Vietnam Travel Guide
Vietnam Travel Guide:
My love for Nam is tried and true. I went there with a girlfriend, and my second time on a big Asian adventure – I knew what I was getting into, but Vietnam is a whole different world.
The most interesting part of Vietnam is the vast difference between the North and the South. Both in culture, landscape, even the food tastes different. The vibe is different everywhere, the people behave differently, and if we get into the history of the country, its war and its past – wow.
There is so much residual damage from what happened in the Vietnam War. Especially if you travel to the Southern Region, you will feel and see the impact first hand. Even the vegetation, if you go and learn and dive into what happened with Agent Orange – you will feel the deep impact the war still has on Vietnamese people. No, Vietnam is not the best place to dive and traveling between North and South is a long journey, but the country deserves to be seen, the WHOLE country, as sometimes each place felt like a whole world of its own.
My itineraries outline the best routes in my opinion, but here are some of my favourite must see/dos per region:
Halong Bay: a must, cruise along the river for a few days
Hike in Sapa: you will not regret this, and the views are spectacular
Get a Motorbike or get on the back of one: the landscape of Northern Vietnam is stunning. You need to go explore the good old fashioned way. Maybe avoid a bike rental in Hanoi though, yikes.
Hanoi is a great place for shopping and any beauty needs. Much cheaper than any services from home, that’s for sure. And the pho in Hanoi is the best in the country.
Mui Ne is really cool for ATV/adventure seekers
Hoi An: a must visit city when you to Vietnam. Walk the streets, rent a bike and stroll through the villages, head down to the beach, listen to live music. And you must eat here. Eat, a lot. Think: Italy, but in Vietnam. Food for days, the most delicious food.
Nha Trang: kind of reminded me of Miami. Westernized, and packed with expat Europeans. This stop was just a party. I would skip it if I went back a second time.
Dalat: I didn’t go, because it’s more of a romantic destination. BUT, if I could’ve trade Nha Trang for Dalat, I would. Regret skipping this one for sure.
Saigon, of course: Spend some time in Ho Chi Minh. Even if it is dirty, and busy, go to the museums, understand the culture, get into it here. Eat street food, people watch, find the hidden gem restaurants. It’s all there for you.
Mekong Delta: of course another must see, but be careful which what tour you go on. A lot of these tours are like tourist cattle, bringing you to places that really aren’t local at all, just set up for your to buy things. Think: cruise ship stops. See the delta, but on your own terms.
Phu Quoc: Southern Vietnamese island. I loved it there. If you have Thailand or other beach destinations on the menu, you can skip this one, but if not – make this your last stop to relax before heading back home.
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