"For some travelers, an image from the travel magazine glaring through the mesh of the reclined flight seat, an excerpt from the article in the lifestyle column on Saturday or a conversation which you never had but still hear the murmur in your ears - ignites a wish to visit a place. The desire gets real when you bargain the last two books with breathable air in the rucksack and embark on the journey where ticking on the taxi meter eventually paints the only scene that you have rehearsed in this play.
Travel has the ability to encapsulate a lifetime within itself by letting you take a freeway parallel to your everyday life. The pilgrim's rush to see everything and make sure that the memories get enough fodder to craft their story-lines; the growing awareness of the place and independence of being anyone or re-looking at the past with a lens not used before; the ability to imagine a future by the riverside or the mountain ebb where bottles of wine make their voyage for dreamers; dictating the memoir on life, sometimes editing the entries under good – bad – ugly, other times an endless monologue of hope or the promise of change that absconds faster than its arrival.
The last few hours on the way back, one can only recollect the edges while the featureless hours where life flew steadily hide under the labyrinth of mundane activities. Later on, this faint memory becomes a vivid dream that you once saw someone living, on the back page of the travel magazine"
Vietnam, a gastronomical paradise for those who love indulging in eccentric delicacies and a confluence of modernization and ethnic force for those who want to experience one of the oldest civilizations in the east. With the recent history of Vietnam War overbearing the colonial past, Vietnam is an interesting study of looking at the political narrative from western vs eastern perspective and surfaces the debate between aggression under the veil of ideology vs upholding the sovereignty of a nation.
If you have 10-12 days for exploring Vietnam, the popular destination that you can plan for are Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Sapa, Nha Trang, Hue, Hoi An, Han Son Doong Caves, and Ho Chi Minh (last option).
You can travel the country from North to South (vice versa) as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh are international airports. Domestic airports in Hue, Nha Trang, Vinh etc. are very well connected with other cities and can help save time. Travel within the cities is very easy with local taxi's or by renting cars/bikes. Alternatively, taxi apps like Uber and Grab Bike offer cheap and quick motor-rides within the city and give you a unique local experience.
Vietnamese Dong (VND) and USD are used across the country. Since the exchange value is very high, Vietnamese use suffix of 1000 while quoting prices for all the items. Hence, 30 for water bottle translates to 30,000 or 30K VND.