*** We have many more posts on Vietnam still to come ~ watch this space! ***
We spent six weeks in Vietnam during February/March 2017. We very much enjoyed meeting the people, learning a little about the different cultures around the country, including some of the ethnic minorities in central and NW Vietnam. Oh and the food!
Sapa is a town in the mountains of NW Vietnam, near the Chinese border. The French used it as an escape from the heat of Hanoi. It’s now popular as a base for visiting the ethnic minority villages around: the Black Hmong, Flower Hmong, Red Dao and others. We very much enjoyed a two day motorbike tour with Sapa O’Chau, which included a homestay in a Red Dao village.
The first night in Sapa, we stayed at the Fansipan View Hotel:
Ha Long Bay:
Ha Long Bay, about 3-4 hours drive south of Hanoi, is an ethereally beautiful place. I would say it’s a must-see, even though it is now packed with tourist boats. We took a 3 day/2 night cruise with Stellar Cruise, and we were very happy with them. (As always, we paid the full market price for the cruise!) Everything went smoothly. Our cabin although on the small side, was perfectly comfortable, with a small ensuite shower room, with plenty of hot water. Meals on board were excellent and plentiful. Drinks were extra, and maybe a bit watered down, but not really over-priced. When we were kayaking on the second day, our local guide, Gam, started singing, and I’ve used her songs as a sound track to the video. Truly lovely, turn the sound up!
A must-see in Hanoi is the water puppet theatre! We went to Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, and it was magical and funny!
As we walked back along the lake one evening, we found there was fun street entertainment. It’s quite a long video, but if you only watch one bit, go to the 18:36 time marker, and see the funniest jugglers with a twist!
Sleeper Train from Hue to Hanoi:
Train from Da Nang to Hue:
Marble Mountain, between Hoi An and Da Nang:
Beautiful old city, so much to see:
Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City:
Here’s a little look at Chua Van Phat – the Temple of 10,000 Buddhas, in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City. Beautiful place:
We did the hugely entertaining Saigon by Night tour with Vespa Adventures. Very much recommended. Fun touring Saigon by Vespa. We went to two great local restaurants, and then on to a live music cafe, and finally a rock n roll club! I enjoyed trying out my first live video stream on Facebook, and then edited the videos together. Here’s the finished product!
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