Day 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Got scammed by two cyclo-rickshaw drivers. You know what? Even though they charged us AU $100, instead of their promised AU $10, we had a great time.
And paid way too much for this coconut water…
Day 2, Mekong Delta
We sailed down the Mekong Delta in wooden boats, stopped off for lunch at a little place along the way, visited a bonsai garden, and then turned up to our Mekong Delta homestay.
Day 3, Back to Ho Chi Minh City
On Day 3, we got up early, went to see the floating markets (too late, as life settles down on the river after 7am). When we got back to Ho Chi Minh, we went to the War Remnants museum.
Day 4, Cu Chi Tunnels and an Overnight Train to Nha Trang
We went to the Cu Chi Tunnels, where I decided it’d be a great idea to shoot a round on the AK47. We then caught an overnight train to Nha Trang, where I suffered severe allergies to mould on the top bunk, and dis-embarked the train with puffy eyes, and stuffed nose.
Day 5, Long Son Pagoda & Mud Baths in Nha Trang
With puffy eyes and a stuffed nose, we disembarked the overnight train at 5am and went to dump our bags at the hotel. We then headed off to visit Long Son Pagoda, on the top of a hill in Nha Trang, before heading off to the mud baths for a nice relaxing afternoon.
Day 6, Snorkelling, and Visiting a Fishing Village in Nha Trang
We got up early and headed for our boat, where we spent the day on the water, visiting a fishing village, and then spending the afternoon snorkelling at Hon Mun island.
Day 7, Hoi An
Ahh, my favourite place in the world. Hoi An is a beautiful little town, with mustard yellow walls, lanterns that light up at night, and beautiful countryside, ripe for cycling.
On the first day, we did a cooking class in the afternoon with Goi An. The lady who ran this class was probably my new favourite human ever. She had a song to sing for every ingredient we used.
Day 8, More Hoi An
We went for a bike ride out of the city, and into the beautiful countryside. A long day of riding left us all with (what felt like) bruised crotches. But this was by far my favourite day of the trip.
Day 9, Hue
Went to the Imperial Citadel, and in the evening we dressed up as royalty for a cos-play dinner.
Day 10, More Hue
We visited the Perfume River in Hue, and walked past a heap of photographers shooting for weddings in the forest. This is a pretty big deal in Vietnam, the photo shoot almost seems to be more important than the actual wedding day.
We also visited a Buddhist monastery for lunch, where we watched the young monks pray.
Day 11, Hanoi
We took a stroll through Hanoi Old Quarter, and sorta got lost on our way back to the hotel after an evening at the Hanoi Markets.
Day 12, Halong Bay
We spent the night on a junk boat cruise ship, went kayaking into a secret hole in the limestone cliffs of Halong Bay, and took a walk through the magical caves.
PS, the weather was so shit-house for us, we didn’t get one bit of blue sky. But, as with all travel, you’ve got to roll with it.
Day 13, Back to Hanoi
The 17km trip took four hours on the bus – a distance that would normally take 1.5 hours back in Sydney. Many of the small towns you pass through, have a speed limit of 40kms an hour, and the traffic moves very slowly in Vietnam.
Despite the visible mayhem on the roads, the people are so forgiving and kind that the system works for them. It’s merely a matter of tooting as you pass, either to say hello, or to let somebody know you are squeezing through the 40 centimetre gap on your scooter or bike.
Before our ‘last supper’ we went to see a water puppet show.
Day 14, Final day in Vietnam
On our final day in Vietnam, we decided to go for a cycle tour through the countryside of Hanoi. Watch the full video here, and please excuse my shitty video editing skills.