Travel Guides
Updated: Jan2013

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Whether you decide to travel from the southern "capital" of Ho Chi Minh (Saigon in old money) or from the actual capital city of the north, Ha Noi, you're in for a fantastic start to the adventure known as "Vietnam".

After many years of European control by the French, pressure from the Chinese in the north and then what most of us know as The Vietnam War one would expect this to be a frosty nation with regard to foreigners. But not so. All along the main tourist route of the sea-horse shaped country, locals in the main stop-off points have become accustomed to tourism and the great wealth that it brings with it. Unfortunately this will always mean change but if you take yourself off of the main tourist route you'll be greatly surprised by the difference in the people.

I'd read that the people of the country reflect the weather - the in the north they can be cold a frosty and in the south warm and welcome. 

When asking about the politics of the country, a tour guide told me "On Mondays we are good Communists. We arrive at work, stand up and sign our nations songs and salute our flag. From Tuesday to Friday we are Capitalists since we work hard to earn as much money as possible. And then at the weekend, we are Socialists because we also like to party!"

You'll have to make your own mind up about that!

This second is a little different to the others since we're back populating - that is the idea for The Leaping Lemur was born in Hoi An but we didn't really know how to do it until afterwards, or what would be useful. So if you're travelling through and have anything you can contribute or update us on, please do.

Elli xx







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  • Vietnam: The home of bahn mi!

    Da Lat on 2 Wheels

    A day with Easy Riders

    So how do 3 brothers, 2 partners, 2 kids and their Grand Dad get on two bikes? Impossible! 

    Thien Duong Cave

    Paradise is a cave called "Paradise"

    A firm Vietnamese favourite but a little too far for most tourists. Not for these travellers!

    The temples and tombs of Hue.

    Waiting for the ink to dry :-)


    Posted 28 Jun 2013, 00:36 by Elli Murr
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  • Charities in Vietnam
    SOS Children provides children with a home, a family and a new mother in a purpose-built SOS Children's Village, where they can stay until they are ready for independent life. 
    SOS Children currently cares for 1,952 children in Vietnam at its 13 SOS Children's Villages throughout the country, and a further 272 youths at its 10 SOS Youth Homes, where young adults go to prepare for independence. [more].

    Endangered Primate Rescue Centre. EPRC rescue and take-in primates that from around Vietnam as well as running an education/ visiting centre to help locals and foreigners understand these magnificent creatures. The aim is to rehabilitate the rescued primates and release them back into the wild where they belong. Volunteering at the EPRC gives you a unique opportunity to directly help endangered wildlife whilst sampling the highly cultured and welcoming country of Vietnam. You too could soon be near to the rarest primate in the world during the day and then enjoy some tasty cuisine (and possibly a ‘Bia Hoi’ or 2in the evenings with a not so rare primate species. [more]

    MilkCare Foundation Until economic reforms in 1986, the Vietnamese government provided free schooling. Now, students must pay for "public" schooling in addition to other expenses such as school maintenance fees, textbooks, school uniforms. With an annual per capita income of less than $150 (US dollars) in rural areas, many families simply cannot afford to send their children to school. For these children--some abandoned and homeless--even basic nutrition and education remain only a dream. [more]

    Vets With A Mission is a group of Vietnam veterans and non-veterans who are dedicated to bringing healing, reconciliation and renewal to the people of Vietnam. We run many different projects from volunteering to donating and fund raising. Please visit us for [more] information.

    Mine Awareness Group

    We work with conflict-affected communities to identify their needs, removing land mines and unexploded ordnance, and helping those people in contaminated areas to live more safely. [more]

    More links to charities in Vietnam can be found [here]

    Posted 4 Jul 2013, 02:41 by Elli Murr
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  • A sample from our facebook page. Follow us for regular updates.

    Garden of Reflection,
    Chiang Mai, Thailand:
    There is no glory for a lazy person however good looking

    Krabi Thailand:

    Solitude and silent reflection seems to be moving with the times

    Almost Famous,
    Pai, Thailand:

    Toilet humour, bar humour and a great quiz.
    Posted 26 Jun 2013, 21:11 by Elli Murr
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    Focus Charity 
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    Posted 3 Jul 2013, 03:14 by Elli Murr
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  • Interesting Facts?

    1. Vietnam is the largest exporter of cashews in the world, and the second largest exporter of rice.

    2. Instead of bells, traditional gongs are used to call the Vietnamese children to school.

    3. Although Vietnam is a developing country, it has a literacy rate of 94%.

    4. Among all developing countries, Vietnam has one of the lowest unemployment rates.

    5. You can find a B52 American Bomber Wreck in Vietnam’s West Lake.

    6. An estimated ten million motor bikes travel on the roads of Vietnam every day.

    7. Ruou ran (snake wine), a Vietnamese specialty of rice wine with a pickled snake inside, allegedly can cure any sickness.

    8. The most common surname in Vietnam is Nguyen.

    9. The Vietnamese keep potbelly pigs as pets.

    10.The Vietnamese language has six different tones. A change in tone changes the meaning of the word. This makes their language somewhat difficult to learn.

    Posted 17 Jul 2013, 03:36 by Elli Murr
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  • Travel Guides
    Over 1,000 downloads of "A travellers Guide to Myanmar"

    We've had over 27,000 hits in just 7 months! For some, that's nothing, for the charities we support, approx. 2% of our visitors visit on.Which means all of our hard work is worth it. 

    Looks like we'll be publishing an update to "A Travellers Guide to Myanmar" in September ready for the new season. And already we have Peter and Anne from Balmain, Sydney Australia on board to give us updates for their pending trip in October.

    So we have "
    Fish out of Water" and "Powered by Noodles" and now "Cool for Cats" set to update us in Myanmar. Can you get any more up-to-date?

    Free guides and downloads.
    Posted 24 Jul 2013, 21:12 by Elli Murr
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Definition of Charity: 
"Generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy and suffering"

This is all about giving something back to the people of the countries that we've visited, to thank them for the wonderful experiences that we've had. There are no charges for receiving information on this site, because this is about sharing the latest information and not making money. You'll also note, there are no pop-ups or sponsored links to businesses. So, please take the time to look at some of the charities that we've highlighted on our charities page, and if you want to "pay" for the information you've received, then look into some of these worthy causes. Otherwise we'd gladly accept any support to help keep this site alive.

You will be directed to an Email window. 
If not, then email: volunteer@

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