travel

What I discovered in Vietnam…

It is amazing.

There you go job done. 
Seriously though I wasn’t sure what to expect in Vietnam, I’d done a little research but I completely fell head over heels in love with this place. 

Let me tell you why…

The people are so friendly. From the minute we arrived at the first hostel nothing was too much hassle for our hosts. Friendly and helpful was every person we encountered on our journey through. 

Phong Nha National Park is full of natural wonders and my favourite place we visited, we loved it so much we extended our stay there. We went for the caves and caves we got. Specifically Dark Cave which you zip line down to, swim into, have a mud bath, take a mud slide back to the river and then kayak your way out. The most fun day if not a little exhausting! But it’s not just caves, the National Park itself is stunning and packed full of adventures to be had, whether you want to climb a waterfall, ride a buffalo, spot monkeys or just rent a scooter and enjoy driving through, it’s a natural treasure trove and you could never be bored.
Pho. Easily my favourite of all Vietnamese food I had it at least once a day. Could be found in any cafe, restaurant or stand at the side of the road for mere pennies and always so so delicious.
The lanterns of Hoi An. We rocked up to Hoi An pretty damn hungover, not in the mood to do anything and reluctantly dragged ourselves to the old town once we were there my hangover vanished. So many lanterns. Everywhere. It has to be one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been and I could have kept wandering through the night time streets for hours.

Sleeper Buses. Sounds a bit weird but I found these buses the most fun. You lie down in these couch type seats and have a little cubby hole to stretch you legs out in, and I had no trouble happily sleeping the entire journey. I guess being short was an advantage here, but still a Vietnam experience not to be missed! 

The price. Everything is so cheap. Every hostel had free beer in the evening and happy hours running almost constantly. Even if it wasn’t happy hour every bar sold beer for 50p or even less. Even the best street food was just pennies. And the markets were so incredibly easy to get carried away in. Even renting scooters for the day cost about £7 including petrol! For the time we were there we lived like Queens and still came in under budget!

The history. Vietnam has a rich and turbulent history. Constantly fighting off invasions from neighbouring countries throughout the centuries. They threw over a long Chinese occupation before their 100 year colonisation by the French. And finally once they’d overthrown the French the country was divided and became embroiled in an American aided civil war, the effects of which the people suffered for decades following. Yet the people came through all of this with a strong sense of pride in their country and it’s cultures and with no hate in their hearts. As we were repeatedly told by the Vietnamese we met we do not hate the Americans it is in the past. 

I could go on forever about why this place is so amazing but to put it simply; Vietnam is a beautiful, rich and enchanting place of which we only scratched the surface and I know for sure I’ll be back so very soon. 

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