That is I’m back from my 17 day adventure in Vietnam and 4 days in Hong Kong.
Being a nature lover, fresh foodie and adventure seeker….Vietnam stole my heart.
Highlights of Vietnam were –
- Halong Bay – 3 day, 2 night cruise. Wow….is all I can say. Photos don’t do it justice. An absolute must. The longer cruise enabled us to get away from the crowds and really soak up the beauty and magnificence of this region. We even had time for kayaking, swimming and a cave dinner, whilst eating like kings. There is talk of overnight cruises being banned in 2 year’s time….not sure how true.
- Hoi An – Magical little town midway down the coast. Small enough to get around by bike or scooter without being totally freaked out, by the traffic, but still plenty going on. The food tour we did here was sensational – The Original Taste of Hoi An Food Tour – find it on Tripadvisor.
- Ho Chi Min City or Saigon to locals (easier to say) – Huge, bustling, colourful city with 25 districts – Chinatown, Market, Ultra- modern and much more. Locals say there are 10 million people here officially & maybe 20 million unofficially. We did a 3 hour night vespa tour here, where we were dinked by friendly local women to see the highlights of their city. Loved it! Also really lashed out here on accommodation & stayed at Villa Song on the Saigon River, where you could get a speed boat into the centre of town. Magnificent!
- Cu Chi Tunnels – Just on the outskirts of Saigon. Fascinating insight into tunnels used in the Vietnam war. 16, 000 Viet Cong lived here for 20 years underground during the war.
- Overnight sleeper on train – Train runs all the way down the coast of Vietnam. We travelled from Hanoi to Danang by soft (yes you can opt for hard or soft!) sleeper overnight, on our way to Hoi An. Great adventure & you get to see local sights on the way.
- Mekong Delta – 3 hours below Saigon is a district of farms, waterways, amazing floating markets. We stayed in a home stay, where on a Sunday Karaoke is a family tradition. A quirky little remnant from a Japanese invasion. And yes we were there on a Sunday…..couldn’t help but laugh & sing along….it was everywhere.
- Vietnamese people & the food – On the whole amazingly polite, welcoming, friendly & fun people, with a great sense of humour. The country abounds with fresh daily markets & a culture of eating out & sharing with friends & family. We could do with more of it here.
- Don’t eat Western food in Vietnam – my husband & youngest son were victims of this. A milkshake left them vomiting for 24 hours & on antibiotics. Keep to the local food…it has a higher turnover, is handled better and is delicious!
- Trip Advisor is sensational for travelling here. Do your homework before you leave or on your travels.
This country although still communist, has adopted free trade. Which as a local pointed out, in 2000 his world changed from coupons & the black market to free trade, internet and a world of possibility.
Vietnamese people are incredibly resourceful. They make anything out of almost nothing and ingenuity. Communism, war and a find a way mentality has made these people truly shine and put us to shame in my opinion. You see them getting on with life with a spring in their step, a smile on their face and a song in their heart.
Good-bye Vietnan……till next time.
I will be back!
PS Next adventure here will be Hi Van Pass by motorbike tour. Get off the train at Hue & vespa it to Danang. Amazing scenery. Watch Top Gear Vietnam Adventure to fully appreciate it.
Love to hear your experiences and adventures in Vietnam. Just comment below.
Any tips for must sees?