Nha Trang

Hello there,

So we landed in Nha Trang at five in the morning thanks to our sleeper bus. Yes, we took a sleeper bus, which I know we said we were against. However, there was no other way to get out of Hoi An, other than taking them dreaded buses. Thank god though we were able to check into our hostel at that time in the morning and get a bit more sleep.

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Hoi An

Morning All,

Hoi An is always on the list for people traveling Vietnam. It is famous for getting tailor-made clothes for super cheap. The old town Hoi An is another world heritage site and it is easy to see why. Its streets are lined with the cutest yellow wash buildings with blue doors. There are many little arty stores within the town as well as coffee shops, restaurants, and of course tailors. It is also famous for its lanterns. Once every month around the full moon, the old town shuts of its electricity and the whole place is lit up using lanterns.

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Da Nang & Hue

Afternoon Guys,

On leaving Hanoi we planned on getting a bus down to Hue. The guy at our hostel told us the only way to get to Hue was by night bus. This was not true, there was indeed buses that left during the day at various times from the bus station. They did, however, take fourteen to sixteen hours. So we sat in the bus station trying to figure out how we were going to get to Hue. The reason for not wanting to get a night bus was that we had heard so many horror stories from them. They were prone to crashing, as the drivers took certain drugs to stay awake. We had nothing against roughing it when it comes to travel, but those buses are just really unsafe. So with that in mind, we didn’t want to take any chances. So we opted to fly. We booked our flights there and then in the bus station for the next day. The flights only put us back $40 and we arrived within the hour.  There is no airport in Hue, however, so we had to fly to Da Nang. We originally were not planning on going to Da Nang as we hadn’t heard much about it.  We ended up staying in Da Nang a bit longer than anticipated as my friend I was traveling with ended up getting sick. So it defiantly worked out for the best that we didn’t take the bus.

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DA NANG

Where we stayed:
1812 Hostel- This was a very hipster decorated hostel, which I loved. The hostel was very clean and was right on the beach. Because of that, it was about a 5-10 minute drive into the city. The breakfast was good and It was surrounded by a lot of pretty good seafood restaurants.

What we did:
There really isn’t much to do around Da Nang there are white marble caves that you can visit and temples of course but the big attraction is probably the beach. The beach was lovely. The funniest thing was that there was literally nobody on it. That is until after the sun set then the beach was packed. Why? I could not tell you. The only reason that made sense was that the Vietnamese and most South East Asian countries strive to have pale skin. So perhaps they avoid going to the beach during the day to manage their pale complexion. Whatever the reasoning, it was the strangest thing.
You could also walk around the city and check out the Dragon bridge. The bridge does a show every Saturday night where the dragon breaths fire and such. If you happen to be around, check it out. However, other than going to the beach, we did not really do much else.

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HUE

From Da Nang, we went up four hours to the city of Hue. Hue was one of my favorite places I went to in Vietnam. Most travelers skip it depending on how much time they have. However, I really enjoyed the time we spent there.DSC01708

Where we stayed:
The Happy House Homestay- The guy running this was so friendly and welcoming. The place was really clean and in a very good location. There was plenty of very good restaurants just up the road from the place.

Things we did:
The Royal Place- Hue is known for the Imperial Citadel, which is a world cultural heritage site. The place is huge and takes a good while to walk around it. I loved walking around looking at the different architecture. Unfortunately, a lot of the buildings got destroyed during the war, but a good bit of it still remains. Despite the blistering heat that day I still really enjoyed wandering all around the grounds.

The Walking Markets- Situated down by the river, this market opens up at night. Now it is not much in the way of markets but it makes for a nice stroll after dinner.

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Other things you could do:
Tombs- There are many different tombs of various emperors spread around the city. Which of course has turned into a tourist spot. I would recommend  renting a bike and go around to some of them.

Incense Village- This village is situated 20 minutes outside of Hue and was actually the original reason why I wanted to go to Hue but never got to visit it. As you can probably tell by the name, this village is known for making incense. The displays around the village are meant to be beautiful. So, if you have a bit of time to spare you should pop out and see what it’s all about.

That’s all I really have to say on both Da Nang and Hue. I hope you found this helpful if you are planning a trip to Vietnam. If you have any questions drop a comment below.

 

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Till next time,

Em x

Hanoi

Hey,

So this city is crazy. We thought Thailand had crazy traffic, well it has nothing on Vietnam. It is chaotic. When you are crossing the road you basically have to just step out and start walking and just pray you won’t get knocked down. The scooters will just zoom around you. It can be very daunting at first but once you get the hang of it, you will be grand.

We decided to travel from North to South. Whereas many people travel the other way around. Not that it makes much difference, but if you where a solo traveller looking to join a few people along the way perhaps it would be better to travel from Ho Chi Min (formally Saigon) to Hanoi. Another thing I would definitely recommend and is something I have added to the bucket list is to buy a motorcycle (which isn’t hard, so many traveller sell theres on after they are done) and drive the length of the country. That way you see so much more of the country and man some of the views we seen driving from place to place were incredible. I was itching to get off the bus and snap some photos. But if you got the guts for it, then this is something you should defiantly do!

For getting around Hanoi, I would defiantly recommend Uber over getting taxis. It was so handy and fares where always around 1-2 dollars.

Where we stayed:
The Backpackers hostel- Now there are three different hostels under this name. There is the backpackers downtown, which is the massive party hostel where the entire bottom floor is a massive bar. This hostel also runs the infamous Castaway tour to Halong Bay. The other two are the backpacker hostel original and old quarter. They are both the same in terms of layout and how social they are. Both have sky bars. They are party hostels as well but wouldn’t be as crazy as the downtown hostel. We ended up going on the pub crawl with this hostel and it was just mental. All hostels are conventionally located in Hanoi old town, which is rich in culture and has great nightlife. We stayed in the Old quarter hostel, it was clean and the breakfast was good. I would defiantly recommend staying in any of these hostels if you are looking to have a good time.

Things we did:
Hanoi Old Town- The hostel offers a free walking tour every morning. I would defiantly recommend going on it. You get brought around to most of the key sights in the old quarter. This includes Turtle lake, the cathedral and various other places. They bring you all around Hanoi old town and give you a brief history. You get to know the area which makes it easier on you later when you wander around the town yourself. You also get taken to this really old school vietnams coffee shop where you have the opportunity to try egg coffee. A specialty in Vietnam. Sounds disgusting yes but it is actually very nice. It is kinda tastes like a desert. So make sure to try it if you have the chance.

The Women’s Museum- I really enjoyed this museum. It went through all the vietnamese customs for women and the history of women in vietnam. It was very interesting to read all about how they lived. The most interesting part about the museum though was deffenitly the section on the women’s involvement in the war. These women where bad ass MFs. To read about everything they did was pretty impressive. Would highly recommend visiting for that section alone. It was pretty inexpensive to at 30,000 dong.

Ho chi Min memorial– If you don’t know who Ho chi Min is then perhaps you better read up on him before you go. He is pretty much loved by everyone, most people referring to him as uncle Ho. He was the president and was a major general in the war. He is also on all the Vietnamese bills. So yeah he is a pretty big deal! Anyways he was preserved when he died and is kept in this memorial. People queue for hours just to visit him. We didn’t fancy  queueing for hours to see him, so we just went to visit the memorial. Also, around the memorial is the presidents house, which is painted a horrid mustard color.

Halong Bay- This is an obvious port of call for everyone who visits Hanoi. It is easy to see why as it is breathtaking. Halong bay is basically 2000 different little islands poking out of the ocean. It is easy to see why it is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. We went to the hostel for three days two nights. Which cost around $139. I would defiantly recommend going for that long as it takes a good while to get out to the bays itself.  For the first night, we stayed on the boat and the second night we stayed on their private island in the bay which was amazing.  Definitely one of the highlights of the entire trip.

Thats it for my guided on what we done in Hanoi. I have no places to eat with this one as for the first few places in Vietnam I did not recored where we ate and ultimately forgot about them. We did eat in some very good places but I cannot remember the names. Street food is very common again in Vietnam. We tried the famous Banh mi Sandwich from Banh Mi 25 which is a famous street stall. I got the veggie option which I did not really like. Everyone else you went for the meat option where very impressed.

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Till next time,

Em X.

Bangkok

Hey,

Welcome to the first post of a series of posts, on my South East Asia adventures.

First up, Bangkok. Ah, I don’t know where to start with this one. We arrived into Bangkok after a sixteen-hour flight and landed in the middle of Khao San Road. A bit of advice avoid actually staying there. Yes, it is the backpacker central and of course, you should go and check it out for yourself but do not stay there.

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