Drive Around The World (Australia)

One family, one car, one year, one planet

Vietnam, by Maddy Blay

This is Maddy and I’m sitting in a hotel room in Hanoi, Viet Nam. I’m listening to Clare Bowditch on iTunes and I’ve been sick for about 3 or 4 days in a row. It is a horrible coughy, runny-nose, headachy, sleepy, don’t want to do any thing except watch T.V. or have nana’s roast chicken & Opa’s “lidool” fishies & Nene’s plum cake & Babcia’s kapitkas & spend hours in Kay’s spa & have a dip in the pool with Papa and have everything else anyone is willing to give me. The best I have done to get out of doors is to a restaurant called La and we had one of the best lunches in a long time.

Today I was the first to wake up which is very unusual because I’m definitely not an early bird person. We went to the Vietnamese Museum of Ethnology and found it kinda interesting.

Now, I’m writing on the plane from Hanoi, (Taipei) to LA. Hanoi had four quarters, the French quarter, the old quarter, the new quarter and the other quarter. We had to change hotels three times (but mum checked an extra four out), which was kind of annoying because one had a leaking air-con, the other was when we came back from Halong Bay they said that our room was broken(?), and the last one was fine.


Packing was easy. We packed our clothes, tidied up the room and left. Quite simple. It was also easy to catch the bus. The station was across the road!

The bus was a reasonable size, and red.

After driving for 3 hours with a stop at a roadhouse thing, where there were paintings, pottery and embroidery, most of which were most extraordinary.

When we got to the dock, an ordering tour guide led us around the car park and then we got on a boat, about the size of our car and once we were on it, we were off to our huge boat.

(Pic: This is Dad on the boat at Ha Long Bay.)

When we arrived there a short while after, Raf and I helped mum and dad haul our luggage. We entered through the deliveries entry, so there were lots of empty boxes around. On board came with us about 9 or 10 Irish teens, a family from Hobart and some more people that kept swapping seats and so I couldn’t really track down who they were with.

Anyway, once we were all on, the guide led us to the dining room area where we had a lunch with something like 7 courses.

After a very filling lunch, we were given our room key and we settled our selves down. As we were looking over the edge of the boat, we felt it moving.

We were off!

Over the next couple of days we swam, looked in caves, ate delicious food, read, slept and so on.

And then suddenly we were leaving. Back on the small boat, back on the red bus and back to the hotel.

And that was Viet Nam by Maddy Blay.



  David Taylor wrote @

Hi Maddy,
Great to hear your thoughts about Viet Nam. That Ha Long Bay certainly looks, and sounds fab. Thank goodness you are all well again. Nothing worse than being sick, and not be around all those ‘extra people’, who will always spoil you. Guess what? You survived.
It was great to see you and chat on Skype yesterday.
Keep well,
Luv, David.

  Nene wrote @

Thank you, Maddy, for your take on things. It’s great to see that you have your father’s skill in describing things in writing, and it’s lovely to ‘hear’ your voice. Looking forward to reading more of your accounts of your travels. (How are you and your brother getting on?)

Love and kisses, Néné

  Deb wrote @

Hi Maddy,
Great to read your article. Ruby said ‘Cool’ after reading it. I would like to go to Hanoi and Halong Bay. Where do you recommend going, seeing and eatting? Enjoy your travels, Love Deb and family.

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