Archive for the 'Vietnam' Category

04
Feb
10

Jan 31- Feb 4: Hanoi to Vang Vieng

Sabaidee! Hello from Laos!

Oh boy, I’m already getting ahead of myself! Right now I am sitting in an internet cafe in downtown Vang Vieng, Laos, where it is hot and humid. I, for one, am happy to have left the cooler weather of northern Vietnam behind, although I had a great time. I have a lot to say about my experience in Vietnam, but little time to write a new post, so it will have to wait until after tomorrow’s tubing excursion down the Nam Song river…

Our tour leader, Dat, and I on Australia Day

On Saturday we said goodbye to two members of our tour and our leader, Dat. It was really sad, because we all got along really well with Dat, and he was an awesome leader. I don’t think anyone could have been more welcoming and knowledgeable about their own country as he was, and he made our trip a true experience. If it wasn’t for his expertise and calm under pressure, we surely would have been lost on many an occasion. Dat managed to locate a lost camera, an impounded motorbike, and retrive one motorbike from a police station. Certainly, ours was a tour group he will not soon forget! And nor will we soon forget him. Thanks, Dat, for making our trip to Vietnam unforgettable!

Sunday we met our new tour leader and the new members of the Laos leg of our tour.

Our Laos group at Patuxey, the Victory Monument in Vientiane

Our leader is Thai, and her name is Ae (pronounced “Eh”, which makes it very confusing for her, as anyone who knows me knows I say “eh” like a real Canadian, which is to say ALL THE TIME). In addition, we have five Australians who joined the tour, one family of four and Kim, a mother of two who loves to party!

In all, there have been eleven of us from the start: Courtney, myself, Emina, Christina, Genevieve, Lisa, Adam, J.Y., Bonnie, Drew, and Dan. Hannah, Emma, Hailey, and Eloise left us in Saigon, where Allie and Eugenie joined us, and we picked up Kim, Mila, Andrei, Polina, and Alina in Hanoi. It’s been a great group, and I’ll be sad to see us part ways next Saturday.

Anyway, back to the point of this post…

On Monday, after a leisurely morning breakfast and a mad dash around the old quarter of Hanoi looking for the perfect baguette for our lunch on the bus, we departed Vietnam’s capital city for Vinh. There is NOTHING in Vinh, except for it being a stopping over point for the border crossing between Laos and Vietnam. There is a crossing further north, but it would have taken us far north of our destination, Vientiane. The drive took close to seven hours, and by the time we got there, all anyone had energy for was dinner and bed.

Lao jungle scenery

Tuesday we left the hotel around 630AM (Asian time, of course) and began the three-hour journey to the border. Laos requires all tour groups going through Laos to have a local Lao guide, so we picked up Salee, our local guide until Vang Vieng. The border crossing was relatively quick and painless (once the paperwork was done and fees had been paid) and then we were off on a painful 8 hour drive to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. I say it was painful, because there is no other way to describe sitting in a bus for 8 hours, despite three stops and a lot of snacks. Because Laos is largely mountainous, and the roads are not the greatest, the drive takes a lot longer than it would in Canada, or even in Vietnam.

Wednesday I discovered two things which are essential to travel in Laos: a traditional Lao massage, and the Scandinavian Bakery. Since I plan on writing a post to compare the merits of the regional massages I have had since being on tour once I get a Thai massage, all I’ll say for now is that it involves a lot of bending. The bakery is another story: the secret to being Asians being thin, is that Asians eat a lot of rice, veggies, and lean meat, and that they don’t put sugar in ANYTHING. A banana is sugary enough over here, and it’s been an ordeal trying to find a decent brownie or cake over here, what with the lack of baking with sugar. The Scandinavian Bakery, however, had the most amazing cakes, croissants, and iced coffee I have had since crossing the Pacific. Amazing. Anyone who knows me knows I like to have dessert after every meal (dinner, lunch, and breakfast, if possible 🙂 so I was in pure sugary heaven!

Wednesday morning we did an orientation walk through Vientiane, including a visit to the national Temple, the market, and the Lao version of

Me in a "Jumbo"

Paris’ Arc de Triomphe, called Patuxay. We also had our first ride in a “Jumbo” which is like a tuk tuk, but with the benches positioned so that you are riding sideways, instead of front/back. I’ll post photos for comparison soon. I adore how every southeast asian country has it’s own “national” mode of transportation. It’s hilarious every time we get on something new.

Today we rode a bus full of tourists for only 4 hours, to arrive in Vang Vieng, party town of Laos. The town is filled with more white people than Asians, and more drunk people than sober. The streets are studded with bars, internet cafes, convenience stores, and clothing shops, and reminds me a lot of the backpacker towns along the east coast of Australia. There isn’t much to do here but drink, and do some of the extreme activities available from most guesthouses.

Tomorrow we will do a tubing trip down the Nam Song river, which is a necessity of a visit to Vang Vieng. I will report back later (hopefully tanned and slightly tipsy) but I’ve heard that it is a lazy, two-hour glide down a river lined with bars, and finishes with a zip line over the river. Should be fun 🙂 On Saturday a few of us have signed up for a rock climbing course, which I think will be awesome, because we will be climbing one of Vang Vieng’s limestone karsts. Since I’ve only climbed indoors before, I’m looking forward to my first taste of real climbing!

Anyway, the party is raging on next door, and I’ve got some buckets of vodka, redbull and coke waiting for me.

So long, and Kop Jai Lai Lai for reading!

Lex

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31
Jan
10

Jan 28-31: Hanoi – Halong Bay (and back again)

On Thursday, I was awake from 4AM until about 10PM, so I went directly to bed after the water puppet show. In Vietnam they like to charge for absolutely EVERY experience they possibly can, so I don’t have any photos of the show because I didn’t want to pay an extra 15,000 Dong (really, only about $1, but hey, I’m being cheap right now) to take photos.

Limestone karst of Halong Bay

Friday we left early for the three hour drive to Halong City, where we caught our private boat to Cat Ba island, via Halong Bay. I had been looking forward to this part of Vietnam for months, so I was a bit bummed that it was overcast and hazy on Friday. But the weather was relatively warm, and our tour leader Dat said that the conditions were actually pretty good for this time of year, so we made the best of our journey and still took plenty of photos. Unfortunately the computer I am at does not have the proper connection, so yet again you will have to wait to see them :p

During the boat ride we had the opportunity to explore some of the limestone

Me outside the caves at Halong Bay

caves in the bay, and were served lunch on the boat. We passed by many villages on the bay, where people literally live in a boat the size of our bathroom at home!

Yesterday seven of us went for a kayak trip around the bay. It was still hazy, and the rain was pouring when we woke up, but by the time we set out the sky was clearing up and the rain had stopped. I was definitely happy I went, despite getting all my clothes wet (and having aching arms afterward!) because we got to see some very cool sights. The coolest part was when we stopped at a beach and our guide took out a bag of bananas.

Monkeys!

Can you guess what these were for? The MONKEYS! There were about seven monkeys sitting on top of a hut on the beach, and they came running when we beached our kayaks! Some of them were a bit aggressive, so we took to throwing the bananas at them, but a few of them allowed us to venture closer (armed with a paddle for defense, of course!) The photos of them gorging themselves on banana peels are adorable (too bad you have to wait to see them 🙂

Me and my Bun Cha

When we arrived back in Hanoi yesterday evening, after a long day of travel (it looks close on the map, but it actually takes close to three hours to get to Halong Bay from the city), we had our “last supper” together as a group, and with Dat, our fantastic amazing tour leader. We sat in a private room and had a scrumptious Vietnamese dinner (I had a traditional Hanoi meal called Bun Cha) followed by not-so traditional ice cream (mint chocolate, finally!) We then headed to a local club for some hookah before heading back for a good nights sleep.

Today Court and I are having a lazy day, walking around the city, taking photos, and buying baguettes for the bus trip to Vinh. Tonight we will meet our new tour leader and group for the Laos portion of our tour. I’m looking forward to Laos, and I’m hoping our group will be just the eleven of us that have been together since Day 1 in Bangkok. Since I put all my photos on a CD, I don’t have them with me, but I hope to put some up when I make my next post.

Until Laos,

Lex

28
Jan
10

Jan 25-28: Hoi An to Hanoi

Finally! A hotel that has free internet and photo uploading! This morning we arrived at 4.30AM in Hanoi, but unfortunately our rooms weren’t ready until noon, so we spent the time sitting in the hotel lobby (ugh). But first, let me fill you in on how we got here…

Where my last post left off, on Monday, we were departing from Hoi An for the fou-hour bus ride to Hue. Although southern Vietnam only has two seasons, northern Vietnam has four, like the northern hemisphere. Once we crossed the mountains, the weather was noticeably cooler and wetter, and it was pouring when we arrived in Hue.

Us dressed up in traditional Vietnamese Court costumes. Can you spot me? (Hint: I'm on the left side)

Monday night we went to a restaurant that serves a traditional Royal dinner, complete with authentic costumes! Each of us got to dress up as a member of the Vietnamese royal court, and was served dinner by servers in costumes, while listening to a traditional Vietnamese band. The food was bland, as it was traditionally, to avoid the court being poisoned, but was served in intricate designs and shapes. Anyone who knows me knows I love Halloween, so I had a lot of fun. It was pretty entertaining just to watch everyone dressed up in the costumes!

Tuesday was an early day, I think I mentioned before that we were scheduled to do a motorbike tour, but it was raining

The view from the back of a motorbike. Don't worry, I'm still holding on with one hand.

all day on Monday, so we were a little apprehensive about getting on the back of a motorbike in the rain. But have no fear! The bike guides arrived in the morning with ponchos! The ponchos are really funny looking, they have little windows in front of the crotch area – no, it’s not a peep show, they are there so the drivers can put their ponchos over the handlebars and still see their dashboard! HA HA! All thirteen of us climbed on the backs of the motorbikes, and were treated to the highlight of my trip so far. Even though we were wet, wearing ridiculous looking ponchos, muddy, and helmet head, it all added to the experience! The guides took us through the town to see the traditional Vietnamese “conical hat” being made, to get amazing views of the perfume river, and to a pagoda where we were served lunch by female monks. We even got a nap afterward! Amazing!

Aussie Day!

Since Tuesday was Australia day, we all went out at night to a local bar to party like an Aussie! Too bad the Aussies were out-drank by two Canadians, two Brits, and an American. LOL. We all had a great night, evidenced by the fact that only one Aussie got up for our citadel tour the day after (plus two Brits and one Canadian – me!). I’m pretty proud that I managed to get up bright eyed and bushy tailed after a bucket (1 bucket = 7 shots) of vodka pineapple, 1 beer, and five free shooters 🙂 I rock!

Wednesday we were set to leave Hue for Hanoi at 2.30PM, but there were still sights to see. Our tour leader, Dat, took four of us (the only four that managed to wake up un-hungover) to the old King’s residence, which was heavily bombed during the American/Vietnam war. Only three of the buildings remain today, and although restoration work is well underway, it will be a long time before it is restored to it’s former glory.

The overnight train for Hanoi took about twelve hours, and we passed the time by eating a dinner of makeshift

Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum

sandwiches (baguette, salami, and laughing cow cheese), playing games (I’m going to a picnic and I’m bringing…) and sleeping (Zzz..). This morning we went to see Ho Chi Minh, who the Vietnamese affectionately refer to as “Uncle Ho”. Ho Chi Minh established independence for Vietnam in 1945, so he is the national hero. Although his wish was to be cremated upon his death in 1969, the Vietnamese people (read: government) decided that this wasn’t good enough for their beloved leader, so they had him embalmed instead, and placed in a glass box inside a mausoleum. To this day, Ho Chi Minh receives thousands of visitors each day, who troop past, double file, no cameras, phones, or camcorders allowed.

Well that brings me up to date (finally), although I’m taking bets on how long it will take me to fall behind again. Tonight we will go to see a water puppet show, which originated in Hanoi over 1000 years ago. Tomorrow we will depart for Halong Bay (yay!) and spend one night on Cat Ba island, the only inhabited island in the Bay. It is wet and quite cool in Hanoi, so it is doubtful we will be swimming, but the forecast calls for sun so I have my fingers crossed.

Before I forget, some people are asking why I’m not posting anything on Facebook or doing notifications about the blog on there. Vietnam is a communist country and as such has blocked the use of Facebook. I’m using a proxy server to creep around on occasion, but I can’t post to my wall or anyone elses, look at photos, or read messages. I promise I’ll get back to civilization when I get to Laos. I also look forward to posting some photos to a gallery on the blog in the next week so I can show off some more of the amazing places we have been and things we have been doing. There just isn’t enough room in each post! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my experience, as always I’m having a blast, but missing home all the same.

Lexi

27
Jan
10

Custom Clothing Chaos

Hello again!

We just arrived in Hanoi on the overnight train and are waiting in the lobby of our hotel for our rooms to be opened up at 12PM. Oh, did I mention that it’s only just past 5AM right now? We have to wait in the lobby until noon, or else pay $15 to use a room for four hours… anyway, I figured I’d use this time to catch up on our travels from Hoi An onward…

Clothing Shop in Hoi An

Last Friday we arrived in Danang, and were taken by bus to Hoi An, for four days of mayhem! Hoi An is the premier place in Vietnam to get custom-tailored clothing made, and I’d been looking forward to this stop on our trip for months. Since we arrived before 6AM, we caught a quick nap before going into town for a tour of the shops, where custom clothing, shoes, and jewelery can be made.

Friday afternoon was spent looking through catalogues of dresses, suits, skirts, shirts, shorts, shoes, necklaces, rings, bracelets, and anything else one can wear. Initially, I had pictures of two dresses from a magazine that I wanted made, but I finally ended up with three more dresses, a pair of shorts, two coats, a suit (including pants, skirt, and blazer), shoes, two necklaces, a pair of earrings, and a charm for my anklet.

The process in Hoi An goes like this:

Me getting measured for my blazer

  • First visit: show the tailors what you want made by pointing it out in the catalogue, or one of the designs on display in their shop.
  • Second visit: usually a day after the initial order, go in for the first fitting. THE ITEM WILL NOT FIT. GUARANTEED. You and the tailor will work out what needs to be looser, what needs to be tighter, what needs to be tucked, pinned, undone, etc. They will not, under any circumstances, decide that the design is too difficult for them to do, or that it won’t work, even if they know it is and it won’t. They will just keep re-sewing until it looks somewhat wearable.
  • Third visit: usually a few hours after the first fitting, you go in for what you hope will be the last fitting. But it never is. It took an average of four visits for the five shops I visited to get the items fitted right. This got very frustrating, especially when an item fits too loose, and then it fits too tight, and then the tailor has to go and try and make it somewhere in between, which usually requires more fittings.
  • Fourth visit: more fittings. This should be the final nips and tucks, as the item should fit pretty well by now. The salesperson marks the item with chalk, to signal to the tailor what to do and where (i.e. take in, let out, shorten, lengthen, etc.)
  • Fifth visit: final fitting and pay for the items.

Now, multiply this by five, or four, or whatever the number of shops you have ordered items from, and there you have a relaxing (NOT!) trip to Hoi An. I tell you, at least twelve hours, and probably more, were spent running around the town from shop to shop, trying on clothing. There is a reason they give you four days here, and only two on the beach in Nha Trang – you need it!

On a Bike Ride

Besides the clothing, we had time for some activities, which included a bike ride through the countryside. I really love the bike rides. The rural children always run out from their houses, waving and screaming “hello!” and sometimes they will hold their hands out for a high five as we ride by! Even the parents get into it, and they will bring their babies out to wave at us. It’s really quite special, and entertaining, as they get such a kick out of seeing westerners!

Other activities included a sunset bbq dinner on an island, a trip to Cham ruins, and lunch at a local house. All the home cooked meals are nothing short of amazing! A typical Vietnamese meal will have many courses, and many dishes are shared between the people who are dining, and they always include soup and rice, tofu, two veggies, beef or pork, and chicken or fish. For example, our meal for twelve people included soup, rice, stir fried noodles, grilled veggies, pork, tofu, and fish. Even though there are always many of us eating together, we can never finish everything! Dat, our leader, reassured us that the food doesn’t go to waste – whatever the family doesn’t eat at lunchtime, they will pack up and eat for dinner. Since most houses don’t have freezers, the food is bought fresh every single morning.

In Vietnam, the motorbike is a way of life. EVERYBODY over the age of 16 has one, and I’m pretty sure that babies are born knowing how to drive one (this fact has yet to be confirmed 🙂 So it pretty much goes without saying that when in Vietnam, one must at least try driving one. I think most of you know where this is going… Sunday night I finally got a chance to ride a motorbike, and what fun it was! The bike was surprisingly heavy, but easy to handle once you get the hang of it.

Motorbike!

It was slow going at first, but by the time we got back to the hotel I was flying! (well really only 40kmph, but it feels like more when you’re on a bike!) It was such a thrill, and I can’t wait to get behind the handlebars again!

I think that’s enough excitement for one morning, I’m off to eat a coconut bun and I’ll be back again soon!

Lex

25
Jan
10

Jan 19-22: Ho Chi Minh City to Hoi An

Blogging from Vietnam is an exercise in persistence, patience, and sometimes, futility. It seems that each computer only performs one or two out of four necessary functions, and never all at the same time. When I can type, I cannot upload photos. When I can get the photos, my site is blocked. Facebook is permanently blocked by the Vietnamese government (gotta love Communism) and occasionally my email server is blocked as well. This leaves me to post when I can, save as drafts, and then go walking around town in search of a decent computer terminal to upload photos. As you can see, I am seriously lacking in the photo department because I lack the time necessary to perform such a search! I am learning more about patience on this trip than ever before!! Right now we’re in Hue, former imperial capital, and political capital until the 1940’s.

Now let’s see, where did I leave off? I think we were just boarding the night train from Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang…

The girls! All of us crammed into one cabin, which has four beds, for this photo.

Tuesday night was spent on my first overnight train! The trip took about 7 hours, and of course we squandered three of these hours crammed ten of us in a cabin drinking and playing games. After about four hours of sleep on a freezing cold top bunk, I was ready for bed (again) when we arrived at our hotel around 6.30AM Wednesday. We were granted a nap, before meeting for lunch and a visit to the hot springs and mineral mud baths!

On Thursday, we signed up for a boat trip around the islands near the town. Nha Trang is the premier holiday destination for Vietnamese people (unlike Cambodians, Vietnamese people actually take holidays), so the town is very touristy and has a few resorts, a beach, and many decent restaurants. They also know how to show tourists a good time, and our boat trip didn’t disappoint.

First we visited a fishing village, where we were followed around by a couple super cute children. Then we went to a

Fishing Village

reef to swim and snorkel. Visibility wasn’t very good, as this time of year is not the best for snorkelling or diving. We were served a bbq lunch on the boat, which was amazing, but was not the best part. The best part was… wait for it… you’re going to hate me… we had our very own private masseuse, and three girls who gave the girls on the trip manicures, pedicures, and eyebrow threading! It was super cool having our own personal aestethicians!

After a quick hot shower and a bbq dinner, we headed back to the train station for the overnight ride to Danang, where we would be met by a bus and taken to Hoi An. Being weary of the coldness of the first train, I packed my warmest clothing for the night, but it was unnecessary since the cabins were boiling hot on this train! The bathrooms were different also, and I had my first experience using a squat “toilet” (really, just a hole) while in a moving train… when you have to choose between holding your pants up and holding onto the walls, you know you’ve made it in life! LOL.

We rose early Friday morning to get off the train at 4.30AM (yuck) and caught the bus to Hoi An. I had been waiting for this part of the tour since early on in the booking process, as I heard that Hoi An is the place in Vietnam to get custom-made clothing. This in itself is an experience, and not an easy one at that, so I think I’ll stop there for now, and continue next time with the rest of the Hoi An story.

It’s starting to get cold as we move up the coast, so I’ve got to go dig my warmer clothing out of my pack. So long, farewell, goodnight… well, you get the picture.

Lexi

24
Jan
10

Jan 15-19: Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City

Phnom Penh along the beach

I haven’t had a chance to post in a while, so I’m going to try and go back (quite) a few days and recap the events between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in the next few posts. Bear with me over the next week, we are very busy and good internet is difficult to find apparently! Right now we are in Hoi An, halfway up the coast of Vietnam, but let me tell you how we got here…

Our last night in Phnom Penh was one of the most hellish nights I have ever had, and definitely the worst so far on the tour. A few of us went to a Thai boxing match during the evening last Friday, and I started to feel ill. Since we were about 60km outside of the city, I couldn’t easily get a tuk-tuk back to the hotel, so I decided to wait it out. By the time I got home two hours later, there was liquid coming out of both ends of my body (EW!) and I had the worst stomach cramps known to any woman. I spent most of the evening and the night on or hovering over the toilet, wishing for my life to end (well, not really, but you know I’m a big fat drama queen :). Luckily by Saturday morning I was feeling sufficiently better to be able to board the bus for a 6.5hr bus ride to Ho Chi Minh City, although I ate nothing for three meals, and nothing but baguette and rice for the next three.

Our group having our welcome to Vietnam dinner at the market in Ho Chi Minh City

Things in Vietnam are much better than they were in Cambodia, and the difference is obvious as soon as you cross the border. The two countries, although bordering, are like night and day. Ho Chi Minh City is a busy, hot city, but it is clean, and doesn’t have the same smell as Phnom Penh. The people seem cleaner and happier, and it seems that life is easier here, despite the fact that Vietnam is still gaining it’s own independence and establishing itself as an economic force. While the Cambodian people are still recovering from the past, Vietnam seems to be moving steadily toward the future.

Our hotel in Saigon was interesting. I spotted a gecko on the wall after arriving in our room, and proceeded to ignore it; however, it was much more difficult to ignore the three-inch brown cockroach crawling down the wall immediately following my shower! Our solution was to leave the light on in the bathroom, close the door, and shove copious amounts of toilet paper  in the crack it disappeared into. Luckily we only had to spend one more night in our room before leaving for our Mekong River homestay.

Court disappearing into one of the Cu Chi Tunnel entrances. This is how the Viet Cong got into the tunnel network.

On Sunday a group of us went to the Cu Chi tunnels, outisde of Ho Chi Minh City. The tunnels were used as an underground network by the Viet Cong during the American War (what the Vietnamese people call the “Vietnam War”). The tunnels include bunkers,  barracks, hospitals, and kitchens, and were cleverly disguised. They were also surrounded by a number of nasty looking booby traps, which made me cringe. It makes me wonder how one human being can want to inflict so much pain, torture, and slow death on another human being. I mean, I know it’s war but still.  We all got a chance to walk in the tunnels, but I could barely fit through while crouching, and the walls were barely wider than my own hips. Turning around would have been a nightmare!

Me going into the Cu Chi tunnels through a more "comfortable" method.

During the afternoon we went to the War Remnants Museum, which is honestly one of the most captivating museums I have ever seen. The photos were necessarily graphic and moving, and really helped to illustrate the stories, quotations, and timelines documented in the museum. I never realized the extent to which the Americans destroyed Vietnam and it’s people during the war, and for what now seems such a senseless reason. Where Cambodia seems to still be recovering from the devastating effects of the Khmer Rouge, the Vietnamese people are all too happy to put the past behind them and start looking toward the future. Our local guide said that many Vietnamese prefer to live in the present, instead of being haunted by the war, and it seems to me that Vietnam is rebuilding itself beautifully.

On Sunday evening we met our new, Vietnamese tour leader, Dat. It seems that the tour we are on is a combination of smaller, one-country tours, so we have a new leader for each leg. We also said goodbye to five members of our Cambodian leg, and pciked up tow more, sisters from Australia. We had a welcome dinner in the market, which was some of the best bbq ribs I have ever had.

Traditional Vietnamese "conical hats"! That's me on the right, by the way 🙂

Monday morning brought a new and unexpected twist: our private bus was huge! After being squished and cramped in a small, non-air conditioned bus in Cambodia, we were all overjoyed at the sight of leg room and circulating air! We drove to the mouth of the Mekong Delta, where we boarded a boat to take us to our homestay.

After the homestay in Cambodia, we were all apprehensive of our accommodation, but again, Vietnam did not disappoint! We were greeted by our own cots with mosquito nets, tables and chairs, hammocks, a cooler full of drinks, toilets, showers, electricity, and fantastic hospitality from our local family! Dinner was delicious, all fresh and prepared and served by the family, and then they treated us to  some traditional south Vietnam music and singing! IT was one of the best nights so far, in my opinion, because all of us had a chance to relax, chat, play games, and connect with locals.

Along the Mekong River

On Tuesday we awoke well rested and well fed, to a western breakfast before boarding our boat to go back to Ho Chi Minh. We had free time to explore the city before our night train to Nha Trang, but it was raining so we opted to visit Reunification Palace.To be honest, it was pretty boring, but every trip to Ho Chi MinhCity must include a visit to the famous gates which were crashed through by a tank during the War, so we went.

Tuesday night we boarded a night train for Nha Trang, and that is where this story ends. Here’s hoping I will get to fill in the remaining gaps before we get too much further up the coast.

Until next time,

Lex

17
Jan
10

Vietnam Itinerary

I thought it might be useful (for you, but also for me 🙂 to post the itinerary of where I will be on the Vietnam leg of the tour.

           Day      Date                 Location

  • 13        Jan 17              Ho Chi Minh City
  • 14        Jan 18              Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Homestay (Ben Tre)
  • 15        Jan 19              Ho Chi Minh City – Overnight to Nha Trang
  • 16        Jan 20              Nha Trang
  • 17        Jan 21              Nha Trang – Overnight to Hoi An
  • 18        Jan 22              Hoi An
  • 19        Jan 23              Hoi An
  • 20        Jan 24              Hoi An
  • 21        Jan 25              Hoi An – Hue
  • 22        Jan 26              Hue
  • 23        Jan 27              Hue – Overnight to Hanoi
  • 24        Jan 28              Hanoi
  • 25        Jan 29              Hanoi – Halong Bay (Cat Ba Island)
  • 26        Jan 30              Halong Bay
  • 27        Jan 31              Hanoi



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