Sold on Vietnam
Two days in and we’re sold on Vietnam. I know very little of this country. Embarrassingly, little actually. Less than a month ago my knowledge of this gorgeous land and it’s people was limited to the lovely woman who gives me pedicures and an uncle who fought in (but never speaks of) the Vietnam War. Terrible, but true.
As we’ve been on the road for so long we’ve had countless conversations with fellow travelers. Some have said hit Vietnam, others suggested to give it a pass. All who have ventured before us have advised us to hit Hoi An, Halong Bay and Sa Pa. So far, that’s our plan. Two days after arriving we’re intrigued. We’re in. Hook line and sinker, none of us want to leave.
Per multiple recommendations we spent very little time in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon). Honestly, it was too little – two days just didn’t cut it (If you’re reading this and you are traveling with adults only, two days may very well be enough….if you are traveling with kids you know two days in any location is tricky (unless of course you are on a whirlwind tour and have no other choice…in that case, perhaps skip Ho Chi Minh all together and fly direct to Da Nang and live it up in Hoi An ). While we were told there isn’t much to do, especially for children, just absorbing the vibe took the two days we had. We loved the traffic, the dust free streets, the lights and the hustle. Our brief time was taken up with essential travel mundane like repairing damaged iPads, replacing sunglasses lost to a river and a backpack that has seen better days. As we bravely forged through intense traffic with our newfound skills from Cambodia our errands led us to more market adventures which always provide huge insight to the local culture and a trip to the stunning post office to send a package home. We did manage to catch a show at the Opera House and had a quick glimpse of some amazing, unexpected architecture.
Sadly we missed the Cu Chi Tunnels & the War Remnants Museum (not to mention a local foodie tour) but I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll have to be rerouted in the future to complete our historical and cultural lessons! For now, we say farewell to Saigon – with plans to return in the future.
After a ridiculously early start this morning we landed in Da Nang, and quickly made our way to Hoi An for 7 nights. I’ve become exhausted by nonstop travel plans so while I had the chance a few weeks ago I took the liberty of booking an entire month in Vietnam – and am now regretting it. Just when I’ve been super organized I think we’ve found our peaceful place. (This everyone is why you go with the flow and just wing it). We find ourselves in a stunning guesthouse with amazing owners, two modern, super clean, beautiful rooms with separate beds, gorgeous linens, included breakfast and bikes – all for $50/day. I’m not sure we can beat it! One of the “worlds top six beaches” is right down the street (although, shockingly, we’ve all tired of the beach) and a mile the other direction is the most quaint, gorgeous French colonial Asian town complete with tiled roofs, alley ways, covered bridges, tailors, coffee houses and pagodas just begging for exploration. We can’t wait.
While we loved Cambodia, the people we met, the stark contrast to every other country we visited and experience we had we are happy for something new. This green, lush country, it’s smiling people and lack of trash is a welcome site. I’m thrilled we made the last minute relatively pricey decision for a three month visa and now we contemplate reworking our final four months. Where we will and what we will be doing we do not know but we’ll keep you posted in between bike rides, beaches, learning traditional farming skills and perhaps a ride or two in a circular boat.