Vietnam: From South to North – Part I

Hello my dear, as promised I finally managed to type up a blog post about my trip to Vietnam! I started my trip in the South in the Mekong Delta and went all the way up north to Sapa, a mountain region close to the Chinese border. However, I didn’t only cover much land on this trip but I got to meet so many nice and diverse people with interesting stories. I really really enjoyed this first larger solo trip I went on even though of course there were some hassles as with every trip but see for yourself.

I arrived in Ho Chi Minh City in the evening from my flight from Dubai and immediately I was hit with the Asian culture. I always thought it was a stereotype that everyone (yes everyone!!) drives a scooter and honks like crazy but well it is actually true! It is crazy, absolutely crazy. I was happy my taxi dropped me of in front of my hostel and I didn’t have to cross any road for the first few hours. After checking hunger did make me become a little braver and I tried my luck, crossing an eight lane street! Well given the fact that I’m writing to you know you know that I survived but it does need a lot of caution and bravery 😀 especially the bus drivers have a really loud horn and don’t really seem to be able or willing to stop but as long as there are mostly scooters you should walk slowly but steady and they will try to balance around you.

 

 

The next morning I had breakfast at a local „food court“ which was really just a few stools (tiny plastic stools) and a few market stalls serving food. I had a tea and decided to go with a sticky rice and banana. Even though it looked a bit weird (the banana was kind of pink) it actually tasted quite good and I was ready to head out to explore the city! I really like the combination of old colonial french style buildings (especially the post office is a stunner) and the busy asian setting. However, the city is really humid and I got tired of walking in the sun quite quickly. Going indoors to explore the war remnants museum was a good idea. Even though going to a museum about a war is not everybody’s favorite choice I’m assuming I’m quite happy that I went because it is so important that these events are not forgotten!!! We should count ourselves very very lucky to be born in a time which has not seen a major war in most of our home countries but we should always be aware that not everyone is this lucky and try to understand each other better! I truly try to be open and understanding to everyone’s past and even though for sure I’m not perfect I think it is a first step!!! Well you can see even looking back the museum does make me quite emotional so try and see for yourself!

 

I followed a recommendation from my lonely planet travel guide for lunch and was super lucky with it. The restaurant „hum vegetarian cafe“ which is located conveniently close to the War Remnants Museum has a great selection of food and a really cute small location! Very peaceful and relaxing! I actually was that happy with their food that I decided to head to their second restaurant „hum vegetarian restaurant and lounge“ for dinner. They are not paying me in any form 😀 but I would definitely suggest you to go there even if you aren’t a vegetarian! After dinner I headed back to my hostel and was happy to meet some of my room mates which were about to head out to a roof top bar. (Thank you Adele for inviting me out 😉 ) Seeing Ho Chi Minh City from a high altitude and having some Mojitos was a great way to end this day! We actually ended up going to two rooftop bars (I will link the addresses at the bottom) and the backpacking district! A lot of fun 🙂

 

The next morning it was time for my Mekong Delta trip… Unfortunately I had overslept due to a snoring person in my room and putting in earplugs as well as a bit of a hangover! However in the end I did make it and after a rocky ride the tour group finally arrived in the Mekong Delta. Such a lush area, I really enjoyed seeing all the exotic fruits growing (cocoa fruits, mango trees, coconut trees…) The boat rides were nice too and we got to go into a smaller paddling boat along the water coconut groves:

 

After a great time in Ho Chi Minh and the Mekong Delta I headed to Hoi An, a smaller town in central Vietnam located close to the coast. It used to be a major town several hundred years ago but got a bit „forgotten“ before tourism started so it actually has a lot of really really old buildings which are still in the original condition. Also this town is a lot more calm and there are hardly and cars and just a few scooters so I could lend a bike and do some excursions on my own. I went to the beach one day which was really nice and fort he rest of the time I mostly went to town and walked around the small streets. There are lampions almost everywhere so the atmosphere is really nice when it gets dark actually! Moreover the food is great in Hoi An! They have a few local specialities (for example rice pancake: a small savory pancake made from rice flour served with fresh herbs). I got that interested that I decided to go to a cooking class. First thing in the morning we went to the market and bought the fresh ingredients. I really liked to learn about the ingredients and foods which I wouldn’t have normally went for or didn’t even know about! There is a sort of lychee for example which doesn’t have any spikes on the outside or actually seeing rice noodles being made and cut! So perfect! It was also really sweet of the cooking class to cater to me not liking meat that much, thank you again (my cooking class was organized by „Hoi An Eco Coconut Tour“). I learned a few new hacks and already tried some things at home!

 

Now that was the first half of my Vietnam trip. In my next blog post I will talk about the rest of my trip: Hanoi, Ha Long Bay and Sapa!

 

 

  • Hostel in Ho Chi Minh City: Della Hostel (booked via booking.com)
  • Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City: Hum Vegetarian (http://www.humvietnam.vn)
  • Rooftop Clubs in Ho Chi Minh City: Chill Sky Bar and the Skybar at Bitexco Tower
  • Cooking Class in Hoi An: Hoi An Eco Coconut Tours

 

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