Vietnam · 16 Days · 15 Moments · February 2019

Helena's Journi to Vietnam

14 March 2019

Ended our Vietnam trip in Hanoi! Our last night was in a lovely hotel with the a top breakfast buffet!(The Dragon Pearl Hotel-in the old Hanoi) We had spent the day looking for souvenirs and cards while roaming though all the streets we could adventure. Thomas and I had problems falling a sleep so we had walked around the block, to our horror we had a burning pile of wood in the front of our hotel, a couple of young boys having a physical flight, a old woman washing her food store with buckets of water and seeing a huge rat that we almost mixed up with giant squirrel! The receptionist was so friendly and let us have a beer up on the 7th floor after midnight. We turned off the lights, pulled up the blinds, opened the glass windows, looked over the old city quarter and have some pretty good conversations. Vietnam’s been great and hope to see it again. Next time we’d like to start in Hoi An and travel the coast up and circle the north(best on Motorbikes)!

11 March 2019

Captain Jack Full day tour: started from Gulf of Tonkin the Fisher village on the Sea - Dragon Lagoon - Halong Bay - Monkey Beach 300,000 = $19 AUS
So today has been the best day in Vietnam!🇻🇳 We boarded with the Captain Jack crew on a beautiful wooden boat with a open top deck where most of us sat and socked up the sun as it eventually came out!☀️ We tuckert though the fishing villages (actually houses on floating wood constructions and rather large squares of fish nets that lay in the water. Dogs jumping from house to house and the locals weave there way though with little boats full of goods from the main town. Our first stop was „Dragon lagoon“, here we jumped off the top deck and swan though the lagoon. Was defiantly worth the cold swim. Kept cruising until we arrived in Halong bay and had a two hour kayak tour though caves and bays. After our lunch we headed to another “secret” beach which we walk/crawled to. Our final stop was Monkey Beach(seen one) where we climbed a very narly rocky hill to the top and enjoyed the memorising slowly setting sun, the huddled up islands and the clear sky filled with warm colours⚓️🌄

10 March 2019

Rise and shine and we’re on the scooter again! Biked a good hour though the Cát Ba Island to the Caves and it was so interesting! Usually on Caves-tours you’re further away from the stalactites and stalagmites and are not aloud to touch. Here it was just us, no guide, squeezing thought the droplets and enjoying the close inspection of the formations. Tried our first Egg-Coffee, to good! 🥚☕️ and the cocktails too! 🍹In the evening we headed to the Secret Garden which was to funny seeing Thomas and Julia high on Ballons not wanting to share!

9 March 2019

Arrived in Cat Ba after a complete day of traveling! Two long bus rides, one from Mai Châu to Hanoi and then Hanoi to Cat Ba. Surprisingly lovely town which is quit hidden in a corner of the Island with little restaurant in the sea and tall hotels at the water front. Reminds me a little of Spain, besides the Vietnamese fishing boats and dotted Islands you can see in the distance. Had a bucket of Passionfruit Mojito and went for a sing in a Karaoke Bar before calling it a night .. oh and not to mention a couple of Noss-Ballons🍹🎈

7 March 2019

Two nights in Mai Châu and they were cozy! Had a glimpse of how the people live out here. The days were filled with scooter rides into the next villages and the evening with music and dances at our stay. We had seen a lot of Silk scarfs which are made there from the Silk worms. We had seen them on the menu as a fried Appetizer, no thanks 🐛 The villages are separated though rice terraces with little lanes parting each field. Stray dogs run though them finding friends while we scooter past men and woman on bikes carrying there harvest🍚🥬 The Vietnamese houses are usually on raised wooden foundations which turn out to be there outdoor area with mostly straw as roofs. They must have there homes high up due to the water that rushes down the mountains in the rainy season. Would actually be very nice to see Mai Châu in the rainy season. Scenery = fantastic
We had stayed the night in Hanoi but were eager to head to Mai Châu. We were wanting to grab a good western travel bus but the one we got sent to was absolutely horrendous! So many local people opened our car calling out to us if we want a drive, the whole area was completely dodge so we said “fuck that” and ordered a Grab car(Uber Vietnam) and got him to drive us 3-4 hours to Mai Châu for 1,200,000 which is equivalent to around $70 AUS The scenery was breathtaking and exactly how I imagined Vietnam! The weather was very cloudy but made it authentic I think. The drive up the highest mountain was actually scary because we could not see 3 meters in from of us and people were overtaking each other. But arrived safe, had a look around and strayed having a few beers. In the evening the next door house put on a show of traditional dances and a traditional Sticky rice wine, was so lovely! We are tucked in between huge mountains with so many rice fields around, could stay here much longer🍚

6 March 2019

Drove from Hanoi to Hue on our scooters! Had a stop at the marble mountains between Hanoi and Da Nang where we climbed one of them and listened to the singing of the Monks in the beautiful Buddhist Temples. We then drove on though Da Nang over the mountain. Was a nice scenery but could see out very far. Drove on to the Elefant springs which is located at the bottom of a mountain catching the end of the waterfall. Had a quick dip before driving on to Hue where pick up our luggage and caught our flight to Hanoi 🏍✈️

5 March 2019

Had another great day in Hoi An today. The sky’s trying to make our a blue but the smog is terrible. Our morning started of with a huge buffet breakfast and a bike ride into town. Julia and I swooped under the colourful lanterns in and out of the little shops. Our hotel had a lovely pool area, so we had a quick jump in before heading down the the river front to drink cocktails, enjoying the music and a lot of laughs 🍹🏮⛩🎼

4 March 2019

Arrived in Hoi An! It’s been such an amazing day and we’re so happy to be here😊 we are staying at the Acacia Hotel so close to the Night-market(have to cross a bridge onto Island) We had hired two scooters, drove around and through the street up to the beach. As the sun was setting we hired bicycles and did a little tour into the main square as the night markets were beginning. Absolutely breathtaking! The colourful lights were stunning and like moths we kept driving towards them endlessly gazing around. Had jumped on a small river boat for a quick ride up and down the Sông Hôi An and set a candle alight and made a wish as we let them go⛩ The stores are very sweet with beautiful handcrafted gifts youd love to send each and every family member. Sadly I didn’t know you could visit a course to handcraft your own lantern! Next time. Our hotel has the most stunning outdoor area! It looks similar to the hotels in Marrakech. The building hugs around the open pool area shining their lights

1 March 2019

We cruised along the Mekong Delta today with a small group of people. We first drove over to Unicorn Island, there we tried Lotus Flower-honey 🍯 and their traditional tea(with Lemon🍋)Then to another smaller Island where we visited a coconut candy farm and ate Elefant Ear fish for lunch. Quit interesting to see again with what simple tools the people work with. First they crack the coconut and scoop out the fruits flesh, then by a machine press to win out as much coconut milk as possible. The milk gets heading over wood burning stoves and stirred with different flavours and ingredients until thick while it’s then poured in long lines and set to cool. Cold they are cut in an inch size and packed in but hand🥥🍬 At the end of our tour we walked though a beautiful Temple. Meet a few nice girls today and had a few good chats 💕 oh and had an amazing Street-smoothie Mango/Avocado! 🥭🥑

28 February 2019

Today we hired a scooter and drove though the main streets of Ho Chi Minh, what can I say about this place so far, it’s an ORGANISED CAOS! Had a blast but the driving was all over the place, no rules and no waiting that’s for sure! Got to drive like a local. Did not see a single white person on a scooter and often had Vietnamese ask us where we’re from or smiled and waved as we drove passed. Quickly walked around the main market and popped our heads into the War Museum. Was terrible looking at the brutality shown on display. The Vietnam orange section with the deformed children was to much for me and of course photos of the last seconds of people’s life’s before getting shoot(young boy covering his baby brother) It’s good to show awareness, but it’s not for people who where their hearts on their sleeves

27 February 2019

Julia and I arrived yesterday morning after a pretty cool flight! Asked the right young lady at the check in for better seats and she moved us to the quiet zone/lounge with so much leg room! Even managed to lay over 4 seats to snooze 💤 After a few hours at the airport due to Visa difficulties we decided to take the bus into town to our Hostel (Vietnam Backpackers) After arriving at the cool VBH Hostel in the middle of Ho Chi Minh we went out for a snoop, a lunch and a massage which was so good we’re going to have to go again. Went to the VBH 9th floor roof top and had a few free drinks and a bucket. The view over the city is exactly what we were hoping for! 🍹🌃 Went into town for dinner and had a pretty good first nights sleep in our 12 person dorm!