Hanoi - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh
Vietnam Travel Blog› entry 4 of 7 › view all entries
First time in Asia, travelled from the North to the South... Not only does the landscapes change but also the flavours: sweet, salty, hot (don't know the exact order anymore). The pics aren't great because we had a lot of bad weather but still enjoyed it.
Hanoi: very busy city but the ideal place to leave from to the wonderful and quit Tam Coc or the famous Halong Bay where you spend the night on a traditional junk. Most intense experience: trying for the first time to cross the street in Hanoi. You need to grab your b**, start walking, and just cross it with all those crazy motor bicycles passing you by. Never forget following rule: DO NOT STOP OR TAKE A STEP BACK! The motor cycles count on you going forward and adapt their route that way.
Hoi An: love this place, so peaceful! But when it rains there, it really rains!!! I come from Belgium but never have experienced such a rain. In a couple of hours we couldn't cross the town anymore because everything was flotted. Highlight: the tailor-made clothes, what an experience. You go in there, choose whatever you want out of a book, choose the fabric, indicate where you want your bottons and how many, they messure you, come to your hotel 1 or 2x and in 24 hours you have a complete new outfit, fitted to your body and for no money! (yes, I had to buy a new suitcase, a bigger one)
Ho Chi Minch: the Mekong starts to become very touristic but the nature and fruits you can eat there, so great! Never thought I would eat fruit with chilli and salt on it :) The city itself is again very busy but some nice sightseeing spots.
Good cause: when you travel to Halong Bay, you can stop at one of the souvenir shops, more specific, at one of the humanitarian centers where they employ handicapt persons to make the souvenirs. If you're handicapt in Vietnam, it's hard for you and for your family because they need to take care of you and you can't easily find a job. So these centers are really great, they offer job opportunities and it's so nice to see how motivated and enthusiastic these people are to sell a little piece. After an half hour bargan for something I in fact didn't want to buy, I gained 4 USD (!! :) ), but the guy put so much effort in to it that I bought it anyway :)