Vietnam diary – Train to Hoi An

Welcome to part 3 of my Vietnam diary (already wrote about Hanoi and Ha Long Bay), and this time I’m gonna write a little bit about Hoi An. And our 10 hour train trip to get there, hehe.

Our train departed from Hanoi in the evening around 7 pm. And the staff from our hotel in Hanoi were such heroes. Not only did they help us to book the train tickets, but they also followed us all the way to the train station and even helped us get our bags on the train. And off we went. (I was still very sick as this point…)

As you can see we booked the most fancy and expensive train tickets we could find (true story), so we got the private sleeper cabin. I don’t know, maybe we got hustled and maybe there are better trains around, but it was a kinda fun experience. And in this part of the train they even had “regular” toilets (not just a hole in the floor that is) And the outside view was very beautiful!

And the morning after we arrived safely in the city of Da Nang, (as there is no railway station in Hoi An) where we then took a cab the last 40 minutes or so.

Hội An (translates as “peaceful meeting place”) is located in the South Central Coast region of Vietnam. It is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. But I was still very sick upon arriving, so I couldn’t join the others when they went into town to look at the Hoi An Ancient Town :(

Hoi An is also a great place to have yourself some custom made piece of clothing. My boyfriend had two pair of suits made at a place called Bebe ClothShop that he is very happy with. And he didn’t pay more than what you would pay for a suit at H&M or something. So it was really worth the money! I wanted to make a dress, but I couldn’t go there because I was too sick :(

Instead, I spent much of my time at our wonderful hotel, Hoi An Chic Hotel. A small (17 rooms in all) but wonderful hotel, in a tranquil and relaxing location. It’s located half way between the old town and the beaches, between some rice fields. And the staff were incredible, always very attentive and friendly. And when I was too sick to eat anything they brought me fresh fruit and lime juice.

And the rooms were really wonderful as well, with an outdoor bathtub and all.

And they also had a pool! So even though it sucked to be sick, there are worse places in the world to be sick at :P

And if you want to rent a moped but are a bit afraid of Vietnams’ crazy traffic, Hoi An is a great place to start. The traffic isn’t as crazy here. So my boyfriend did that, and of course he got the most weird looking tan because of it haha.

By the last day I was feeling a bit better so I could join the others for dinner at a restaurant. More spring rolls :D

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And some other things I enjoyed at my hotel room was bánh bao (tasted almost like nikuman) that I got from a small store at the beach, and cao lầu (I think?) that was on the hotel food menu. Really delicious!

We stayed in Hoi An for a couple of days, but I really wish we could have stayed longer. It was so peaceful and relaxing. Next time I visit Vietnam I definitely would want to go back to Hoi An.

Next up we’ll continue our trip down to Nha Trang, stay tuned ~

Vietnam diary – Ha Long Bay

Part 2 of my Vietnam diary (check out the previous part about Hanoi if you haven’t already ^_^), and this time I’m going to write a little bit about our trip to Ha Long Bay.

Hạ Long Bay (literally: “descending dragon bay”) is located in northern Vietnam, about 170 km east of Hanoi. The bay is famous for its spectacular seascape of limestone pillars and is included as one of the natural wonders of the world, and was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1994.

Booking a Ha Long Bay tour/cruise from Hanoi was very easy, we just spoke to the staff at our hotel and they took care of everything for us. You could choose either a private tour or a group tour with other tourists (we choose the latter). And we decided to only do day trip tour, but you can also get overnight cruises.

Unfortunately I was still very sick when we visited Halong Bay, so the sun and the heat was almost unbearable for me… But it was worth the pain, because it was such a beautiful sight! I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. It’s definitely a place you should visit at least once in your lifetime!

And at the end of the tour we also got to visit some spectacular grotto. It was a bit dark inside so I don’t have many pictures of it. But it was a lot cooler inside, so I was happy haha.

I think the most common way of doing a one day trip from Hanoi to Ha Long is to head out in the morning, and then take the tour bus back to Hanoi in the evening. But we decided to stay the night in Ha Long city and had booked a hotel in advance. But come to think of it afterwards I think that was a very bad decision…

So in Ha Long, we spent the night at Royal Lotus Hotel Ha Long (DON’T EVER GO THERE IF YOU DON’T HAVE KIDS or at least enjoy kids…) which is located a few km away from the “city centre” so to speak, so there was absolutely nothing do to there. And the hotel was filled with kids. Mostly Chinese and Vietnamese families. I’m guessing Ha Long is a typical family resort. And for some stupid reason all the rooms in the hotel had “door bells”, which of course all the kids thought was really fun to run around and press early in the morning… So not much sleep or relaxing times for us there. I guess if you have kids it might have been a nice family friendly hotel but for us it was just a nightmare. But at least we headed into the city centre in the evening and had a nice meal.

So my tip if you’re going to do a day trip to Ha Long Bay, don’t spend the night there. It’s probably not worth the money. Unless you find a cheap hotel more close to the centre, but we weren’t able to do that.

Next up I’ll try posting about our train trip down to Hoi An! stay tuned ~

Vietnam diary – Hanoi

Hello! I’ve just come back to Sweden after some amazing 2 weeks in Vietnam. And I’ve just finished editing some photos, to I thought I’d try to write a little bit about it. Starting with the first stop on our trip: Hanoi. Unfortunately I got very sick after leaving Hanoi, and I stayed that way for the whole trip :( so I spent most of my time sleeping inside of our hotel rooms. So I’m sad so say that I don’t have as much to write about as I would like to, but I will write about the things that I managed to do despite my illness! (and I’m feeling better now luckily)

We stayed for a couple of days in Hanoi, at Hanoi Elegance Ruby hotel, located in the very heart of Hanoi Old Quarter. And if you want to stay close to the old quarters, I would definitely recommend this hotel. It was a super nice hotel and the staff were very friendly, and they helped us with everything, such as booking a train down to Da Nang and guiding us to the station. And the included hotel breakfast was just amazing. If I go back to Hanoi I would definitely want to stay there again. I forgot to take any pictures of the hotel and rooms though, but it was very nice. Anyway, onto the other pictures!

One day we wanted to take some pictures of the city, so we took a cab over to Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower, which is a supertall skyscraper in Pham Hung Boulevard, Từ Liêm District.

Walking around Hoan Kiem Lake

busy streets of Hanoi Old Quarter, with crazy traffic. At first I was so scared trying to cross the streets!

I have no idea where in the old quarters this is, but the nightlife was crazy

I really liked being in Hanoi for some reason. Even though it’s become quite a big city, and it seems like it’s only getting bigger, it felt a bit more.. peaceful somehow. At least more so than HCMC that we visited later. But more on that later!

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Food in Hanoi

The thing I enjoyed most about being in Vietnam was definitely the food. First of all, it’s delicious, and second of all… it’s so cheap! at least compared to prices in Sweden. I could have a complete meal with drinks for like.. 50 000 – 100 000 VND (Vietnamese Dong) which is like… around 15 – 30 SEK. and fresh fruit juice that you could buy almost everywhere for like 6 SEK. I really miss those. And although I didn’t take pictures of everything we ate, I managed to capture a few of my favourites.

One of my absolute favourite foods: Phở

Phở is noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles (bánh phở), fresh herbs, and meat. It’s a popular street food, and even though you can find it in restaurants pretty much everywhere, I think the best phở is usually found on the street. This was from one of those places, and unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the street but you can find street phở almost everywhere. And if you’re worried about eating street food, look for a place witch many people. That usually means good food hehe. And while you might not be as comfortable sitting on a small, wobbly plastic chair on the side of a busy street, it is definitely worthwhile!

And I think my favourite type of phở is definitely the Hanoi style. They tend to vary a bit around the country.

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Traditional fish dish, cha ca

A traditional dish of fish fried tableside with herbs (including dill o_O), spices, onions, peanuts, and rice noodles. We decided to try the Cha ca Thang Long restaurant on 31 Duong Thanh Street, Old Quarter. Although there is a more famous restaurant called Cha Ca La Vong on Cha Ca street (a street named after the dish), we read better reviews of this place so we went here instead. And they only have the one dish on the meny, so you don’t really have to worry what to choose :D

And while this restaurant was definitely a bit more expensive, where the whole meal cost about 160 000 VND per person (although still very cheap compared to Swedish prices since that’s only like 52 SEK) it was definitely worth a visit. It was really delicious.

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Food experiences at Quan An Ngon restaurang

we also visited this big restaurant chain which offer lots of different traditional Vietnamese dishes. Another one of my favourites Vietnamese dishes are the fresh spring rolls, which can be made with lots of different kinds of fillings. On the picture above is Pho cuon (made with a thicker rice noodle sheet), but I think the most common fresh rolls are simply called gỏi cuốn (in the south) or nem cuốn (in the north). But vietnamese is very confusing so I think I’ll just stick with spring rolls for now.

Another delicious spring roll, nem rán (or chả giò in the south?) but these ones are fried. yum!

And one thing I had set my mind to was to try some weird foods. So I did. Here I tried whole grilled or fried sparrows. You had to eat them whole, and it was really weird. And I probably won’t try it again. Ever. But at least it wasn’t as bad as it looks. It tasted mostly like chicken wings, but very dry :p

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More street food, Bánh mì 

I’m a bit sad that I didn’t take more photos of all the food we had. But I have some food photos from the other cities we visited as well, so I’ll post them later. Stay tuned!

Hello from Vietnam!

Hello! And sorry for the lack of posts lately. But it’s because I’ve been traveling! To Vietnam to be exact. And I’m still here actually, now in Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon if you prefer). We’ve been traveling down here from Hanoi for the past week, and we’ve made a few stops along the way. Such as Hạ Long Bay, Hội An, Nha Trang, Đà Lạt, and now we’re here in HCMC.

I have about a million photos and movies to go through, and I will do my best to post them as soon as possible when I get back home ^_^ But until then, here are some random pics from my phone ~

And boy is it hot over here! I think it’s been over 30°C almost every day since we came here. Except for in Dalat, since it’s up in the mountains. But I’ve also been very sick for many days that we’ve been here, so I haven’t been able to go outside much :( I’ve mostly stayed inside our hotels sleeping… So I’m still as pale as a ghost. But I don’t mind :’)

Anyway. I’m gonna’ write more about my trip when I get home. Stay tuned!

Summer diary

Hello! I can’t tell you how happy I am that summer has finally come to Sweden. Swedish summer is just the best. It’s not too hot but not too cold. Ok, sometimes it feels pretty hot, and it’s been quite cold the last couple of days… But I’m on vacation now, so it feels amazing nonetheless! I don’t have much to write but I thought I’d just share some recent summer looks and things ^_^

I love my extensions at the moment ~

Eyelash: Romantic Minnie No. 3 – Dolly Eye
Circle lenses: iFairy Hana Grey
Extensions: Taj Mahal
Hair color: Schwarzkopf - 821 Strawberry blonde

Necklace: Glitter
Dress: GOLDS Infinity (last year)

Circle lenses: GEO Extra Magic Black
Necklace:
Gina Tricot

Circle lenses: GEO Princess Mimi Chocolate Brown
Jacket:
New Yorker

Knit sweater: Vero Moda
Skirt: Lip Service (second hand)
Shoes: Din Sko

And I got this pretty dress from my mum ’cause it didn’t fit her (lucky me!) I think it’s from Lindex

After coming home that same night.. :P

No lenses, smudged makeup, messy hair, and loving it ~

Behold the power of makeup!

Before and after makeup
Circle lenses: GEO Princess Mimi Apple Green

During the summer I think it’s nice to wear lighter makeup.

Like in this pic I’m only wearing foundation, lenses (’cause I’m blind without them haha) and lipgloss

Foundation: Etude House – Cotton Fit
Circle lenses: GEO Princess Mimi Apple Green
Lip gloss: some pink one from H&M

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And last weekend I went to a rave party in the woods with my friend Sofia! I found this pic of us on her blog! :D

I had such a wonderful time, dancing bare foot in the woods ~

… and drinking absinthe and just being crazy haha :’D Good times!

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Fore more craziness, find me here:

Instagram @magicuu
Twitter @magicuu

My favourite circle lenses

Hello! So it’s been an awfully long time since I uploaded a video of some sort.. So I decided to do just that! This is a short video I put together this weekend of some of my recent looks. I wanted to show you some of my favourite circle lenses for the moment. I like the ones in this video especially because they are so comfortable. (I also added a pic of my eyes without lenses at the end, for comparison)

If the clip doesn’t work you can watch it here on my Youtube channel

The circle lenses shown in the video

No. 1
GEO Princess Mimi Apple Green, 15mm (a.k.a Bambi Series)
you can read a full review here on my blog

No. 2
GEO Princess Mimi Chocolate Brown, 15mm (a.k.a. Bambi Series)

No. 3
Geo Angel Blue Lens CM-832, 14.2mm

No. 4
iFairy Hana Grey Lens, 15mm
you can read a full review here on my blog

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Camera: Sony a580 (shaky shaky because handheld :P)
Edited in Premiere Pro.

The song is:
Jahzzar – Sunday morning