Coming in to Ho Chi Minh City from Cambodia was a pretty easy bus ride and the border check was rather quick. After staying in the city a couple of days and exploring the Mekong Delta we moved on towards the north. Altogether it was about a month and we ate so many delicious new foods, the countryside is so diverse that you almost forget what you have all seen when you come to the end. From big towns with great history to beaches, jungles, rice fields, and limestone islands. It´s more developed and more expensive than Cambodia, but still relatively cheap. There are also, much more tourists here. We had some inconveniences with the locals trying to get money out of us, at times being also quite persistent and even aggressive. And the officials often did not not know important information. And again, there was the „crossing the road“ problem, but it did seem a bit more organized than in Phnom Penh for instance. We successfully escaped all the Buzz and Fuss and spend a few great days in the Ninh Binh area, cycling around the fields and enjoying the nature.
I never thought I would end up spending my main summer holidays in Iceland, but it just so happened at the end. I did not know much of the country, since I would in general always prefer to go some place warm and sunny, but I must admit, the more I read about it the more I was intrigued. This land of countless waterfalls, mighty volcanoes and glaciers, geothermal springs, geysers, strange language with names of towns nobody can pronounce, expensive food and moody weather made me totally forget that I traded the pleasant 30 C back home for 9-15C for the next 10 days. Once we were there there was no doubt anymore – this was one of the best trips ever! I was more than positively surprised by these amazing landscapes. There were many firsts on this trip and we could easily spend much more time there without getting bored.
When you think of Namibia, what comes to your mind? Not much, hm? Well, I had similar asociations. I knew where it is geographically, but I had no clue what is there to explore, other than wildlife. Once we were there, it was mindblowing, how many different landscapes and impressions this country has to offer. In about 3 weeks we saw Africa´s biggest canyon, played football with the kids in townships, followed dinosaur tracks, touched the largest known meteorite ever fallen on Earth, climbed the red dunes of Sossuslvei, explored the barren coastline, silently observed wildlife in Etosha National Park, ate worms and “Apfelkuchen”, walked through abandoned towns and lively markets and much more.
After having a really fantastic time on Borneo, we landed in Kuala Lumpur and had another 10 days to explore the Malaysian peninsula. We decided to rent a car and drive as much as it was possible, we did have to take a few boat rides though. The road took us from the capital to the historical city of Melacca and further on to Taman Negara NP, where we spend a few days in the rainforest. Afterwards it was (finally) time to hit the beach at Cherating. We drove the whole way along the coast up to the town of Besut, where we hopped on a fast boat to Perhentian islands, to relax at the end of the trip.
We started our Malaysian trip by flying directly to the third largest island in the world, Borneo. The largest part of it belongs to Indonesia, the smallest part is a country called Brunei and all the rest is under Malaysia. The island´s biggest treasure is one of the oldest rainforests in the world, with an amazing flora and fauna – a real jungle, which made Borneo one of the most exciting travel destinations, we got the chance to visit so far!
They all say you either love it or hate it – in my case, it was clear I love it already when I was about 5 years old. Even though I was never actually there back then, I was crazy about all the shiny, rattling and glittering gifts my aunt brought me and I always wanted to visit this mysterious country where elephants ruled the streets and you were allowed to eat with hands. Besides, Mowgli was also living there and Jungle Book was one of my favourite bedtime stories. Finally, in 2005 it was time to absorb all of India´s smells and colours!
Flying south to get some last sun before the winter comes was a great decision and it´s hard to believe that we only had to pay around 200€ for the flight and the hotel, for a week! We flew from Slovenia on a charter flight and booked the whole thing LASTMINUTE. It was one of those rare times I booked a holiday like that but this was decided under special conditions. Tourism was just developing and there were many new hotels being built on DJERBA, where we were situated. We could not stand a week just lazing on the beach so we did lots of day trips in order to see at least a bit of the country.
Our first time in Africa! We were all excited about seeing the wildlife for the very first time! The country is so big and has so much to offer, that it was hard to decide where we all want to go and what we all want to do, even though we had 3 weeks time. We rented a car in Johannesburg, visited Kruger NP, spent some days in Swaziland, continued the road trip to Durban and along the coast to Oudtshoorn and finally ended up in Cape Town, where we caught our flight back home. We saw the big 5, the penguins, amazing coastline, big cities with modern fancy buildings, but also walked the streets in the less developed townships, took a look at N. Mandela´s prison cell, we tasted delicious wines, danced with the Zulu, observed ostrich being hatched and said “hello” to the local kids for about a million times. Over all we had an awesome cultural experience!
This tiny sovereign state in Southern Africa is ONE OF THE SMALLEST ON THE CONTINENT. 200 km north to south and 130 east to west it is easily discovered in a short period of time, but even though it is small, it is still diverse. I have to admit, we visited it because we were on our South African trip and in the near anyway, so we thought lets drive through, not knowing what to expect really. The small developing country is an absolute monarchy, ruled by the KING MSWATI III. The local population are struggling with major health issues, mostly HIV/AIDS, so that the life expectancy is at 50 years of age.
SALSA, MOJITO, MUSIC, OLD CARS, colonial ARCHITECTURE, white sandy BEACHES and smiling children. We travelled around Cuba long ago, so any detailled information I have from the year 2003 is nowadays probably too old to share. I can only share photos and describe the impressions we made. We rented a car in HAVANNA and drove to PINAR DEL RIO, BAY OF PIGS, CIENFUEGOS, TRINIDAD, CAMAGUEY and SANTIAGO DE CUBA. From Santiago we flew to VARADERO (the plane was an adventure itself) and spent three days enjoying the beach in an AI hotel.