From Cambodia we flew to Vietnam where we spent 2 weeks. We started off in Ho Chi Minh and spent around four days exploring the city, trying the food and visiting museums. I’ve always been really interested in the Vietnam War and so I was keen to visit the war museums and particularly the Cu Chi tunnels. The tunnels are an extensive network underground which the Viet Cong used during the war for hiding as well as combat and supply routes. As part of the day trip, we were able to crawl through the narrow and scorching hot tunnels with 15 tourists. Well, this is what my boyfriend told me. Unfortunately, despite paying for the trip and spending two hours on an unbearably hot bus, I couldn’t actually go into the tunnels because of my asthma.
(NB. I’ve had mild asthma from being a child but it has not been a huge problem for years and I’d kind of forgotten about it, only bothering with my inhaler when I had a cold. That was until I went to visit a psychic shortly before I went travelling. She told me, with a knowing look, to be VERY careful whilst I was away because there was a ‘chance’ I would struggle with my breathing… well that was enough for me to be absolutely petrified for six weeks that I could potentially have an asthma attack at any time. Of course that didn’t happen, but it was excessively humid on the day we visited the tunnels and the tour guide suggested it was advisable sit it out. So I sat with a diet coke for two hours while Lewie crawled through the tunnels.)
Also another note, driving or being driven in Vietnam is the worst! They are maniacs and beep their horns at everything. They beep when things are wrong and when they’re going right. I found it so frustrating and would moan incessantly to Lewie about it.
We spent the rest of our time in Saigon exploring, trying the foods and shopping at the markets. We were actually v adventurous and tried as many different foods as we could whilst there. Lew’s favourite was Pho Bo, where as I was a huge fan of Bahn Mi – a sandwich that tastes incredible. The shopping was also fab here and I took huge advantage of the cool stuff sold at the markets. Saigon was so much more cosmopolitan than I was expecting and was probably my favourite place we visited. I would love to go back in the future.
After Ho Chi Minh/ Saigon we travelled to Nha Trang, a tourist beach town. We had a fab few days here for Lew’s bday but it is very touristy and probably not that authentic. However, it was a fun break from being in the cities and the beach was lovely.
Following this, we got an overnight sleeper train to Hoi An. This was awful and not nearly as luxurious as the one we took from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Due to us booking our tickets so late, the only options available were sleeper chairs. We had all of our bags round our feet and people leaning on our chairs from the aisle, not a great journey but luckily I can fall asleep pretty much anywhere so I put my eye mask on and was out for most of the journey.
The journey was worth it because Hoi An was gorgeous. Hoi An is a well preserved ancient town with stunning architecture. It’s famous for its tailoring and known as the Venice of Vietnam because of its canals. We had such a good days here mainly shopping and eating, such a lovely place and a must see if visiting Vietnam.
Our last stop in Vietnam was Hanoi. We didn’t originally plan on visiting but then rearranged our schedule so that we could do a cruise on Halong Bay. The city itself was good to see and I am glad we experienced it, but for me I much preferred Ho Chi Minh. Halong Bay, on the other hand, was amazing and the trip to Hanoi was totally worth it for this reason. We did a 3 day 2 night cruise on Halong Bay where we got to see all the major sightseeing spots, kayak and go swimming. We had a great few days but unfortunately I got food poisoning and proceeded to be sick for the following week. Not the best end to our travels but I did lose a few pounds (only to pile them back on again once I started eating again fs).
From Hanoi we flew back to Thailand before flying home. An amazing six weeks travelling with my best mate. I can’t wait to see where my travels take me next….