Thursday, January 31, 2013

Flying Through Vietnam

Laos is laid back and quiet and as we crossed the boarder into Vietnam, I noticed a shift in the pace of life. When you walk onto the street in Vietnam, you will be thrust into a vortex of people, motorbikes, and smells. The rush is endless and loud, always horns are beeping and people are everywhere. Everyone is a part of this constant flow and rush. Even the language sounds harsh and hurried.

We adapted quickly to the hectic ways of Vietnam and it felt like we flew through the country! Vietnam is very beautiful and we enjoyed it a lot. Maybe that's why it felt like we had only just arrived when we left. All in all, we spent about two weeks skipping around the country and enjoying the views.

wet winter day in Hanoi
We started in Hanoi, coming in at nearly midnight on a 30 hour bus from Luang Prabang, Laos. The weather in Hanoi in January is not ideal. It was cold, dreary, and wet. We only stayed one day and visiting the Women's Museum and wandering through some small streets.

Next we went to Halong Bay. We did as most people do and booked a tour in Hanoi which bused us to and from the bay and provided food and accommodation for two days/one night. Halong Bay is mystical and stunningly gorgeous. I'm so glad we went, even though we were freezing most of the time. We did not really prepare for it to be so cold, clothes-wise. It was still worth it, though! :)

After Halong Bay, we took the tour bus back into Hanoi and walked straight to the train station to take an overnight train to Danang. Immediately after arriving in Danang, we went to Hoi An where we soaked up the sunshine and walked around the completely charming old city center, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. It's a picturesque town with something for every kind of traveler. I love the photos we took there.

We went to see the My Son ruins (pronounced "me so-un" not like my child who's a boy, "my son"). They are hundreds of years old and in the middle of the jungle. It was very cool and very packed with tourists.

From Hoi An, we went back to Danang to catch another overnight train to Nha Trang where we immediately walked to the bus station and got on a mini-bus to Dalat. Dalat is a small mountain town with a lake. We rented a swan paddle boat one morning and had a great time on the water, paddling around. It was so fun!! Then we found a great cafe and spent the afternoon drinking delicious coffees and enjoying the free wifi and darling atmosphere. If I lived in Dalat, I would be a regular at Windmills Coffee!

Lastly, we headed to Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon. The motorbikes in this city are unreal. Any traffic light or traffic circle is an amazing sight. We didn't do much in the city, other than walk around and look at things. The one thing we really wanted to do was see the Mekong Delta.

Vietnam had been quite a trip! I'm so glad we chose to go and explore. Here's my favorite picture from the Mekong Delta and quite possibly the best picture I've ever taken in my life.


  1. Wow your pics make me want to go so badly!!! Definitely adding it to the dream destination list.

  2. I love your photos Maggie (always do) definitely makes me glad I have Vietnam on the bucket list though I'll be suer to wrap up warm if I go when it's colder :)