Vietnam : Story of a Solo backpacker

7th Apr 2018

One of the Southeast Asian countries which is known for its beaches, rivers, pagodas and bustling cities, yes VIETNAM is no longer an unexplored territory in my bucket list. Backpacking solo across Vietnam with avowedly offbeat and amazing holiday destination in Asia serves to everything a traveler might look for. I planned for the cheapest way possible so that I could explore and traverse this place more in my scheduled time. From Kolkata to Ho Chi Minh city and back to Kolkata was not really expensive. But there is another way to go, that is one could go to Hanoi and return from Ho chi Minh city or vice versa. So finally after the touchdown, I landed in HCMC for a night at Saigon backpackers hostel where I met an American guy named David, a very fun loving, amusing and comic person and always like to carry a skateboard in his hand. So, this guy took me to a nearby restaurant where they serve delicious pork bahmi. Vietnam has got best coffee and best food in the whole world I must say. One shouldn't miss their egg coffee. So we headed towards Bui Vein Street that night, this is the famous backpackers Street. Walking down this street feels like being at carnival, music blasting from every corner. A place for some great pubs and restaurants. Locals and foreigners alike visit this spot for food, drinks and hanging out. I highly recommend this street for young travelers who are the party animals and want to taste the night life and even old travellers to see what it's like. Definitely worth a visit to this place while you are here.

Bui Bien street, HCMC

Photo of Ho Chi Minh, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by DEEPAK KUMAR
Day 2

The very next day went to Phu Quoc Island which is an hour flight from HCMC. I stayed there in Antinho hostel for two nights. This island is not really small, so if one wants to explore it properly should rent a motorbike. Boi Sai Beach and Ong Lang beach took my breath away, the most beautiful places you can say. Boi Sai is quite crowded while the latter one is more of tranquil. Phu Quoc night Market is amazing place to have local food and to buy jewelleries especially pearls. From the hostel I got a friend named Toby from Germany who was backpacking for 8 months in Asia. That's the thing about hostels where you can find travelers from in and across the world.

Boi sai beach, Phu quoc Island

Photo of Phu Quoc, Kien Giang, Vietnam by DEEPAK KUMAR
Day 4

Next day took a flight to Hanoi and stayed in Vietnam Backpacker party hostel. The crowd, ambience and pub crawl here is crazy! For all the party animals, this is the place! Met a guy from Delhi during pub crawl and ended up spending whole night with them. Old quarter is one of the best things I have seen in Hanoi. Met some solo travellers and for the next 4 days travelled with them.

Hanoi streets

Photo of Hanoi, Vietnam by DEEPAK KUMAR
Day 6

Took a bus from Hanoi to Cat ba Island and from there we did a day long boat cruise trip across Halong Bay. First time I had the experience of Kayaking in between the beautiful limestone rock pillars and green emerald water. The next thing was jumping from boat cruise and swim to one of the island. I already asked my fellow travellers to save me if I drown. Yeah I am not very good at swimming but the adrenaline inside me was at highest level. So I jumped from the boat cruise and made it to the nearby island. But while coming back to cruise I started loosing breath and strength so I called my friend David who instantly came and took me to the boat cruise. Yes he saved my life that day. When I thanked him then he said that’s what friends are for. So we were a group of six and all of us were solo travellers and we decided to rent motorbike next day to explore the Cat ba island. But the two girls Erin and Dasha were trying motobike for the first time and only thing came in my mind God save us. But by the evening it was all cool. There is an hour long hiking trail to the highest point on the Island inside Cat ba National Park from where one can witness breathtaking views of the whole Island.

Day 7

Halong bay

Photo of Halong Bay Vietnam, Bãi Cháy, Thành phố Hạ Long, Quảng Ninh, Vietnam by DEEPAK KUMAR

Cat ba National Park

Photo of Halong Bay Vietnam, Bãi Cháy, Thành phố Hạ Long, Quảng Ninh, Vietnam by DEEPAK KUMAR


Photo of Halong Bay Vietnam, Bãi Cháy, Thành phố Hạ Long, Quảng Ninh, Vietnam by DEEPAK KUMAR

The Monkey Island

Photo of Halong Bay Vietnam, Bãi Cháy, Thành phố Hạ Long, Quảng Ninh, Vietnam by DEEPAK KUMAR
Day 10

Next day I went to hanoi from there headed back to hcmc where I met David, Tobi, balram and the guy I met in Athens, Henry. I skipped hoi an and Da nang which I am regretting now. I had time but was too lazy for a bus ride and don’t like to be in rush. Whatever, there’s always next time. Vietnam is one the cheapest places to travel and lot to offer, so don't keep it waiting.

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