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Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City? Hanoi!

Hanoi – a Beautiful Mess

My photography is heavily focused on capturing a ‘beautiful mess’. Give me a broken wall, add some colours to it, dot some leaves around and I’m in my element! For whatever reason, my eye is always immediately focused on imperfections. They fascinate me. In my photography, but also in life, in general. I love stories about the black sheep, the outcasts, the rebels and those that have done things differently. I love reading about those that were dubbed ‘nonconformists’. Hanoi, for me, is a city full of alternative non-conformity. It has character. The same way, that I find Melbourne to have character – whereas Sydney…meh. I find myself drawn to ‘artsy’ places, without a doubt.
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Serendipity Tess in Vietnam

Vietnam was one of the most memorable countries I have ever visited. Hoi An, in particular, was a photographer's Paradise. Everywhere you look, there was yet another scene that caught my attention. From the friendly lady selling her fruit, to the boys on the street carefully laying out their lanterns ready to welcome their customers for the day, to the exquisite vietnamese dishes that are photogenic at its best. From the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City to the tranquility in Hoi An, with Hanoi, a grungy artistic city, in the North - Vietnam, you amazed me!
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Laos: First Impressions & Expressions

I fully understand that the tourism in Lao, and Cambodia for instance, are very new – not many speak English – making it very hard to communicate (unless you speak the language). But, I constantly felt like I was a nuisance to them. As if I was not overly welcome in their country. Lao rarely smile. Never really talk much. Which I later learnt is a cultural thing. I actually enjoyed the ‘silence’ intrinsic to their day to day lives. I could very much relate to that and thought it was a refreshing and welcome change to the European ‘compulsively having to chat non-stop’ mentality. But, signalling your dislike for conversations and being plain rude, are two pairs of shoes.
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Serendipity Tess’ Bliss Report – Month 4

Month 4 was a very different Month to all the previous ones. I crammed two new countries in a month, Vietnam and Laos, and experienced two different travel styles: solo and buddy travel. After an initial bumpy start to my solo travels in Vietnam, I started loving it so much that I was actually a little bit sad that it came to an end. I was looking forward to meeting my friend in Laos – but at the same time, I kind of wished my solo time had continued a little bit longer. After Laos I was going to be in Chiang Mai for two weeks to catch up on work and only explore a little bit before meeting Ben at the end of March – more solo travel will have to wait for a while.
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Travelling from Vietnam to Laos by Bus

When I researched on the Vietnam – Laos border crossing bus (or vice versa from Vietnam to Laos), all I could find was doom and gloom stories about how dangerous it was, how long it takes, how it should be avoided at all cost. I was advised to splash out hundreds of Dollars to book a flight with Lao Airlines – because, at the moment, this was the only airline flying from Vietnam to Lao.
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Vietnamese Egg Coffee Recipe

How to make Vietnamese Egg Coffee

Now this was an interesting find when I wandered through the streets of Hanoi one morning. I had seen several signs of this peculiar egg coffee throughout my stay in Hanoi and then one day I tried. OMG. Why have I not tried this before? It looks like a dessert and it tastes like one too. The frothy egg mixture on top of the coffee tastes a bit like a delectable coffee mousse. And the best part? It is so easy to make it yourself!
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