AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Shoe shopping

Posted on Mar 17, 2014

I purchased some Salomon trail runners for the trip. They have been the most comfortable pair of footwear I have ever worn. They have travelled throughout Europe and into Asia. From -15’c to 37’c, across paddy fields and up to 4,600m peaks. They are highly breathable and are well cushioned. In addition, they are very lightweight. After 8months they have succumbed to everyday wear. My review of these shoes are that they are extremely comfortable and suit a wide variety of terrains but they have not lasted as long as I hoped. The soles are contragrip and have worn out in many places, becoming smooth and not as suitable for climbing up a mountain as they once were. I had replaced them with some fake North Face boots but made a somewhat costly mistake. They are just too heavy and although they will probably survive the remaining treks in Nepal they won’t survive the rest of the trip. The Salomon’s weigh around 300g per shoe. Despite the rapid wear on the soles I would recommend these shoes and I especially like the quick-lace on them. Mine did not break in the time I had them. Replacement quick-lace systems seem quite unfathomable but after 8months of extreme wear my laces have no fraying. My new shoes are Salewa. They are supposedly guarenteed to blister-free and come in a range of garish colours! They have very robust toe-protection and a good heel cradle. The soles are vibram, which I have nothing but positives to say about this brand. I am back to conventional laces but as soon as I tried them on they felt snug and suitable for both trekking and city-walking. They cost £70, the same as the Salomon shoes back in the UK. In summary, if you want an very comfortable multi-activity shoe for trekking, travelling or day-to-day activities I highly recommend the Salomon shoe. I will definitely be buying them again and if they had them in Kathmandu I would have bought them. Salomon Shoes Salewa Wildfire Posted from Kathmandu, Central Region,...

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Shopping in Kathmandu

Posted on Mar 3, 2014

We arrived in Nepal with almost no suitable clothing for trekking in the Himalaya. The good news is that the tourist area of Kathmandu (Thamel) has hundreds of shops selling almost every piece of equipment you could need. Yesterday, we weren’t really sure on what clothing we needed. We don’t know the temperatures for most of the walks, nor the base camps. We can get temperatures for the start of the walks and some temperatures from the top of the walks, but nothing accurate for the length of the route. The shop keepers will sell you the item you are looking at, no matter what it is and tell you that is fine. There is no expert advice, so we had to know exactly what we wanted. We wandered around the shops asking about different items, writing down the prices and just getting a feel for what we do and don’t want. In one shop we were told the down coats would be too warm, but in many other shops we were told to buy down. We had planned on renting a coat, sleeping bag and rucksack each, but we are going to be trekking for about 42 days, plus travel and rest time in between, so maybe 50 days. After asking the prices of these items on a per day basis it was hardly any extra (and sometimes cheaper) to buy the items. By the end of our first day wandering we knew most of what we wanted, a reasonable idea on which shops to get it from and what to research that night in the hotel. We found that during the day temperatures were warm, shorts and t-shirt weather, only at night, early morning and in the evening was it cold. So a good warm down sleeping bag and thermal underclothing would be good at night. The synthetic coats for morning and evening would be good enough. And long sleeved t-shirt plus micro fleece would be warm enough for most days (we will be walking and carrying stuff so won’t need extremely warm clothing). Our second day we headed out and bought almost everything we needed. Here’s what we got: 2x down sleeping bag: 10,000 rupees. 2x synthetic coats: 4,500 rupees 1x (real) North Face trousers: 6,499 rupees 1x (real) North Face micro fleece: 7,499 rupees 1x fleece hat: 150 rupees 1x long sleeve t-shirt: 810 rupees 1x sunglasses : 700 rupees 1x thermal underclothes: 1,900 rupees 2x Diamox packs:  190 rupees 1x water purification tablets: 130 rupees 1x hiking boots: 4,500 Total: 36,900 rupees. ($370, £240) Along with the above we got a free pair of...

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Saigon: A Truly Modern City

Posted on Dec 18, 2013

Saigon has a very different vibe to the rest of Vietnam. In fact it feels totally different to anywhere we have visited so far. The main reason for this is by how modern and western it feels. Big wide streets, wide footpaths, parks dotted around the city and a real hustle and bustle feel. The parks are filled with people, day and night, break dancing, yoga and playing games. There are fitness machines in the park free of charge to use when you want (when it’s about 10 degrees cooler I’ll consider using them). There are huge hotels costing hundreds of dollars per night and equally large and flashy shopping centres. It’s one week to Christmas and the shopping centres are decked out in full Christmas livery, enough to rival London in scale and quality. Many tourists are flocking here not to shop but to have their photo taken in front of the oversized snowmen and giant reindeer, covered in fake snow and bright lights. Most impressive of all are the neon lights on the buildings. Saigon could almost be a giant Christmas tree itself. Some streets are lined with lights and a number of the higher buildings have impressive light shows going on. The food is also fantastic. This evening we had Greek food. At the end of the street is a fish & chip restaurant. Italian, American, French, everything is here. Bars galore. A bakery selling proper croissants and pain au chocolat is now our usual breakfast location. This is a great city and we’re enjoying our time here. Posted from Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City,...

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