Vietnam wrap up
Hanoi Travel Blog› entry 5 of 5 › view all entries
April 25th, 2007 – by: chris-in-sf
I did love the other cities I visited in the middle of the country, Hue and Hoi An. Much more laid back and enjoyable cities, and a bit more of what you would expect of Vietnam.
Costs: everything is very very affordable.
Food: this was one of the sway factors in me picking VN over other destinations, and they did not disappoint.
Air quality: horrible in Hanoi, and amplified by the constant cloud cover. I donâ€™t know how an asthmatic could survive here more than a few hours. Not too bad once you get an hour away from Hanoi.
Culture: to me, this sure looks like a country still divided. North and South, as itâ€™s been for a long time.
People: Most of Hanoi seems to be mostly full of hardened, stoic, people that are putting up with tourists. Even our young-ish Ha Long Bay tour guide, as friendly as he was, rarely smiled.
Hot Tips: Donâ€™t miss Ho Chi Minhâ€™s corpse. if you want to get down and meet some of the locals - take a public bus. Slow, but quite safe and fun. If you take a sleeper train, make sure you buy in advance and get your ticket in the 4 bunk car, grrr.
Ha Long Bay: I just wanted to point out that this trip is not exactly what most people expect. You think you are leaving the noise and pollution of Hanoi behind, but youâ€™re not, itâ€™s just moving to the water. I still recommend it, just throw out your vision of a peaceful moonlit ride around the jagged rock filled bay, and youâ€™ll enjoy it more. Do the 3 day trip so you can get off the boat and hike on Cat Ba island.
Highlights: Hanoiâ€™s street food, bia hoi, and amazing restaurants. Ha Long Bay. Hueâ€™s vibe and people. renting a motorbike in Hoi An and joining the fray.
I would have loved to go further south to Saigon and to do the Mekong delta trip, because I heard good things about it, but I did not plan the flights properly and allow enough time. But you could see the entire country in two weeks if you donâ€™t stall out anywhere like I did. I loved it, but considering how much I did get to see, how much the visa costs, how many other places there are to see, I donâ€™t imagine Iâ€™ll be returning to Vietnam.
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