Ninh Binh is about 100 km south of Hanoi, it´s called Ha Long Bay on land, since it has the same karts landscape as Ha Long Bay! I left Cat Ba town by express bus at 10:30 and arrived in Ninh Binh at 15:00 in the afternoon. I had chosen to stay at Vancouver hotel in Ninh Binh, but the express bus went to Tam Coc first a tourist place about ten kilometers outside Ninh Binh. The bus driver drove into Ninh Binh with only one passenger it was me. One needs to consider where to stay in Ninh Binh town or at a home stay at Tam Coc River?
I visited Cat Ba and Lan Ha bay for six days. I stayed three days in Cat Ba town and the remaining days at Xinh floating house in Lan Ha bay. I left Hanoi at 11:00 by Cat Ba Express bus to Cat Ba town. The journey took about three and a half hours with a short fifteen minutes break for lunch at 12:00 between Hanoi and Hai Phong. I paid 26 US Dollar for the express bus and the speedboat journey.
Waterton National Park was my last visit in Canadian Rocky Mountains. This is the most southern national park bordering the Glacier National Park in Montana United States. My main goals were walking the Crypt Lake trail and see the famous Price of Wales hotel fantastic setting at Upper Waterton Lake.
It was time to leave Banff and travel north to Jasper National Park. After Lake Louise Highway of Heroes (Trans Canada 1) turns west and continues up in the mountains to the famous railway spiral tunnels at Kicking Horse pass. I travelled north on Highway 93 Icefields Parkway of many considered the most beautiful Highway of the world.
My second day in Banff was spent walking around Lake Louise and up to Lake Agnes Tea house on the right hand side of the lake. The elevation gain is 385 meter; expected walking time is 2.5 to 3 hours for the 3.4 km to Lake Agnes Tea house. But first i few more view from Moraine Lake!
I read in guidebooks that Isla Ometepe is a very nice island in Lake Cocibolca. However I was not too interested in visiting the island. A discussion with an American family in Granada changed my mind. The family came from Chicago in United States. Last year the wife and their children had visited Isla Ometepe. She thought that Isla Ompete was so beautiful so the whole family decided to go to Nicaragua for a second time. I decided I should visit Isla Ometepe as well at least for a couple of days.
The mighty Kanadan River flows through the Rakhine state of Myanmar into the Bay of Bengal. The area around Kanadan River was once the most important farming area of the whole mainland South East Asia feeding millions of people with rice. After the British walk out of Burma leaving Myanmar to be ruled by despots of different kinds this farming area has dwindled from its glory days. Nowadays it can´t even support its own inhabitants with rice for the day, maybe not even bring rice to the people of Rakhine state. For the brave few backpackers who dares to go to the remotest corner of the world it has been a wet dream to do the Kanadan river journey. I turned this wet dream into an unusually wet river journey in the rainy season of 2007. Are you thinking about going? Please dream on Rakhine state are now closed and the Kanadan River Journey impossible. I will keep feeding your dreams with pictures and ideas from my river journey on Kanadan River.
I used Madaba and Mariam hotel as a base for my travelling in Jordan. The best strategy for travelling long distances in Jordan is renting a car. A rental car work out far cheaper than Mariam hotels very cheap taxi deals on long distance travelling. You might think it´s difficult to drive in Jordan? I can say it´s surprisingly easy! It´s also very safe, Jordan has few accidents and many speed bumps. This brings the speed down in road crossings. As a matter of fact there are two speed bumps in every road crossing on the main roads. Jordan has millions of speed bumps.
I tried to book a hotel room for the night in Umm Qais, in the far north of Jordan. Not possible, said Charl al-Twai manger of Miriam hotel in Madaba. They say Umm Qais hotel is closed, but do stay overnight in Irbid instead. I was not interested in staying in Irbid since the Rough Guide said “If time is short, give it a miss”. I strolled away to an internet café and search for hotel rooms in Umm Qais. On a hotel booking site I found Umm Qais hotel. The hotel had nice reviews and it was very cheap only 15 JD for a room. The message was book now only two rooms left.