Our day in Hue

The Tomb of Emperor Tu Duc

P6120078P6120081P6120083IMG_8716OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_8718P6120084P6120088

The Royal Palace


Thien Mu Pagoda



Ho Chi Minh City

It has come to my attention that I am on the fast track to failing to meet two promises I have made over the past few months or so.

One to you – that I will tell you about last year’s holiday within less than nine months.

The other to myself – that I will post here on a much, much more regular basis than last year.

Recent life events have led me to the conclusion that the only way I am going to meet these two promises is to curb how verbose I plan to be (I write thousands of sentences a day in my head, they just don’t ever seem to make it into print) and go ‘essentially wordless’ for a while.

And so, without further ado, I give you our first full day in Ho Chi Minh City …


a change of plans

We were going to go to America this year.

For those of you playing along, yes, that makes 5 years in a row now.

5 years in a row where we were going to go to America …

… and then didn’t.

In 2011 we were hoping to go to Europe but didn’t think we could afford to so instead made plans for a drive around the West Coast of the USA, then The Sparky’s boss refused to give him enough time off for that plan (it was a very tight plan with long driving days so shortening it was going to be difficult). Not problem we thought, we’ll do it next year instead.

Before you go feeling too sorry for us, the tighter timeline forced us to review our European options and find that it was indeed manageable.


Despite our initial ‘we’ll do it next year’ nonchalance, it was fairly obvious upon our return that a large overseas holiday two years in a row was not going to be manageable (quite frankly I’m surprised we managed one while The Sparky was still an apprentice!).

2012 was therefore probably the shortest lived, least likely year for a US Road Trip. The plan instead quickly turned to skiing in New Zealand with The Sparky’s brother, his wife and a then very young Hurricane Ruby. I would like to say I look back on this holiday with the same level of fondness as others, Queenstown is a beautiful place and one day I would like to return to give it the attention it deserves.

Unfortunately at that stage I was already sinking and, only a few short weeks later, my heart was broken and for a while I drowned.

Despite that, because life somehow has to go on and long term plans help to ensure you stick around to see them come to fruition, The Sparky and I began to make plans for 2013. BIG PLANS. 2013 was going to be the year that I got my long service leave entitlement and what better way to spend 8 weeks than finally seeing America?

But of course, you know the theme of this story already and things yet again changed. It became very, very apparent to me that I needed a change of scenery and a new job was the easiest way to effect that change. I cannot even begin to explain to you the beneficial side to this but the down side was … no long service leave.

Instead, we spent a week at home relaxing and planning The Sparky’s new business and then a luxuriously extravagant (for us) few days in Sydney.

For reasons that are too difficult to explain here, 2014 saw another change of job and another forced acknowledgement that a holiday to the US was not going to be financially viable. As many of you will already be aware, that thinking first lead to considerations of a couple of weeks in the South East Asia region but ultimately saw us take The Beast on a drive to Fraser Island.


And that doesn’t include the numerous road trips, long weekends and day adventures we have been on and that I have been reminded of as I trawl back through my photos. So, no, I’m not looking to you to feel sorry for me when I tell you that 2015 saw us again dismiss our US holiday (thank you Aussie dollar) and instead start to plan a drive around Central Australia … after very briefly considering and then dismissing the idea of camping in Tasmania in Winter.

The thing with this lovely, scenically beautiful country of ours though is that it is actually reasonably expensive to get around, particularly when you’re considering taking our very thirsty Beast over very long, slow distances. As we slowly started considering the actual expense of the holiday we were planning … and comparing it to the cost of the South East Asian holiday I had tentatively planned the year before … we started wondering what it was we really wanted to do with that time.

You know the answer of course, I’ve spoiled that one already in a previous post.

Our decision was given a little ‘hurry up’ nudge when an email came through from my newly established Accor membership offering a substantial sale throughout Asia – taking the holiday from budget to comfortable without actually effect the proposed budget. Done.

I have never planned a holiday in such little time, from decision to all flights and accomodation booked was a matter of approximately a day and a half … all of which left the whole thing feeling a little surreal. In fact, despite slowly filling in the gaps, booking day trips and airport transfers, organising the animals and kitting ourselves out, none of it really sank in until I was actually sitting on the plane ready for take off.

First stop … Singapore Airport.