Vietnam

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So I backpacked SE Asia for 43 nights with one of my best friends Ann, (she’ll come up a TON in the posts to come <3) along with two other girlfriends Britt & Megs! Vietnam was 1 of 4 countries visited.

Hanoi – 4 nights

Getting there:

Vietnam was our last stop out of 4 countries and we flew into Hanoi from Vientiane, Laos for $120. Our plan for Vietnam was to go to a few of the different cities along the coast and we travelled from Northern Vietnam, Hanoi to Southern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City via a hop-on, hop-off bus.

Accommodation:

We stayed at Hanoi Backpackers Hostel (party hostel); See link: http://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/Vietnam-Backpacker-Hostels-Original/Hanoi/10991?dateFrom=2017-08-19&dateTo=2017-08-22&number_of_guests=2

Things to do:

-Halong Bay – 2 night, 3 day boat tour through Halong Bay (1 night sleeping on the boat, 1 night sleeping on a private island); tour consists of kayaking, drinks, tubing, beaching, swimming, and the most magical views

-visit the war museums

-visit the markets

What I wish I knew/did:

-do the Sapa trek in the valleys (3 day tour)

Hoi Ann – 4 nights

Getting there:

We took the hop-on-hop-off bus overnight and the ride is about 14 hours

Accommodation:

We walked up to a hostel instead of pre-booking but I recommend tropical garden homestay. See link: http://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/Tropical-Garden-Homestay-Villa/Hoi-An/93242

Things to do:

-This was my favourite town in Vietnam; it is so quaint and beautiful but still lively. It is known for its tailor making as every shop on the street offers this service. Ann and I bought an extra bag here and stocked up on suits, jackets, sandals + more!

-eat at Cafe 43 – we ate here like 3x a day and try everything – best eats in all of Vietnam

-rented bikes and cycled around old town and near the river

-rented scooters and visited the beaches

What I wish I knew/did:

-we skipped Hue to come to Hoi Ann to spend more time and it was the best decision! Britt and Megs did stop in Hue and said that it’s also a pretty city with a gorgeous cathedral to visit

Nha Trang – 3 nights

Getting there:

Took the hop-on-hop-off bus overnight and the ride is about 10 hours

Accommodation:

We stayed at Nha trang backpackers house which is about 5-10 minute walk from the beach. See link: http://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/Vietnam-Backpacker-Hostels-Ninhvana/Nha-Trang/276731?dateFrom=2017-08-19&dateTo=2017-08-22&number_of_guests=2

Things to do:

-beach

-visit the mud baths

-Vinpearl amusement park

-great nightlife here

What I wish I knew/did:

-3 nights was perfect for what we did here

Mue Nie – 3 nights

Getting there:

Took the hop-on-hop-off bus and the ride is about 4 hours

Accommodation:

I can’t remember where we stayed here but when in doubt, use hostel world: http://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/Mui-Ne-Hills-Budget-Hotel/Mui-Ne/97695

Things to do:

-beach

-learn to kite surf

-visit the sand dunes and go sand boarding

What I wish I knew/did:

-Mue Nie was a very quiet and relaxing stop for us. If you are under a time-constraint, you could give this place a miss.

Ho Chi Minh City – 2 nights

Getting there:

Took the hop-on-hop-off bus and the ride is about 4.5 hours

Accommodation:

We were flying out of Ho Chi Minh City as it was our last stop before home. I recommend staying in the city and this hostel looks great. See link:http://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/Sigoong-Hostel/Ho-Chi-Minh/270321

Things to do:

-tour the Cu Chi Tunnels

-visit the War Remnants Museum

-buy souvenirs at the shopping markets

-eat at the food markets; we met up with one of the Britt’s family friends here so we ended up eating a true local Vietnamese meal for dinner

What I wish I knew/did:

Happy with what we accomplished in this city

Overall recommendations:

In my opinion, I would’ve spent more time in the North (Hanoi – Sapa & Halong Bay) and Hoi Ann if you’re pressured for time. Da Nang is another great city I would’ve liked to check out, as it is known for its extreme activities. Renting scooters and travelling down the coast of Vietnam is also a popular thing to do!

PS – Vietnam requires a visa PRIOR to arrival (we signed up for this in Thailand so we would have it on arrival). Here is a link to apply online: https://vietnamvisa.org/?bingads=wo_u-8Cquc4CFUssvQod82UAQw

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