Pembrokeshire Road Trip Day 4

Another day and further tales and information of our day.

Starting off at Porthgain I have been there before and wanted a return trip so I could pick up a few more pictures and to give you a run down on the quaint village. The village is steeped in history, was once a busy port transporting slate and building stone until the 1930’s. Today the harbour is used by fisherman and is a working fishing village.

Porthgain Map

Harbour PG

Climb up the steps and take the coastal pathway, the panoramic view is just stunning as is all the Pembrokeshire coast line.

PG View 1

Porthgain is a tourist spot and features eating, shopping and art galleries to tempt. The Sloop Inn in Porthgain pre dates from 1743. It’s one of the famous if not the most famous pubs in Pembrokeshire. The interior of the pub is quaint and historic, while the seating area around the front door is an ideal sun trap. The Sloop serve food at lunchtime and evenings. A specialty is fresh crab, which is landed daily at Porthgain harbour, only two hundred yards away.

Another favorite is The Shed serving up at lunchtimes and evenings serving teas, coffees, cakes, fish and chips and daily specials. The building was once the machine shop for the engines that operated the brick works in the industrial heyday of Porthgain. Although The Shed is a little expensive, the portions are substantial.

shed sign

Shed Building

Car parking at the village is a little hit and miss. It is free to park but with the number of tourist’s you have to wait until a spot becomes available.

Passing through Fishguard making towards a beach we past by the famous Fishguard Fort. The Napoleonic Fort at Fishguard was built between 1779 and 1781. It was armed with eight nine-pounder guns which were fired to warn off approaching French ships during the attempted French invasion of 1797.

Park up the car, take the short walk down to the fort.

FG Fort 1

Canon 1

If like me you do like a beach make your way past Fishguard and Newport. You will find a beach almost a mile. Traeth Mawr or Big Beach in the English translation. Excellent beach for the family, but follow the rules set out by the lifeguards, they are there for a reason. You can park on the beach when the tide is out, but there is a car park (fee paying). There is an attendant to take the parking fee. Toilets and a small shop is located at the site.

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Last port of call for the day was Strumble Head. Now if you want breathtaking, then this is the place for you. Road leading to the head is a little narrow at times, so take your time through the winding road. But the trip is worthwhile. The rocky coast line and the lighthouse is amazing.

St Head coast line 1

Lighthouse 1

Another fabulous day of traveling.

 

 

Halong Bay Vietnam

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Trip to Halong Bay Northern Vietnam, we booked the trip via a small travel agent in the old quarter of Hanoi. The young lady was most helpful, as they normally are when you are handing over money. She recommended the deluxe package, which included transfer from hotel to the port, boat trip, bamboo boat ride through the caves, lunch and return to hotel. We could have exchange the bamboo boat ride for Kayaking, but decided against this option. My wife does have a good point which will undoubtedly unfold as the tour unwinds. Did all pay for the deluxe tour or did we just get conned to pay more? We did ask a few people on the trip and they did pay the same amount. So it worked out that we were all paying the same cost. But just one to watch when booking your Halong Bay trip.

Monday morning we were picked up at the hotel and spent about one hour picking up other tourist’s. The bus from the outside was good, the seating however, was a difficult. Obviously the bus was made for Vietnamese as the leg room was restricted and was very uncomfortable on a four hour journey to Halong Bay.

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The Lush Green Rice Paddies

We made the customary stop for a restroom break and “you guest it” a look around the gem shop and the workshop making tapestry. All for sale! The toilets were very clean for the number of tours they deal with throughout the day. Back in the bus and off we go again.

The driver starts up the Vietnamese music, we must be near Halong. As we drive through the rural area of Vietnam you do get a feel for the country, the people wading through the paddy fields tending to the plants. The people seating outside their houses chatting and eating the Pao bowls of noodles. I managed to take a few pictures to capture the memories of this journey.

Knowing we have to make the journey back is beginning to play on my mind a little. Oh well let’s enjoy and get on with it and not worry.

At the port/harbor we are given tickets and make our way to the boat. Lunch is served and away we go out to sea. The lunch was good with a variety of Vietnamese dishes and chips! All drinks ordered you have to pay for, so keep that in mind.

The tour guide gives us a brief introduction of the Halong Bay Area and the islands.

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Fighting Cock Islands

Cruising on the ocean, we make our way to our first stop. This is for us the bamboo boat ride. The boats are rowed mainly by ladies, with a few men also rowing. As we approached the first cave the young lady steered the boat through the cave into a lagoon. The age of the rower of our boat was 17, she had been working the boat since she was 8 years of age. The boat ride comes to an end and we hop off and back to the main boat for our next excursion to a cave.

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The cave part of the trip was quite spectacular with color lights eliminating the roof and the rock formations. Just a word of warning, there a number of steps that wind up and down. With parts of way quite steep, this may hinder your progress walking around inside the cave if you have knee or leg problems. So just take your time and care.
Taking in the caves was the best part for me and I managed to click off a few pictures.

DSC_0120DSC_0133DSC_0135Off we get and make our way towards the bus. Then I start to remember the 3 1/2 hour journey back. Still the sun is going down and the rice paddy fields look green and lush. So no worries, just looking forward to a cold one and a nice dinner.

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Conclusion: Trip to Halong Bay Northern Vietnam
Cost $35
Was the trip worth the money? A little rushed for me. The tour guide tried his best, but a lot of what he had to say was lost through his lack of English speaking.
The boat could do with a paint job on the outside. Inside decor was not to bad.
Lunch, was good and plenty.
Bamboo boat ride was good, the young lady worked hard and was steady with the oars.
The cave was excellent, but there were many tourists ad this did hamper progress on the steps.
The main negative is the journey time to Halong Bay, but you do know before you book.

Bob’s Rating out of a 10 = 6

Taken from my web site travelingwithyourcamera.com

All pictures are taken straight out of the camera. As yet no post processing. I am still on the road touring. I will be publishing a ebook from my travels in the Northern part of Vietnam very soon.

Check out my two books for free from Blurb.

http://www.blurb.com/my/ebooks/480389-vietnam-street-photography

http://www.blurb.com/my/ebooks/478858-portraits-of-thailand-street-photography

Memories of Hong Kong

It seems like a long time since my family and I paid a visit to Hong Kong. But the experience was a fantastic photography opportunity. Looking through my file the other day I noticed a few favorites and I would like to share them with you.

The pictures are of the harbor and the boats that work the sea.

Ferry Across the Harbor- Ferry Across the Harbor-4 Boat Across the Harbor-7

Hope to go back soon and take a load more pictures.

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Boat People

A few months ago, before all the political problems set in for Thailand, I took a trip down the Chao Phya river. The river runs through Bangkok, much the same as the river Thames in London and no doubt a number of cities throughout the world. Cruising down the river on the river taxi I managed to take a few pictures of the people living on the tug barges.

Family

Family

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