12-hrs in Pattaya

We took a morning bus from Bangkok to Pattaya
and the first stop was for food -padthai and iced coffee

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It was good to be back
amidst sunny palm trees teal blue beaches
Pattaya is still very touristy but it has that vibe
which will make you want to keep returning to it.

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This time, I got to go to Pattaya view point
from where we could see the Pattaya cityscape.
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pattaya10Later in the day,
we took tuktuk to Jomtien beach
It is the less touristy -local hangout
and the beaches are not as picturesque
but I like it here better than Pattaya beach.

We even managed to go to a flea market
drink coconut water eat the freshly baked donut.

The best part was the sunset
before catching our ride back to Bangkok.
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Visiting temples in Bangkok: Wat Arun

We got on the Hop on Hop off boat tours
that would give us a ride to various tourist spots
but we decided to go the temples this time.

Our first stop was Wat Arun
and you really need to dress appropriately
else they will give you sarongs to cover yourself 🙂watarun0

War Arun is also known as the Temple of Dawn
We were lucky to have blue skies and clear weather
to appreciate the intricate art and astonishing architecture.

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Cat Cat Village, Sapa

An hour after we reached Sapa, we started for our “trek” to Cat Cat Village. It was a sunny morning with blue skies, pretty mountains and lots of tourists. But we had a very friendly guide who looked just like a friend as she guided us to Cat Cat tourism area.

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Walking down the steps, we could see the colourful local attires and the designs. There was also this little kid who looked like a doll selling dolls to tourists.
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Cat Cat Village is home to the Hmong community and it was fascinating to enter their homes and see their weaving machines and how they dye and design their clothes.

catcat15Along the way were many Hmong women selling the little souvenirs they had made. Colorful wrist bands and sling bags with Hmong patterns seemed a popular one as it was impossible not to buy anything from these smiling women.

In no time, we had reached the centre area where a lot of traditional activities were displayed. From spinning to weaving and some live dance performances were held across the waterfall that was quite refreshing after the long walk.

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Then we headed to what looked like a peek into sustainable living harnessing water by creating mini dams and water-wheel for some pulley action…

The corn decors were also very impressive. And there was a museum kind of exhibition inside one of these huts with local edible items; hence the corns perhaps? But what I liked most is how this place creates room for not just foreigners from outside but local tourists who get to come and revisit their culture.
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Seeing Sapa

sapaTook the night bus from Hanoi to Sapa
and arrived in this delightful mountain town.

One of its main attractions is this old church
where Hmong vendors sell little knick-knacks
although they have an allotted market
and they aren’t allowed to sell stuff on the streets
because of some code of conduct for visitors.

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There is a lake and a park
another of their public spaces,
that is well kept and tourist friendly
(reminded me of Boulder, Colorado).

 

Sapa is home to the Hmong community
and we found this grandma making clothes
I had to buy one for myself so I chose one
and gladly obliged from this local tribal designer.

 

Sapa had its leftover French architecture
and looked like there were new hotels coming up.sapa6
There was a square in the middle of the town
a picturesque setting
nice to just sit and watch people
playing football, volleyball and chilling
there were young kids
dressed in traditional attires
who would try sell little trinkets and braceletssapa7sapa12sapa13

Towards the end of the day
we also managed to visit the church
blessed bountifully to be in this beautiful town.

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Halong Bay 2.0

halong4halong3I first heard about Halong Bay
from a professor at a museum workshop.
he talked about ecotourism in these islands
and his involvement with its world heritage move.

I have been here twice now and
it is undoubtedly a museum of its own kind.

These cruises usually take you
to one of the many caves in the islands
and we got to see the hang Dau Go this time.

The best part about the trip
this time however, was the sun.
It was warm and sunny
topped with some wine
towards the last stretch.

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