Vietnam – One of our favorite places on Earth! It’s an understatement quite frankly…Vietnam really has got to be one of our most favorite countries we’ve visited so far! It is a country of vibrant colors, friendly people, jaw dropping landscapes and a ton of things to do. Here’s the lowdown of everything we did and the places we visited.
We started off in Hanoi and checked into the Old Town Hanoi Backpackers. It is an absolute hub of activity with travelers from all across the globe! They offer a wide range of well known activities that you can pre-book and enjoy during your stay including a 3 day trip to their own private island in the World famous Halong Bag called ‘Castaway Island‘. The scenery is absolutely magnificent, the party is big and the memories are forever!
In and around Hanoi, the streets are constantly abuzz with markets, stalls, vendors,restaurants and a million scooters milling up and down the streets! At night, the streets turn into one big party! Whether this happens year round or we just happened to be there during some special season I’m not too sure, but every single night was the same. Every restaurant opens and hauls out their tiny little kindergarten tables and chairs, the music starts and the people emerge from nowhere! They party and enjoy social time with their families and then by about 23:00pm, everything goes pretty quiet and everyone goes to bed, only to do it all again the next evening!
Old Town Hanoi Backpackers is just fantastic! We got a private room and were pleasantly surprised at not only the size, but the fact that our room had an en suite bathroom, a flat screen tv and was very clean and quiet despite the fact that there was a themed party on downstairs every night!
Canoeing around the islands in Halong Bay Fishing boats in Halong Bay The Red Bridge at Hoàn Kiếm Lake, Hanoi
Mr. Giang‘s coffee has got to be the best coffee in the WORLD!!! It is incredibly difficult to find this little entrance, but everyone you ask will tell you where to find it. Not to mention we walked past it about 7 times, but when we eventually found it, we had the most incredible egg coffee. Don’t miss out on this when in Hanoi! A nice way to see the city and take it easy! The other popular mode of transport is to take a tuk tuk or scooter ride!The beautiful rice fields seen when you are out of the cities The Hoa Lu’ Ancient Capitol of Vietnam – Ninh BinhTam Coc Rice Fields Resort is a beautiful resort with a personal touch, located on the Tam Coc Area, on the UNESCO”s World Heritage Area. The resort is quiet and peaceful with the most beautiful surrounding beautiful landscape. Coming here you will be able to enjoy wild nature with paddy rice fields, beautiful gardens, marvelous mountains and typical tropical bamboo houses…getting away from the noises, traffic jams, stuffy streets…of the city life. You will have the chance to join cooking classes, Vietnamese classes and join the agricultural tour: becoming an actual agriculturist or taking free bicycle trips to explore the wilderness in and around the area. Moreover, nothing can compare a balcony breakfast with mountain and garden views.
Tam Coc (Three Caves) boasts surreal beauty along the Ngo Dong River, and the boat rides are immensely popular with domestic tourists. Consider visiting early morning or late afternoon when things are quieter.
Rowers sometimes use their feet to propel the oars, as the route (around 2 hours) negotiates Tam Coc’s three caves and you get to navigate right through the undersides of the gigantic rock formations. It really was such a magical experience!
Waking in the train to some of the most nostalgic Vietnamese sights from the window… The views of the incredible Hai Van Pass that was ridden by the members of Top Gear program! We were lucky enough to have seen this beautiful pass without having to have hired a taxi or scooter to go back up the hill as the train track pretty much followed the same route next to the road the whole way.
Arriving in Danang and seeing such an array of wealthy upmarket hotels was like driving along the beachfront in California! Hoi An was my all time favorite place that we visited! We stayed in the old town itself at DK’s House Backpackers which is a branch of the Old Town Hanoi Backpackers, so it was equally as vibey, clean and well organized! I had endless photographic opportunities and just LOVED all the colorful silk lanterns that adorned every little street! If you’d like to take a proper photographic tour, then I highly recommend contacting Etienne Bossot! His travel photography is out of this world and you’ll be sure to go home with some printable keepers!