Video: Chasing Waterfalls, Nong Khiaw, Laos

The final video in our Laos triptych, in which the Misadventurists visit small villages and sample the local moonshine, hike along rivers and waterfalls, and generally make the most of their remaining days in the North of this beautiful country. Enjoy and be sure to Subscribe to this Site and to our YouTube channel to get email updates, or if you are a WordPress member, posts as soon as they are uploaded!

Video Postcard: Muang Ngoi, Laos

In this Video Postcard, The Misadventurists chill in the riverside town of Muang Ngoi after their hair-raising experience on the Nam Ou. They hike to a cave where villagers hid during bombing raids during the Vietnam War and bicycle into the countryside to visit a small hamlet of just 200 people, where an exciting game of kataw is underway. Enjoy!

VIDEO: Adventures on the Nam Ou River

Greetings fellow Misadventurists! In this brand new video – part 1 of 2 videos featuring Northeastern Laos – Stax and Beej (a.k.a. the Misadventurists) run into a bit of a snag (actually, several of them) while barrelling down the Nam Ou River.

Starting from the riverside town of Muang Khua, we cruise down to within spitting distance of the roadless village of Muang Ngoi, a charming town only accessible by 4WD or (more commonly) by river. That’s when we experience a little bit of engine trouble…. Enjoy!

Northeastern Laos Part 1

VIDEO: Hanoi to Cat Ba Island!

BRAND NEW VIDEO: Hanoi to Cat Ba Island! We travel by bus, boat and motorcycle through the wild karst mountains of this beautiful island on the southern shore of the famous Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. Here’s the result.

Hanoi Living

Hanoi is a city of nearly 7 million people, but it still feels like a village.  Of all the cities we have visited in Vietnam, Hanoi surprised us the most with its charm and laid-back vibe.

We spent the most time in the Hang Ma neighborhood, just north of Hoan Kiem lake -where, legend has it, a thousand-year old turtle still dwells.

While the history of this neighborhood stretches back 2,000 years to the time of Chinese rule, the area’s reputation started slightly earlier. Starting around the 11th century A.D, guilds of skilled craftsmen moved to this area of the city where once had only been swamp and stilt houses. Each of this neighborhood’s crowded and narrow winding streets was designated for a different craft: silver for Hang Bac street, for example, or Hang Gai street for silks and Lan Ong for herbs and spices.

Now, few of the original craft shops survive, but the distinct flavor still remains. We slept at Hanoi Family Homestay on Hang Vai street, a road that in the past was known for its guilds and communal houses creating all sorts of dyed textiles, but which now houses mostly guesthouses and gift shops.

Hanoi Family Homestay is a destination in of itself. The host, Huong (known as Perfume to her Western guests) and her two cute children greet you every morning with a large breakfast (Western or Vietnamese, depending on your taste) and conversation. Huong is truly interested in getting to know every one of her guests and she is incredibly helpful with any directions or touring information.

In the evening the family hosts a large Vietnamese dinner as well, which you as a guest are free to share with them. Because of the popularity of the guesthouse, random ex-pats and local friends of the family from around the city often show up to these dinners just to chat, so interesting conversation is pretty much guaranteed.

On top of this, Huong and her husband also run a touring company that takes visitors around Hanoi, to Ha Long Bay to the east or Sapa to the north, or even to off-the-beaten-path destinations west of Hanoi (like Hoa Lu and Tam Coc). We highly recommend you experience one of these tours yourself. They are personalized and small-group with a lot of time to explore.

We hope to come back to Hanoi again very soon, and we’ll definitely stay at Hanoi Family Homestay again when we do. In the meantime, we’ll have to make do with our memories of this beautiful neighborhood and the friendly people we met.

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Ngoc Son Island, Hoan Kiem Lake.

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Cong Coffee near St Joseph’s Cathedral.

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St Joseph’s Cathedral. A stunning neo-Gothic Catholic church in the middle of Hanoi.

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A tribute to Socialist solidarity.

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Old walls of Ngoc Son Temple, on Ngoc Son island in Hoan Kiem Lake.

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Hoan Kiem Lake from the island temple of Ngoc Son.

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Hoan Kiem neighborhood at night.

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Hang Bac craft street.

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Uncle Ho.

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Video: Riding the Hai Van Pass

On the road from Da Nang City to Hoi An on Vietnam’s central coast lies one of the most stunning road passes in the world: the Hai Van Pass, beloved by motor enthusiasts. Beej and Stax (a.k.a, the Misadventurists) couldn’t pass up the chance to tackle the pass (and learn a little bit about history, and pig grooming, along the way!)

All filming by Stacy Libokmeto with Canon EOS 60D.  Music by M83, Gordon Lightfoot and Hans Zimmer (full credits in the end titles).