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After a little under a month in Vietnam Vicky and I gather our thoughts and write our Vietnam Wrap Up!
With a couple days to spare in Ho Chi Minh City, Vicky and I thought it would be worthwhile to do a two day one night excursion to the Mekong Delta in the South of Vietnam. We knew how this was going to go:
Poorly planned and executed, this would end up being yet another “too good to be true” cheap tour, which over-offered and under-delivered Yet, faced with no better alternatives – we reluctantly paid the $50
Vicky and I always gravitate to war related exhibits when we get the chance. It’s not that we love war or anything, in fact, quite the opposite, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that war is a major world event and the 20th century was full of them.
Vicky and I rode with the Easy Riders for four full days. Everyday we had breakfast, lunch, and dinner with them and saw nearly a dozen different things, all of which provided different insights into Vietnamese culture and history. Here I’ll highlight a few of our favorites:
You may have noticed that Vietnam has involved a lot of tours. First we did the tour with Sapa Sisters. Then there was the tour of Hanoi, then Halong Bay, followed by the tour in Hue, and most recently the tour in Hoi An. All of those, however, were but warm-ups for the biggest tour Vicky and I have been on since our trip began; A four day motorbike tour through the Central Highlands with the Easy Riders.
Hoi An on the other hand is the city that truly impressed me. This is where all the charm is. European architecture is rampant. As we walked around the old town and admired the neat yellow houses with their balconies and awnings I honestly couldn’t believe we were still in Vietnam.
After Hanoi, Vicky and I traveled halfway down Vietnam to Hue, which we did by overnight train. The overnight trains in Vietnam are pretty similar to those in China except…worse. Yes, I can’t put my finger on it, just everything is a little bit smaller; smaller beds, smaller aisles, smaller everything. Not ideal for someone who’s nearly 6 ‘3.
I feel like I’ve been using the same phrase a lot:
“After two months in China…”
It’s true. After two months in China we were pretty much down for anything that could be classified as “change”. Still, we had pretty low expectations for Vietnam. The fact of the matter is many other bloggers we’ve talked to didn’t really enjoy Vietnam. It was mostly for the same reasons too.
Before even arriving in Vietnam I already knew I loved summer rolls. Fresh veggies, noodles and meat or shrimp all bundled in a rice paper wrapper to be dipped in a fish sauce based dipping sauce = perfection. So when I found the Hanoi Cooking Centre as being top rated cooking class on trip advisor AND offering spring roll themed cooking classes, I booked a class without hesitation.
Vicky and I immediately liked Hanoi the moment we got off the train. An Asian city with European characteristics, Hanoi no doubt has retained much of its French influence. Above all, after two months in China it was great to spend time in a walkable city. Practically all of the main sites are within walking distance from each other. Here are our recommendations for things to do that will make your trip extra special.