at the courtyard.

Monday 29/3 We bicycle to visit a school, which is about 10 km away.
  Our car will take care of our gifts. I do not believe that we can
¤ have the gifts on the bicycles. After the school we bicycle home.
  Lunch at 12.30. About at 14.00 we bicycle around between rice fields,
  look at many villages. Dinner at about 20.00.

Thuesday 30/3 We visit a kindergarten in Ban Lack at 8.00. We have some
  gifts with us. Now we drive about 14 km west on the bicycles to a
  little village. Here we rent boats, sail about one hour, then drive
  back again to our White Tai hosts. We have lunch about at 13.00.
¤ There are a possibility more. We have a car, which can bring us to
  the town, where we go on bord on the boats. At 15.00 we take the
  last bicycle trip in Mai Chau, between the rice fields and the
  villages. Most villages are White Thai. There can also be Dzau. 
  Dinner at 19.30.
  After dinner the ladies of villages will dance with us. There will
  also be music. We must entertain with something. I have a suggestion.

Wednesday 31/3 We leave Ban Lack, Mai Chau at 8.00 in the morning to
  Ha Noi. When we drive through Hoa Binh we visit the power station.
¤ It is The black River, which is dammed up. We will not go into the
  power station. Lunch in Hoa Binh. We are in Ha Noi about at 15.00.
  Dinner in the city.

Thursday 1/4  We bicycle around the West Lake. It is the big sea. We
  visit a famous pagoda. Maybe Thang inivites us to a big lunch. We go
* with a taxi to his home. In the evening we drive in taxi to a snake
  restaurant(slangerestauration). We have our guide Khao with us. Before
  we drive, we take leave of Thao, who is going home with train to
  Hoi An. Jesper Kullberg and his family will join Thao to Hoi An in the
  train. It is exciting to eat snakes and drink snake liquor. Remember
  early rise next morning.

Freday 2/4 We drive from the hotel at 5.00 in the morning same
  procedure as to Mai Chau. The suitcases in the reception. A little
¤ bag for 5 days or plastic bags. Waterproof cape, sweater, torch and
  personal things. The hotel has prepared a little food for us. The
  rest we have to take during the trip. We are going to Sa Pa – Bac Ha.
  There are 10 hours driving, 400 km, so it is a long trip, but a
  beautiful trip. Sa Pa is near by the Chinese border. We will drive
  about 10 km along the Chinese border. We make a foto stop. We drive
  through Loa Cai, which also is the name of the province. Now we are
  going up to Sa Pa. We are there about at 16.30. There are many ethnic
  minorities, specially Red Dzau and Black Mung. Da Pa has a 100 years
  jubilee in 2003. A young student Tue, who is at the university in
  Ha Noi, has explained that Sa Pa is one of Vietnam's most special
  places. Tue will join us to Sa Pa even if it is her birthday that
  day. There is romance in the air for young people, especially
  saturday evening. We are there saturday evening. On the place in
  front of the church you say, here is ”loving market”. Tue also says
  in Sa Pa we have four seasons on one day: morning = spring,
  midday = summer, late afternoon = autumn, night = winter. Now you
  must not think about our teperatures. Let me guess. Morning
  about 16º, midday about 23º, late afternoon about 19º, night after
  24.00 about 13-16º.
  Dinner in the city at Mimose Restaurant. 

Saturday 3/4 We drive from the hotel at 8.30. We are going to visit a
  Red Dzau village, driving 20 minutes. Lunch in the city. After lunch
  we visit a Black Mung village. We go through a ravine. After the visit
¤ in some houses we finish at a waterfall. From here there is a steep
  climb on stairs. We take it easy. We go aross and a little descent.
  We come to a little shop, beer, soda water. Now there is a steep
  climb, 4 km!!! Easy, I have ordered 8 motorbicycles, which will bring
  us up to Sa Pa. Dinner in the city. After dinner we go  around in the
  city on our own. Next morninmg we drive to Bac Ha.

Sunday 4/4 It is very important that we will leave early. We must reach
  Bac Ha in good time. Here is the biggest market of north Vietnam.
  It opens at 6.00 and closes at 13-14.00. You must have enough rolls
¤ of film. Again, the ethnic minorities are the majority. The two
  biggest groups, H. Mong – Flower Mong are not very different.
  Bac Ha Dzau and a smaller group: Tay, not Black Thai or White Thai,
  but Tay. Lunch at restaurant. At 13.00 we make a little climb. First
  we visit a folk musician H. Mong. After that we visit an ironwork.
  Here they melt iron like they did 1000 years ago and cast it to
  agricultural tools. If nobody is working at the smithy on sunday,
  we visit it monday. Dinner in the town.

Monday 5/4 All the tourists go back to Ha Noi. We are the only ones.
  We start at 7.30. We will visit 2 kindergartens and 2 schools,
¤ after that look at a decayed H. Mong Royal house. Lunch in the city.
  After lunch we take a little walk on the other side of the town.
  We will visit a Tay family. Dinner in the town.

Thuesday 6/4 We leave Bac Ha at 07.00. There is a long drive back
¤ to Ha Noi. We are in Ha Noi at 17.00. Dinner in Ha Noi.

Wednesday 7/4 Bicycle trip in Ha Noi in the morning, lunch, shoppping
* day, dinner in the city.

Thursday 8/4 We drive from the hotel at 07,00. The same procedure as
  the two preceding times. Suitcases in the reception. We will go to
  Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba. The family Thang is usually with us.
¤ The first stop will be a textile factory, which has only
  handicapped children employed. The second generation exposed to
  US bombning. After that we go to Halong Bay. We have lunch in
  Halong Bay, after that we go on board our boat for 40 persons,
  so there is plenty of room. The boat is only for the our group.
  We make stops at 2 caves, very big. We will also take a little
  bathing stop. Cat Ba. Take lodgings about at 16.00. If there is
  some interest, I arrange a little harbour sightseeing in small
  boats, about 4 in each, it will take one hour. We eat in the city.

Freday 9/4 At 8.00 we make at little trekking trip. We walk about
* 3-4 hours, sail to a beach, swim and enjoy ourselves. Dinner in
  the city.

Saturday 10/4 We leave the hotel at 08.00, we will go back to
  Ha Noi. We sail now from Cat Ba towards Halong Bay. There will
¤ be one bacthing stop on the way. Lunch in Halong Bay. We drive
  now towards Ha Noi, one stop at a ceramic factory. Here
  Thu Ha's mother and her sister work You ara able to buy ceramics.
  We are in Ha Noi at 16.00 Dinner in the city.

Sunday 11/4 Today we go on a whole day trip to Phu Cu. We will
  visit an interesting familiy. Father Khue is a 52 year old
¤ engineer, mother Hang is a 48 year old high school head master
  with specialities in biology and chemistry. The oldest daughter
  Thue is a 26 years old journalist, their second  daughter Hue
  is a 24 yaer old schoolteacher and the youngest daughter Hien
  is 19 years old and goes to university in Ha Noi. We drive from
  the hotel at 07.00 in the morning. There are 80 km to Phu Cu,
  driving in 2 hours. We make a trip around in the city with Khue
  as guide. Neighbours and family make at big lunch for us.
  After lunch we drive back to Ha Noi. Dinner at Khue and Hang.

Monday 12/4 This day is open for different suggestions. What we not
* done already we will do that day. Maybe you will go around alone
  or go shopping. I will always have at suggestion. Farewell dinner
  in the city. 

Thuesday 13/4 The last day. It will be the same as monday. We drive
¤ from the hotel at 18.00, fly at 20.45., are in Bangkok at 22.45,
  fly from Bangkok at 01.20

Wednesday 14/4 We fly to Copenhagen at 01.20 and are in Cogenhagen
¤ at 07.45.