A summer wedding

Hello! There’s been so much things going on this summer. One of them being my boyfriends’ brother getting married 26th of July! So of course we were invited. They were having an outdoor wedding at Johans’ parents house in Värmland, where they had put up a big wedding tent in the backyard. We arrived a week early to help out with everything. It was a lot of work! But the wedding turned out so lovely and wonderful, it was truly a magical day. I brought a camera, but I ended up filming the whole time so I didn’t take any pictures, except with my iPhone. But there was a photographer there so hopefully I can find some pictures to post later!

I had a difficult time deciding on a look. I wanted to use my extensions but since I dyed them violet earlier, they were the wrong color.. So I went with a simple undo. It was a kinda laid-back outdoor wedding after all :)

Circle lenses: GEO Extra Magic Black
Necklace:
 Gina Tricot (I brought Lannister gold to a wedding O_O)

I ended up using two different dresses. Since it was really hot I had a short turquoise dress during the day, but it got a bit cold at night so then I switched to a grey floor length dress ~ wish I would have remembered to take some full pictures of them… ,_,

And there was so much delicious food! And lots of wedding selfies :’)

I had a really wonderful time, and I think everyone else did too. Big congratulations to the lovely bride and groom! ♥ I’ll try to find some pictures of them to post later :)

A sudden urge for violet hair

Hello! I finally finished blogging about my trip to Vietnam. So, now I thought it was time to write a little bit about the stuff I usually blog about: my hair :P A few weeks ago I had this sudden urge to dye my hair violet. Thought I’d share some pictures of how it turned out ^^

I used Directions – Violet, and before applying I mixed it with conditioner to get a brighter result. Unfortunately, the result became quite uneven when I dyed the extensions. I think it’s mainly because of the different quality of the hair. I bought the extensions really cheap, so it’s probably some kind of mixture between human hair and synthetic hair.

Circle lenses: GEO Extra Magic Black

Cardigan: BikBok
Dress: Lip Service (second hand)
Shoes: Belle Shoes

☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆

As expected, the color didn’t last very long. I still have some hair dye left, so I could re-dye it, but I wasn’t very pleased with how uneven it turned out before, so I’ll probably just dye it some other color. My hair is now back to the same color I had before dyeing it (Schwarzkopf – 821 Strawberry blonde), except a little more bleached from the sun. I haven’t decided what color to go for next, perhaps something darker, I don’t know. We’ll see ~

Circle lenses: GEO Princess Mimi Chocolate Brown

Without extensions ~

Vietnam diary – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

After having traveled mostly by train or bus all the way from the north (read about HanoiHa Long BayHoi AnNha Trang and Dalat), we decided to cheat and go by plane to the last stop on our journey. So we took a plane from Dalat, and some 30 minutes later we arrived at our final destination: Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC or HCM), or formerly but maybe most commonly known as Saigon, as many locals calls it. It is the largest city in Vietnam, though it’s not the capital since that honor still lies with Hanoi.

And compared to the more romantic and almost mellow charms of Hanoi, HCMC is a flurry of sights and sounds, a city made for eating, drinking and shopping. Always buzzing. Even though I thought traffic in Hanoi was crazy, it felt even crazier in HCMC. New buildings mixing with old pagodas, cathedrals, huge shopping malls, old street markets, quirky cafes and extravagant rooftop bars found atop sparkling skyscrapers. I think this city has it all.

And we stayed in the most amazing apartment that we booked through Airbnb!

Located in Binh Thanh District which is still quite close to the more central districts, it wasn’t really a walking distance in this heat. And although I was feeling much better by now with no fever, I was still feeling a bit sick so I ended up staying inside quite a lot… But I still managed to see a little bit of the city :)

The first day we headed into the Vincom Center shopping mall and had a look around (cause there was aircon in there hehe), and we also tried some conveyor belt hot pot?!

Since I’m used to eating kaiten sushi when I’m in Japan, this was a most pleasant surprise! I think the place was called kichi kichi but I might be wrong :’)

We also visited the large Bến Thành Market, which is open both during the day and then opens again later at night. But it was raining a lot so we didn’t stay long, even though most of the shops are located indoors.

And luckily for me there was actually a very nice restaurant located just outside our apartment! I think it’s called Van Thanh, or at least it’s located in the area of Van Thanh park.

We went there one evening accompanied by a Vietnamese guy me and Johan met on the train earlier. He was such a nice guy, and he helped me when I was feeling very sick on the train and got me food and soup and helped me with my bag and everything. And he’s a designer (or rather an art director) too, what are the odds! Such a wonderful guy ;_;

Since he was living very close to us, he showed us to the nice restaurant. Where we ordered lots of strange (but delicious) food!

First up, some snails! (but I love snails so it was really good)

Followed by some frogs… o_O I don’t think I’ve ever tried frog before, but it was good. Tasted just like chicken. But it was a bit weird since they brought them to us whole and then they… literary cut them up (with a scissors) at the table… but it was good!

And lastly, eel! The most expensive thing on the menu I think, but so worth it.

Accompanied by some delicious okra! probably the least interesting thing we ordered hehe.

We also had time to drink. And since my friends drink mostly beer, they found the most amazing beer place where they had all kinds of beer. They ordered these “beer towers” which contained some 5 liters of beer or something. And it was cheap! I think they payed 150 000 VND (about 50 SEK) for a 5 litre tower?

But the funny thing was, since I don’t drink beer, I could go out to the convenient store next door (which happened to be a Family Mart haha!) and buy myself something else to drink (I found Soju…) and then I could go back to the beer place and serve it to myself (!?), and the staff didn’t mind. They even got me a glass and some lime juice to mix it with! Amazing :D that’s something you could NEVER do in Sweden, that’s for sure :P

One of the waiters. He even had some soju shots with us (while working :D), and later he took us to karaoke! Although I couldn’t stay long ’cause I felt too sick, but it was really fun.

And on the last day my friends went out into the jungle to visit the tunnels of Củ Chi. But I decided to stay in the apartment ’cause I still didn’t feel too well.

And maybe that was for the best ’cause the woods crawled with huge centipedes and bugs x_x

They also visited the War Remnants Museum, which they said was a truly horrible, but probably important experience. And I can only imagine. Since I’ve been to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum earlier, and that was a very horrible and emotional experience, this might even be worse. Apparently there were lots of Vietnamese families crying. And they even brought their kids there ;_; War is truly horrible. I know it’s not that simple, but I can’t believe how anyone would ever wish for it.

Now that was a bit of a gloomy ending to my journey. But the truth is, despite being sick, and the long train rides with broken aircon or the horrible stories of the war museum, I really really enjoyed my trip to Vietnam. But there are a few things I would do differently next time.

* Not bring such a huge bag. It’s very difficult to travel with on the train and in taxis. It’s convenient if you’re flying, but not for train or bus. Next time I’m bringing a backpack!
* Not get sick! Ok, that might not be as easily done, but it really messed up part of the trip for me. Although they have really strong medications available at the pharmacy :P
* Not buy expensive malaria vaccine! Unless you’re visiting the northern parts for a longer time, or spending lots of time in the countryside. We ended up not using ours anyway because of the nasty potential side effects.
* But do buy cholera vaccine, I think it helped our stomaches a lot!

I think that was all I had to share for now. I’m working on putting together a short video as well, so I’ll be sure to post it when it’s done. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading some of my nonsense! ^_^ ‘Til next time, Vietnam!

My whole Vietnam diary:

Part 1 – Hanoi

Part 2 – Ha Long Bay

Part 3 – Hoi An

Part 4 – Nha Trang and Dalat

Part 5 – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Vietnam Diary – From Nha Trang to Dalat

Part 4 of my Vietnam diary (see also HanoiHa Long Bay and Hoi An) We’re continuing our trip down the country. Another 10 hour train ride from Da Nang we stopped by the beach resort city of Nha Trang. The city is well known for its beaches and scuba diving and has become a popular destination for tourists.

We stayed at Novotel Nha Trang. A very big hotel compared to the other ones we stayed in, but the rooms were nice, breakfast was delicious and the staff were friendly. I don’t have many pictures of Nha Trang because we didn’t exactly do anything spectacular here. But it was a well needed pause from all adventuring, and we enjoyed some time at the beach, cheap beer (and some good beer too!) and visited some of the clubs close to the beach. Be aware though, we almost got robbed when going home from the club at the beach! I’m assuming this happens to a lot of tourists here.

We stayed for a couple of days, and then we continued our journey by bus up in the mountains, to the city of Da Lat. 

And what a crazy bus ride it was! I was almost too afraid to look out the window. Meeting other vehicles on those narrow roads… but we survived!

The city of Đà Lạt looks a little bit like a cross between Vietnam and the French Alps, since the architecture is dominated by the style of the French colonial period. It’s located 1500 m (4900 ft) above sea level, so the weather is a bit different from Vietnam’s otherwise tropical climate. Da Lat is often called the “City of Eternal Spring”. Although the climate was a bit cooler here (maybe around 25°C?), it was still quite hot, and it felt mor or less like a typical swedish summer. But of course many of the Vietnamese people were already wearing winter coats :P and even the dogs had more fur!

They really do bring everything on their bikes in Vietnam :’)

Enjoying some late night snacks at the night market

We also visited some kind of local festival. Or rather, the locals were showing some kind of wedding ritual I think? I don’t really know, we went there with a bunch of other tourists and a guide, but they were all Vietnamese so I had no idea what they were saying most of the time. But it was fun to watch ^_^

We also went on a quest to find the best Bánh mì in Vietnam. I think we did!

Now of course I didn’t remember to take a photo of the place, but I’m pretty sure it was called Lien Hoa. Or it might have been someplace else, but I’m pretty sure it was here, because it was right next door to a wonderful bakery. Or maybe it was even the same store. Anyway. Delicious!

I tried some other bánh mì along the way, but these were by far the best I’ve ever had. So Dalat is definitely worth a visit, even if only for the bread! haha.

Next up will be the last part of our journey, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
So stay tuned!

My whole Vietnam diary:

Part 1 – Hanoi

Part 2 – Ha Long Bay

Part 3 – Hoi An

Part 4 – Nha Trang and Dalat

Part 5 – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

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

IMG_2265-copy

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 ~

My whole Vietnam diary:

Part 1 – Hanoi

Part 2 – Ha Long Bay

Part 3 – Hoi An

Part 4 – Nha Trang and Dalat

Part 5 – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)