4 different cultures in 1 month! – Greetings from Asia

1 month,

4 countries – Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and China

11 cities – Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Luang Prabang, Van Vieng, Vientiane,

Hanoi, Halong Bay, Da Nang, Hoi An, Ho Chin Mihn City, Beijing

Travel Journal by ICN 

@copyrights ICN Photography

Like everybody …. I LOVE TO TRAVEL, to see new places, to discover hidden gems and to be close to the local people.

ASIA has always been on my list to visit because of the culture and food and this year (2019) I decided it is time to go!

For this trip I used my Nikon D5100 – with a normal standard lens 18 – 55 mm plus my Iphone X using the portrait function. The edit has been made in Lightroom and Photoshop Elements 2018.

1st stop  – Welcome to Thailand

Greeting from Bangkok!

BKK temples

5 days (4nights)

From Amsterdam, we booked a ticket one-way to Bangkok with China Airlines (super cheap). Once we arrived here it was insane; Extremely hot and humid, with crazy traffic but yes….this is Asia get used to and enjoy it! We spend 5 days in BKK ( more than enough to enjoy the city).


The highlight of Bangkok was the street food, which was to be found on every corner – I personally enjoyed to the maxim the vegetarian pad thai and my favorite big tiger shrimps on the bbq we had them on a daily menu…..yammmmmyyyyyyy!!! 

Bkk street food

Greetings from Chiang Mai

3 days (2 nights)

From the madness to the quietness.

Welcome to Chiang Mai.

We choose to travel to Chiang Mai in a fast way. We booked a cheap flight that interestingly saved us money and time in comparison with taking the train. 

This city is all about nature, tracks and of course the elephant’s sanctuary.

Elephant Sanctuary 

One tip: go at the end of the day to book a half-price tour for the next day. All the tours offer you more or less the same depends on what you would like to do.

In the evening beside walking on the night market try the Ploen Roudee Market(Hipster European style corner), We had the most delicious seafood wok! 

2sc country – Welcome to  Laos

Next destination – Luang Prabang here we come.

3 days (2 nights)

On the way to Luang Prabang

We choose to fly here to gain more time. You also have the option to take a slow boat along the Mekong River to arrive here but this takes +/- 7 hours.

This country, special this city was the surprise of our trip here we regretted that we booked only 2 nights …. I recommend 5 days at least!

Lunag Phabang

The most impressive part was the early morning walk of the monks to receive food from the locals. This is a unique experience to hold, and I was very humbling. 

morning ritual monks_

Greetings from Vang Vieng

1 day (1 night)

Vang Vieng

From Luang Prabang, we went by bus to Van Vieng …… a small city in the middle of the country. On the way there we were amazed by the beauty of the landscape.


It is a long trip So be prepared.

The highlight of this city was the river tubing ….. floating down the river for 3.4 km into the city with few stops.

Greeting from Vientiane

Patuxai monument

3 days (2 nights)

Back on the mini-bus (the only way to travel around Laos) to a new destination.

Greetings from Vientiane 

Between the old and the new; the temples and the sunset view.

This is the capital of Laos.


What we enjoyed the most here…. was the sunset moment at the riverside and the free aerobic classes same time, same spot.

3rd country – Welcome to Vietnam

Greetings from Hanoi

3 days (2 nights)

Vietnam Airlines took us from the quietness of Laos to the craziest traffic and noise I have ever seen or heard so far in my life

Welcome to Hanoi!

Hanoi train tracks


The highlight of the city was the train tracks located right beside the people’s homes and businesses. Monday to Friday at 7 pm be there (Điểm Thu Hút Khách Du Lịch Mở cửa 24 giờ)to experience something unique …a trademark of Hanoi City.

Greetings from Halong Bay

3 days (2 nights)

From Hanoi, we went to Halong Bay by luxury Mini-Van ….Halong’s Bay was surprisingly quiet due to the holiday period: Tet (Vietnamese New Year). Here we booked a cruise for a day and enjoyed the beautiful view around us.

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Greetings from Da Nang

1 day (1 night) 

Da Nang a modern city with high buildings and the dragon bridge. The bonus of this city is that 10 km away you can find heaven – The Lady Buddha temple.

Greetings from Ho Ain

10 day (9 nights) 

In love with this city.


IF,….I ever want to leave Amsterdam and move somewhere else this is my Nr 1 preference. Our accommodation was in the middle of the rice fields ….with a breathtaking view of the small rivers meandering and through the fields.

Hoi An lanterns

I couldn’t stop admiring the Chinese lantern that they were hanging all around the city.

Greetings from Ho Chi Minh City

3 days (2 nights) 

Time to see the capital of the South – Ho Chi Minh City a big modern different city. We spent here 3 days and the highlight was our airbnb apartment view.



End of the trip – 4rd country -Welcome to China – 20 hours in Beijing

We booked the flight back to Amsterdam with a 20 h overlap in Beijing … We had to see one of the wonders of the world  – The Great Wall of China.

It is hard to get there though if you don’t book a tour ….. it is a long ride. From the Airport we took the Express train to the city center and from there we went by Metro, changed once to get a second train to bring us to our destination. All this transport hopping took us approximately 3 hours but every minute was worth it.

Before exiting the airport just be sure, that you take out enough cash to pay for everything as is difficult to find ATMs to work with your credit card. 


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