I arrived in Stockholm on a Friday morning with high hopes, a long to do list and immediate disappointment. The area around Central Station was far from attractive, the sky has opened up and the ground was bizarrely sticky. I hustled to my hostel, checked in and settled in for an uneventful afternoon.
Through the first part of our trip in Vietnam all we heard was about how great Hoi An was. Of course we had to go and see for ourselves. Hue, also known as the Ancient Town, is absolutely adorable, easy to get around by foot or by bike, famous for the lanterns that light up beautifully at night and for custom made tailoring… and also has a beach. What’s not to love?!
We left Hanoi for the final time on a Thursday night, cozily tucked in to the back of a sleeper bus. Our main mode of transportation throughout all of Vietnam were these buses. The first experience on a sleeper bus was to Sapa and it was not terrible, so we agreed to buy an “open bus” ticket for Vietnam. That meant we could travel between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, with stops in Hue, Hoi An and Nha Trang, for $34 each. And we could stay in each stop for as long as we wanted.
Part of our Indonesia trip was spent on the island of Java. We were attracted to two volcanoes on the island: Mount Bromo and Kawah Ijen. Each had an appeal to them and great reviews of the sights, so we spent some time finding the perfect guide to take us there. This was going to be an epic trip so we needed an epic guide to show us the ropes!
After some research/Facebook stalking/review reading, we settled on Pierrick Bigot as our guide for this trip. We found out about him from another travel blog when we were looking into trips in Java. Pierrick works with a company named IndoTravelTeam and takes groups on trips from Bali to Java to see these volcanoes. We opted for a 3 day, 2 night trip with Pierrick and some other folks who were out to see the same sights.