Je bekijkt de reis...
1 december 2014
Vietnam was a bit different than Bali. I liked Vietnam way more! It surprised me in a lot of ways. Again we didn't know where to go, what to do and how their customs are. Great start to begin a new adventure ;) We just looked online and made a little plan, because we only had 2 weeks in Vietnam. Mostly I see the names of the cities or villages and I’m like: “what the hell? Is there something to do??” There are so many people who said where we had to go, but mostly I forget instantly.
So after the internet search we got a plan: Ho Chi Minh City – Da Lat – Nha Trang – Hoi An – Hue – Hanoi – Halong Bay – Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh – Cambodia. It would have been easier if we would have started in Hanoi, but we didn’t know till we were already in Ho Chi Minh City ;)
It was weird that I had a culture shock here, because it was almost the same as Bali, a lot of scooters. You have to be rich to own a car. There are 10 million people in the city with 7 million scooters. The first day was just walking around, saw the awful war museum, saw some buildings that are famous… and had some street food! Some weird food that you never saw before but you eat it anyway… jammy… But the street food is mostly better than when you go to a restaurant. We still haven’t got food poisoning, what is a real surprise to me… we haven’t had nice shits, but still not as bad as being sick… ;)
We did some activities at some places. We did a Mekong Delta tour (south of Ho Chi Minh City), to a floating market. Which was pretty cool, but if we went earlier in the morning we actually would see how they do that. But we didn't have enough time to do big trips. At Da Lat, a little place in the mountains, where we went canyoning! Which was pretty awesome because the sun was shining, we had an awesome group, and it was a cool activity.
We also rented a motorbike (aka scooter) for the first time. Da Lat isn't a big city, so we were ready to try it out (and we didn't have an accident). The owner of the hostel went out to dinner with us, to show the Vietnamese customs. We made our own spring rolls :) And it was the cheapest meal we had in Vietnam ;)
The bus to Nha Trang was so beautiful from Da Lat!! It was a mountain pass with the most stunning views! But we couldn't take any pictures because the bus went way too fast ;) In Nha Trang we took a boat with “cheeky monkey party cruise”… We saw about 4 different islands around the city area. And if you don’t want to drink, don’t go on that boat. Asians don’t want to drink… or go into the water (jumping off the boat)… so they were a bit of the party poopers. We were really happy that there were some European people on board who wanted to drink and to swim. And we were happy that we weren't around Russians all the time! Everything in Nha Trang is in Russian, Vietnamese and English…
After the boat trip we went out of dinner with 4 French people and a German couple. It’s sometimes very nice to be around other people because we always take hotels because we want our own room… it’s about the same price anyway, but again it’s more difficult to meet new people.
In Nha Trang we also did a mud bath! A lot of fat Russian people there… it’s funny to see that not only American’s can be the fat ones of this world (and I felt skinny… ;)). At the end we felt so relaxed that we wanted to take a nap (of 20 min), that ended up being 2 hours…
After Nha Trang we took a train to Danang. Very early, but it was a nice train ride. You see a bit of the landscapes of Vietnam. When we arrived in Danang, we had to take a taxi to Hoi An, which ended up very cheap because some people just ask for some money if they have to go there anyway. Hoi An is all about the tailors. I didn't make any dresses because we have actually a tide budget (thank you Australia…). So we heard that between Hoi An and Hue there is a mountain pass that you easily can ride with the scooter. Well that ended up a bit different than we thought it would be…
We got a map and two scooters (our bags will be dropped off at our hotel). First we went to a temple on a big rock, what was pretty cool because there were awesome caves! And pretty nice views. After that we went on our scooter again and stopped at a place where you choose your sea food (that was still alive in buckets). And then we went totally the wrong way. Our map was really shitty and nobody knew where we had to go to. It’s hard to talk to someone who doesn't know the language and ask for directions (it’s almost like I was in France). Unfortunately we only knew that we went the wrong way about 3hours after… so when we started our journey through the mountains it was already 3.30pm. The mountain pass was amazing! With fog, views and everything! And rain… and then it went dark… and more rain… and no lights on the roads… with roadwork of course (big holes in the roads)… big trucks who horn at you for no reason… and I had to pee (since 3.30pm)… and that for 40km to the city… oh and there were flies as well who went in your eyes and mouth… finally we arrived at a road with lights! (we thought “we see the light!”) But then it was still 12km to the city… eventually even the ridiculous traffic is easy going after what we experienced. And then we saw our hotel!! So happy that I could go to the toilet!! And really happy that we survived the trip! In the elevator I wiped about 4 flies from my eyes…
We didn't stay in Hue for long; our flight was in the late afternoon to Hanoi. And we didn't do much in Hanoi, it’s just a big city… and you can visit a lot of museums, but we didn't want to do that… so just walking around the city, and eat some food, buy some fake shoes (still awesome).
And then it was almost done with our Vietnam adventure… but we had only one trip to go: Halong Bay! The most famous activity in Vietnam, because that’s the only thing I knew about Vietnam ;). We went on a party cruise, with people with our age. The boat was full of guys… (sausage fest), 19 out of 25 people were men. But still it was a party! We visit a massive cave (with a lot of pretty colours), we went kayaking (I mostly took pictures and Stephen was kayaking). And eventually we had a few drinks on the boat where we also slept on. The next day we cruised away to an island, to a bus who took us to another boat, to a smaller boat, to our private island! Where we stayed for the night! So that was pretty cool!
The only thing about the cruise that nobody liked was that there wasn't enough food! I was hungry all the time… but again we survived ;)
After our awesome last cruise we took the plane to Ho Chi Minh City. We were really lucky with our taxi rides. A guy who had the same flight wanted to share the taxi! Also for the way to our hostel in Ho Chi Minh! Really helped us a lot! :) a good ending for an awesome 2 weeks in Vietnam!
Next blog: Cambodia!
And see you guys very soon! :)
1 december 2014 18:36 | Door: marja
Lief globetrotterend nichtje, your stories are absolutely stunning! I envy you and wish you a great stay in Cambodia!!
Thereafter it's time to say good-bey to your travelling life and get back to reality in Holland, right? :-(
Have a safe trip back and big hugs, Marja XMX