It’s official, the Year of the Golden Goat is upon us. Hanoi is slowly returning to its usual levels of crazy and people are returning to work – I know because, as I write, I’m listening to the rumble from one of the many building sites that encompass my flat and have been blissfully silent for the last week. Restaurants are opening again, and we made it all the way through the week without running out of drinking water, though the bread situation became desperate. For those that are unfamiliar with Tet, it is the lunar new year celebration in Vietnam, which generally falls on the same day as the Chinese new year. It’s a huge celebration here, and also marks the start of spring.
We’ve been in the lovely city of Hanoi for about two weeks now, so I thought this might be a nice time to look back over our stay in Luang Prabang. When we arrived in the city we were planning to stay for a week. Following the directions we’d been given to some affordable accommodation we headed for a small alley next to the Nam Khan river.
Travellers are a hard bunch to buy for, whether you are trying to send them something from home or if you’re with them on the road. In Part 1 and Part 2 of my complete guide to Christmas presents for travellers I shared some ideas about presents to send to you friends and family on the road. Here, I’m going to share 6 easy and inexpensive DIY projects any traveller can make and give as presents this Christmas.
Buying Christmas presents for travellers can be a mine field: from how they will actually receive your gift to what they really want, it can be a nightmare. And, with Christmas right around the corner, time to make the purchase is running out! So, what gift should you give to your nomad friend this season? Here’s my part 1 guide to the perfect Christmas present for a wanderlust-filled friend.
Cooktown, located on Cape York Peninsular, North Queensland, was named after the British explorer Captain James Cook, who became stranded here in 1770 when his boat, The Endeavour, took a bit of a knock from the reef south of Cooktown. Whilst wwoofing our way around Australia we spent three weeks in this little town.
Every year parks all across London (and the rest of the UK) set up hot dog carts, coffee stands and sell as many flashing toys to children as possible. Its 5th November, or the closest weekend when the 5th falls on a week night. Last night a group of friends and me took the long journey from zone 3 North London into the deep, dark depths of South London’s Blackheath for their annual fire works display.
We got there a little early, so early in fact the hog roast I insist on for dinner at any fire work display I attend wasn’t ready yet! Blackheath is one of the most popular free displays in London so it gets pretty busy there, as well as on the trains to get there, so getting there early really does pay off (even if you do have to wait a while for your hog roast dinner).
After we had all filled our bellies with hot dogs, burgers and candy we went down to the fairground to go on some rides! It was like going back to the early naughties when I was about 14, it was quite simply amazing. There were all the classics; Twister, Dodgems, a Carousel and my personal favorite the Waltzers.
Now, feeling like a big kid, it was time to head out onto the heath to watch the fire works. Never mind Christmas, you can forget about Easter, birthdays and whatever else, bonfire night is without a doubt my favorite night of the year for no other reason then the firework. Yes, the fairs are fun and the food is yummy, but its all about the show!
The display at Blackheath was simply fabulous. Having spent my uni days in Liverpool (I’ll give a few little guides to Liverpool soon, to include nights out and exploring the Beatles) the best place to go to see fireworks was Sefton Park, which puts on the very best display I had ever seen! However, as soon as the display is over you would have to make a quick exit from the park unless you want a firework in your face! This being my second display I have been to in London I still get a little concerned walking through the crowds that there will be a “joker” among them ready to set a rocket off. This being Blackheath and not Liverpool you won’t need to be worrying about that, something that I always find to be a pleasant surprise.
Right as the show was about to start my house mate pulled a bottle of red wine and some Halloween cups to sip through the demonstration, and I shared a few packs of sparklers with everyone. Just a little word of warning though, we were told off by one of the safety stewards for having them.