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Kaleidoscope (08-06-2014)

Update: June, 08/2014 - 17:22
by Xuan Hiep 

American couple quit their jobs for round-the-world trip

Two years ago, Seth and Olivia Hanson decided to quit their jobs in banking and property management, sell their house in Austin, Texas, and travel around the world for six months, the online site reports.

"One night we were talking about how great it would be to just take some time off and travel, so we took out a piece of paper and wrote down our dream destinations," Seth Hanson told Business Insider. "Our lists turned out to be almost identical".

They finally settled on Brazil, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Thailand and India.

One of their favourite destinations, they said, was Sapa in northwestern Viet Nam. They loved the landscapes and their stay with a host family who served them traditional Vietnamese meals.

To plan their trip, they did a great deal of research in advance and decided to stick to a budget, allotting US$12,000 per person for the six-month period.

During their first stop in South America, they soon realised that the hype they had heard about destinations like Rio de Janeiro and Machu Picchu was just that – hype. The crowds were off-putting, so they began too seek out places like Jericoacoara, Brazil and Jaisalmer, India.

In India, they had some of their most authentic experiences, making friends with the locals who had invited them to dinner, playing cricket with the kids and eating US$1 meals along the side of the road.

French director's video of north VN popular on social media

"Somewhere in Viet Nam", a short video made by French director Gabriel Menassier, depicts the serene beauty of Viet Nam and its people without a voiceover or written commentary.

Having been posted online only in the last few days, the video is already getting a lot of attention, with many Vietnamese sending the short to friends and family via social media.

Among the stunning images are portraits of ethnic minorities living in the country's northern mountainous region. The grandeur of the area's lush hills and mountains and pristine rivers contrasts with the simple, rustic lifestyle of many of its residents. The video's tempo is slow, lending a mysterious air to the region.

Like similar works, this video helps to introduce Viet Nam to the world, and many people who have seen it online have left messages of admiration, saying they hope to travel to the country some day. — VNS

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