Well, I'm back from Vietnam. I've been back for almost three weeks now and my trip to Vietnam seem so far away already.
It was by far the best vacation I ever had. Just traveling the country for almost 7 weeks and making a lot of photos. I'm still going through all the photos and I have little time to do that so it might be a while before I upload something.
We left Europe for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Juli 13th and we were there for 4 days. Walked around the city and went up the skybridge of the Petronas Twin Towers. Amazing views, to bad it had just started to rain when we got to go on the skybridge...
After the 4 days we flew from Kuala Lumpur to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). The difference between the two cities was huge. Saigon is a lot busier, dirtier and it looks a lot poorer than Kuala Lumpur, but we had a great time there for a few days. We booked a trip to the Mekong Delta for 2 days. After that we went back to the city and went to the Cu Chi Tunnels for a day.
When we came back we both (Elaine and I) had enough of the busy, dirty city. So we booked a bustrip to Mui Ne, which is a small city on the coast. This was great, a white beach and it was very quit and relaxing.
Relaxing is great, but after a few days we wanted to do something again, so we decided to go inland to Da Lat. Which is a city in the Central Highlands with a very nice climate. About 24 degrees centigrade, which was great after the heat in Saigon and Mui Ne. From Da Lat we went with the Easy Riders to Buon Ma Thuot. They are a group of motorcyclists which tour around the country with tourists. They take you everywhere, you get to meet the local people and so on.
From Buon Ma Thuot we went on the bus ride from hell to Hoi An..., 11hours of speeding on a bad road with a lot of other traffic consisting of everything from dumptrucks to people on a bicycle. In Hoi An we relaxed again for a few days. We had clothes made, bought all kinds of gifts for family and friends back home, went diving (well, Elaine went diving, I was sick that day..) and tried almost every cafe and restaurant that was there!
After Hoi An we continued to Hue. This was somewhat disappointing because the city was big and not really that nice. We did however rent a scooter and toured the surrounding tombs of the emperors. The coolest thing about that was when we were driving on a back road and had to overtake an elephant! How great is that! (well, I thought is was fun anyway
From Hue we went all the way to Hanoi by night train. That was even worse then the bus ride from hell from Buon Ma Thuot to Hoi An. We could only get a hard sleeper..., the soft sleeper cabins were all booked. A hard sleeper is literally a piece of wood on which you have to sleep. the train left at 8:30 in the evening. At midnight we stopped at a remote trainstation and we had to get out of the train and into a bus because the tracks up ahead were washed away... after a 5 hour bus ride we got back into a train, again with a piece of wood to sleep on and we arrived in Hanoi at 2 in the afternoon.
Well, Hanoi was nice, really nice. We stayed in the Old Quarter, which is sort of the old city. A lot of shops and stalls, people selling all kinds of stuff and a lot of cafes and restaurants. We stayed there for a weekend and booked a trip tot Sapa in the north.
Sapa was nice, it's situated in the hills, so is has a climate which is comparable to that of Da Lat. We relaxed for a few days, went on a tour by jeep and then we got back to Hanoi. After a weekend in Hanoi we went away again, this time to Ha Long Bay.
Now, initially photos of Ha Long Bay was the primary reason we wanted to go to Vietnam. It was only after seeing those photos that we started to look what the rest of the country was like. It looks amazing when you are sailing around Ha Long Bay in a boat with huge rocks coming out of the water everywhere. We slept on the boat one night and then stayed on Cat Ba Island for 2 more days. We relaxed a little bit and also rented a scooter again and drove around the island.
Then it was time to get back to Hanoi and we decided we wanted to do one more trip to the perfume pagoda. The last few days we were there we just relaxed and bought some more crappy tourist gifts
From Hanoi we flew back to Kuala Lumpur and after a 6,5 hour stopover we went on to Amsterdam. After 29hours of traveling we were home again.
Now, I left out a lot of things we did on our trip, but if I mention them all then I would be writing 24hours straight
Hope you liked reading it, please be patient for the photos.
(I hope I didn't make any grammatical mistakes or other language mistakes, as English isn't my first language)
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