It had been a rather nice winter in Texas but I am now back in France for a few weeks and it has been all about winter coats and scarves again. I get very nostalgic when I think that exactly one year ago, we were in Hawaii, enjoying hikes and beach time on Oahu and Kauai islands.
When designing our itinerary in Japan, we picked Fukuoka for its location by the ocean, thinking it would be a nice change from the other big cities we would be visiting (Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka). What I thought would be my favourite stop in the country finally turned out to be the most gruelling.
Koh Phi Phi is composed of several islands among which Koh Phi Phi Leh, a small uninhabited islet, home to Leonardo DiCaprio’s famous Beach. Touring Koh Phi Phi Leh has become a major attraction since the film was released in 2000. This island features paradise beaches, clear waters and a dreamy lagoon. Its beauty is simply breathtaking.
Koh Phi Phi must be the Thai island that has the worst reputation. Or the best, if you love partying. Some people will tell you it was worth it 25 years ago but that the island has been ruined by tourism. Unfortunately, I can’t say that it’s not true: every inhabited part of it is basically a holiday village to itself, packed with hotels and restaurants. It’s definitely not the right place to go if you want to discover Thai culture. But 25 years ago, I was 2 years old and I’m not sure I would have been able to enjoy any of it! So should we have just skipped it? I’m happy we didn’t.
Hoi an is a very small town but the city and the area have enough to keep you busy for a few days. It’s famous for its silk lanterns (probably the main reason why I wanted to go!), but also for its shopping opportunities. There is an endless number of shops selling art crafts, bags and clothes. This is the place to go if you want tailor-made clothes (if only I had just a little bit of room left in my backpack..!).
After spending one month in Ho Chi Minh to rest and spend time with my brother, we were on the road again to the pretty city of Hue. Hue was the imperial capital of Vietnam until 1945 and thus played an important part in the country’s history.
Mui Ne is located in South East Vietnam and it’s a real paradise. It’s a small, quaint but touristic town that’s developing fast and I’m sure if we were to go back in a couple of years, it would look completely different. It’s the perfect destination to take a break from the big city of Ho Chi Minh, where we stayed for a whole month. We spent a weekend there with my brother and his girlfriend and we loved it, we were able to fully relax and just enjoy.