Backpack Vietnam - Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hue - Hoi An - Dalat - Ho Chi Minh
Dates: 9th March'18 - 19th March'18
"The deepest form of Love is curiosity" - Iordan - Travel to Discover
Travelers: Neekita Jain
When you take a decision that's when the destiny starts to unfolds - today looking back and thinking what if we had not done this travel - What if ??? An experience and memories of a lifetime would have been missed, a feeling of exploring a new country would have gone wasted, a chance to meet amazing people from all over the world, the local food, friendships all would have been missed and then eventually we would have just accepted what life would have thrown at us.
But this did not happen which is the best part - After working hard on this trip for months when finally one of our travelers Neekita Jain from Mumbai signed up for the trip we were all set for this trip to happen.In the end, God has a beautiful plan for all of us and this time it was Vietnam.
The trip started with Hanoi - the capital city of Vietnam.In 5 hours of fly time you are in a new world very different from yours but still, you feel at home.In no time our friend from Hanoi got us acquainted with the city.We were staying in the Old Quarter - the Old part of Hanoi also known as backpackers area and our curiosity got us on the road exploring this magical city.Walking tour of the Old town got us familiar with this world unknown - every street in Old Quarter is known for different craftsmen who use to come from different places around Hanoi and sell their goods.Hanoi Old quarter takes you back in time and to very authentic Vietnam lifestyle.The street life is an experience to take back home.Especially on weekends when entry of motorbikes, cars get shut for night markets, people sitting and drinking on small chairs - all action happening in these tiny little streets.Dinner conversations with our traveler Niks got the night rolling, followed by beer rituals at the beer district in Old Quarter.
Hanoi is more than the Old quarter - history takes us back in time when French occupied Vietnam and the consequences it brought on these people.You get to see a lot of French architecture in this city.War Museum, History Museum talks Volumes of the struggle done by Vietnamese people against the French.The Hao Lao prison urges you to question that how can humans be so cruel, what French did to the people of this country was really not human and every museum talks about how Viets fought back and took freedom place and you walk out of respect for Vietnamese people who never gave up.The St.Joseph Cathedral takes you back to France, French cafe culture, sipping coffee and just looking at the people walking by.A small conversation goes a long way.Hanoi evening along the lake is fun in itself - the whole atmosphere is full of Joy, street performers, music and so much more.Hanoi kept us so busy we literally had no eye on time and soon we were off to explore another magical part of Vietnam "Halong Bay"
Halong Bay - one of the most beautiful destinations of our trip - what we have been seeing in pictures until now was right in front of our eyes.A tour booked by our local friend from Vietnam which included cruising along the bay, kayaking, chilling at one of the beaches and finally hiking to the top of the Titov island. Halong Bay is a UNESCO site and popular travel destination in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various shapes and sizes.A must do when in Vietnam.
Time flew and the day came to an end with a beautiful sunset while cruising back home.The evening had a different plan altogether - a get together of all friends from France, Argentina, Malaysia, Australia, South Africa and so many more who met on tour in morning and some along the way.You meet, talk, share and drink with everyone when you are on a travel
Hanoi - A city which grips you with its culture, people, and vibe
Halong Bay - You are a paradise - hope humans don't destroy you
After Hanoi, we were off to our next destination "Hue" - which is also known as the Imperial city and was once home to Nguyen Dynasty.After our travel, we can say its one of the most laidback cities you can come across.A tour of the Imperial city got us acquainted with the history of this city and how the emperors lived and what this city holds.History connects you to present.
Evening's is really the time when the whole city comes alive and you can see people from all age having a great time along the Perfume River.
The next day we were all curious and cruising along the perfume river exploring the ruin tombs of Nguyen dynasty and getting to know more about the history, culture, religion and the present of this city.A must do experience if in Hue.
The night got us talking after enjoying some amazing local street food with local Vietnamese beer with a view of streets where you just sit and watch people go by.
Hue - Home to Nguyen Dynasty
After Hue, we dove to Hoi An - the oldest / ancient town of Vietnam.The journey was through the beautiful Hai Van Pass.A must do experience to walk back home with.Hoi An welcomed us with rain and free beer.The night had a different plan.We were lucky to get a chance to meet our friends from Argentina whom we had met in Hanoi on our Halong bay tour and from then on where time flew no idea but it left us with best memories for Life and we walked back home with friends for life.
Next day Old town walking tour was another experience in itself.Hoi an is one of that town which is long lost in time and that's the time you really feel you are in Vietnam, everything is so ancient, small shops to small streets, colors all around and the energy is so unique.
All streets are decorated with lamps & lights and every street surprises you with its beauty in its own way.The best way to explore this town is to get lost in the maze of streets in Old town and you would surely be walking back home with something valuable.Afternoons are hot, lazy and slow and wait until the evening the whole town starts getting transformed into a big party - it's like everyone has a reason to celebrate - everyone should travel to discover the same or maybe something else for themselves.
Hoi An - Ancient town - the land of colors and people
After being 7 days on the road it was time to take a stop and enjoy some nature.We made our way to the hill town Da Lat - developed by the French as a summer escape.We were staying at Da Lat family hostel located in the middle of mountains with great views of the city.Da Lat welcomed us with good weather, little rain, and peace.After little exploration and dropping down at Summer Palace which was former residence of the last king of Nguyen dynasty, we made our way to the Da Lat market and enjoyed local food which later followed by a great conversation on so many topics on our long walk back to the hostel.
Next day slow, sunny and naturally fresh as in mountains.We headed out to explore the city - visited Scary house - known for its spooky artwork and amazing views of the hills.The weather was perfect for a full day of exploration and chilling by the lake.Evenings at hostel went by meeting travelers from different parts of the world.The only sad part of travel is Goodbye's and it was time for us to move to Saigon which was our last stop on this Vietnam journey - the big commercial city of Vietnam which is now known as Ho Chi Minh City.
Da Lat - thank you for treating us well and big thanks to Mama from Da Lat family hostel for taking good care of us.
We reached Saigon early morning and Saigon welcomed us with a lot of cats - we were staying at a very cool place called "The common house Project" - a house converted into a boutique hostel where they had 4 pet cats.
After settling in and after some rest we were off to explore the city which speaks volumes of the Viet-Cong war or American war.No visit to this city is complete by visiting the War Remnants Museum which gives you a visual realization of what happened in the past to Vietnam, to people of Vietnam by the Americans.The photo exhibition on 2nd floor showcases pictures taken during wartime and never-ending atrocities done by Americans on Viet.
Sky high buildings, long walking promenades, backpackers district, Saigon Cathedral, Saigon Post office and so much more - like a true city - Saigon had everything including lots of motorbikes with almost everyone wearing pollution masks.Evening came and it was a small party at one of the rooftop bars in the city bidding goodbye to our traveler Niks who was heading to Bangkok.Night rolled with never-ending conversations, food, Saigon Beer and a ride back home on an Uber Moto.
Last day of our trip took us to South West part of Vietnam which is Mekong Delta - known for its interconnected Islands, Old Vietnamese way of Living, very different culture as compared to big cities.The day-long tour introduced us to people from all corners of the world - New Zealand, Australia, US, UK and three Italians.We learned the Vietnamese way of fishing, cruised along the Delta, enjoyed local food, visited coconut goods workshop - pretty much everything in the Mekong has something with coconut in it.Rode in a tuk-tuk, took Canal tour in small fishing boats and in no time we were cruising back to harbor for our 2-hour bus ride to Saigon.
Last night in Saigon gave us a reason to look back at the journey which started in Hanoi in an unknown country and after travel of 12 days felt so much like home. Saigon and friends at The Common House Project treated us well and we walked back home with some lifelong memories and friends to whom you look forward to meeting down the road.
Vietnam - An amazing country - the country of fighters.
We are happy that our travelers who joined us for this trip walked back home with a lot of memories at their end and that's what matters. Memories stay forever. Happy that we have this trip as a chapter in our small journey.Love for travel connects the world. Connecting Cultures.
Love - Travel to Discover - Everything happens for a reason, Love & Hope always #Mutlumesc #TeIubesc
Vietnam - Love and Respect