Gracefully resting by the South East Asian coastline, Vietnam is a rhythmic blend of history, culture, modernisation and nature. Filled with visual dramatics right from the rustic living in Mekong delta, the magnificent caves system of Phong Nha, the marvellous French architecture at Hanoi, life in the valley of Sapa to the breath-taking Halong bay.Vietnam became independent of Imperial of China in AD 938 and continued to flourish till the French colonisation in the mid-19th century. Although after the first Indochina war Vietnam was freed, yet divided into two rival states of- North and South Vietnam- with the US intervention adding to the political unrest followed the Vietnam War. It was devastating and one can see the aftermath of the horrid war even now. The country sure was destitute but not destroyed, Vietnam leaped with all its might.Besides the many grand UNESCO world heritage sites the country also houses some dazzling Pagodas like the – Temple of Literature, Jade Emperor Pagoda, One Pillar Temple, Perfume Pagoda and so many more- All of them offer the same peaceful aura yet distinct history and rituals. I can go on writing about the alluring architecture and the natural beauty of Vietnam, but that should not overshadow everything else the country has to offer because in the right sense it is a complete sensory delight.Amidst the blend of culture, Vietnam has been able to preserve its culinary delicacies. It is quite possible to find the same dishes in a high end restaurant and a street side stall, but I guess the simplicity and the subtle flavour is what makes Vietnamese cuisine one of its kind. Offering an array of tropical fruits and vegetables, what took my heart away was the utter freshness of these ingredients. Right from the basic Pho (noodle soup) and Banh Mi (Baguette stuffed with meat and vegetables), the rice paper rolls and hot pot to the Bia hoi (beer culture) and the traditional coffee there is so much to taste and relish. Known for its meaty delicacies otherwise, now has seen a number of vegetarian joints cropping up. (Read more on being a Vegetarian in Vietnam). To further subside your love for gastronomy sign up for one of the many culinary courses running in Vietnam.Best way to know more about the history of a country is to hear the stories from a war veteran, but if you do not get a chance to speak to one don’t be disheartened. Vietnam is dotted with Museums and sites of historic importance and a quick visit to them will take you back in time. The Cu Chi Tunnels in Saigon showcases the Viet Cong method of warfare and is very interesting to know how they survived during the American War, The War Museum offer could be your one stop solution to know the facts of the war it has neat display of weaponry used during that time. Another interesting Museum is the Women’s Museum in Hanoi which features excerpt of influential women in history and also how the role of a women has changed over time.The big cities of Vietnam offers a high octane living, even the utterly chaotic traffic starts growing on you after a couple of days. There are a number of scams brimming in here but that should not hinder your desire to explore this varied country. The locals are warm and friendly, largely in the countryside, eager to know more about you or to just say hi. The diverse culture will be a shock to you at first but before you know it this wonderful country will welcome you in its rhythm and you will be swaying in the power packed life of Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City
I took a cab for Chu Chi tunnels and my experience was not good as he was not know the way to chu chi tunnels and wasted a lot of time in searching than i open google map and told him the way. He was very rude and when i was about to give him payment i gave 500k note to him and he exchanged ot to 20k note and says i have given him 20k than when i shouted he got scared and says okay okay go..
Nha Trang is probably the cheapest place in the world to pick up your PADI, but admittedly the underwater scenery is a bit depleted and underwhelming. Regardless, the prices are amazing and you can save a lot to get your Open Water PADI here for less than Rs. 16000, including accommodation.
After breakfast at your hotel and you are free till airport transfer. Today, you will have a flight to Hue city and stay overnight at the most touristic area of Hue.Day 5 Discover Hue by boat and Car (Meal: B,L )07.45 Am, We will pick up you at your hotel & transfer to Visit 04 famous sites: Minh Mang Tomb Khai Dinh Tomb Tu Duc Tomb Conical Hat Making Incense Making Village. After having lunch, visit Imperial capital during Nguyen Dynasty: the Royal Citadel, Forbidden City, Hue Royal Museum and the seven – storey Thien Mu Pagoda on the riverbankAfter you visit Thien Mu Pagoda, you get on the boat for a sight-seeing along the Perfume River. After the tour, the boat will drops off you at the Hue River Bank in the city center.Here, you walk to your hotel.The tour ends at 16.30
Day 16 Da Lat – Cat Tien National Park (BL) Am: Have breakfast at hotel. Leave Dalat for Cat Tien National Park at 7.30 am. On the way you stop to see Chicken village and Pongour falls for more admiration of beautiful landscapes. On arrival, cross through Dong Nai River to enter the Cat Tien National Park for beginning your wildlife experience. Arrive at the Nam Cat Tien National Park, check in and follow by lunch. Pm: In the afternoon you start walking 8km along the ecologic route: sites of Lagerstroemia Ovalfolia (BangLang), Tetrameles nudiflora (Tung), Cycas rumphii (Thien Tue), Ancistrolandus Tectorius (Trung quan), Afzelia cyclocarpa (Go). After that you are back to the center for having dinner. Overnight at the park. (Optional: You can take a night safari to see the diversity of wild animals and their lives at night) Day 17 Cat Tien NP - Ho Chi Minh (BL) Am: Have breakfast at hotel. This morning you will continue your journey on 9km transfer by jeep inside the park to a junction. Then you go on trekking 5km to the Crocodile lake station. You have a short break at the lake before trekking to the main road again. Jeep picks up and transfers back to the park center. Check out the room. Have lunch at the park Pm: In the afternoon you leave the park, take the ferry across the river, then head back to Ho Chi Minh City. On arrival, check in hotel. Free to have your own dinner. In the evening you are free to walk around the city and explore. Overnight at hotel.
Chau Doc, on the Cambodian border is a hodgepodge of markets, boats and shacks lining the Bassac River. We jumped at the chance to stay in a funky room right on the shore. From our windows above we watched the beehive of activity and listened to the variety of motors powering boats along the river. We even put up with the occasional speed boats, making so much noise that we had to pause our conversation.
We continued our journey towards the South and this little town of Quy Nhon was a delightful stop along the way. Miles of beachfront provided hours of walking along the surf. From high atop the bell tower of the cathedral in Quy Nhon we spotted a rooftop statue of Quan Lin. Like a treasure hunt we followed the narrow streets until we found these resident nuns, who welcomed us in for over an hour; serving us tea, explaining the different statues and how to light incense, then bow. We were welcomed once again into the Vietnamese culture.
Can Tho surrounds it's life along a river and is widely known for its floating markets. The first market was Cai Rang, which was a conglomeration of small vendors bumping up against larger boats buying their precious harvest of fruits and vegetables, by the ton. An hour upriver found us in the middle of the Phong Dien Floating Market. A smaller version of the first market, we should have taken the shorter 4 hour ride instead of 6, skipping Phong Dien.
tp. Hội An
Day 6 private car Hai Van Pass to Hoi An town (meal: B)After breakfast, about 9.00 am our car and driver will come to pick you up for moving to Hoi An Town. on the way we will top on HAI VAN PASS - the most beautifull pass in center of Vietnam.The distance from Hue to Hoi An is 145km, it takes you about 3 hours by Hoi An private car. On the road from Hue to Hoi An, there are many famous heritage places in Vietnam that Foreigner are interested in, such as: Lang Co beach, Hai Van Pass, My Khe beach, Marble mountainDay 7 Hoi An - My Son day tour (Meal: B,L)7:30 – 8:00: The bus and tour guide pick you up at your hotel 8:30 : Leaving Hoi An for My Son HolyLand.9:30: Arriving in My Son - the Holyland surrounded by the marvelous mountains, 48km west of Hoi An. My Son was chosen as a religious center, built in the late 4th century under the Cham’s King Bhadravaman. It is a huge religious complex with over 70 towers and temples of different architectures. Wander through the elaborate carvings and sculptures of the Cham people, tourists are welcomed at the Old Tower of the Cham.Spend 2 hours to enjoy and discover the beauty of Ancient buildings at of the Champa Kingdom with our tour guide.12.00: Leaving My Son for boat station and taking a boat trip on Thu Bon river. You could visit the living of the local people and feeling the fresh air. You will have soft lunch on the boat and see the beautiful views along the river13:30: The boat trip will finish at Bach Dang Boat station. Our driver will pick you up to local restaurant for lunch. Back to your hotel after lunch & End your trip!.Day 8 Hoi An - Airport transfer - Flight to HCMC- Pick up- check in Hotel (Meal: B )After breakfast at your hotel and you are free till airport transfer. Today, you will have a flight to Ho Chi Minh city and stay overnight at the most touristic area of Ho Chi Minh City.Day 9 HCMC - Mekong delta - Cai Be Floating Market - Vinh Long tour (Meal: B, L )08:00 Picking up from hotel/stay.08:15 Starting drive to Cai Be. Short time to take photos at Tan An town over the flat rice fields.10:30 Start the motorized boat to visit the Cai Be Floating market, experience how people exchanging goods, fruit and many other commodities on their vessels. Visitors then roam into the small villages to visit the orchard, fruit plantation. Keep cruising to Vinh Long through small canals to enjoy the charm of the Upper Mekong Delta. Visit some handmade family business products such as the coconut candy mill, the crispy rice popcorn.Arrive in Binh Hoa Phuoc village the green pearl of Vinh Long town where you can indulge yourself into the nature.Have lunch with fresh river food served in the heart of the garden. Enjoy the southern Vietnamese traditional folk music. Take a nice walk through the bonsai garden, in Vinh Long. Head home to Ho Chi Minh City.18:30 Arrive in your hotel. Day 10 HCMC - Airport transfer - end the trip (Meal: B )This day you are free to visit Ho Chi Minh City and shopping for souvernirs until transfer to Tan Son Nhat airport for your flight back home. Trip ends.
Stayed at the Moon Resort in my own private bungalow, but it rained the entire time. Met up with a guy that I had met waiting at the airport and we rode around in the rain on a motorbike. We found this amazing waterfall where all of the locals swim and hang out which I would recommend finding for sure. The night market is okay, seemed like a pretty relaxing atmosphere. We grabbed some beers and sat on a bench up on a rock near the lighthouse and hung out. Unfortunately it only stopped raining at night, so I would go off of someone else's opinion of this place. I'm sure it's lovely but we didn't really get to experience too much.
The legend goes that the people of Vietnam were born from the union of the dragon and the fairy. The dragon rose up from the sea and onto the Earth to unite with the fairy of the mountains. Together they created one hundred sons. When the dragon returned to the sea, fifty sons followed to live thousands of feet deep in the oceans. Once Vietnam became threatened by Chinese invaders in the North, the Gods summoned these dragons to resurface. They released jewels and jade from their mouths creating islands across the bay, forming a great wall of protection. As the mother dragon made her way onto the Earth, she fell so heavily that deep valleys formed and filled with water when she plunged back into the sea. The peaks left behind became the region known as Ha Long or “where the dragon descends to the sea.” For thousands of years ancient civilizations lived in these jungle covered limestone islands surrounding the bay. It is in this labyrinth of channels that the Vietnamese stopped invasions from its coastal neighbors. Many years later it was through these same waters that hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese refugees fled Communist rule en route to Saigon. Today communities live on and from the sea in floating villages. A UNESCO world heritage site and one of the new Wonders of the World it has become one of the biggest tourist attractions in all of Southeast Asia. Tourists cruise across the bay snapping photos, passively observing the surreal beauty and foreign way of life.