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  • Caroline Thiel

Travel Guide: Vietnam

Vietnam is a really famous and common travel country. And I definitely do understand why. The cities in Vietnam are just so chaotic, busy and crowded. But then you have these lovely sleepy rural villages such as Sa Pa. There are the mountains with beautiful hikes and then the beaches with palm trees and pines. Vietnam is definetely a country of diversity. And that’s what it makes it so special.

The food, the motorbikes, the landscapes and the people made this one of our favorite destinations in Southeast Asia. Vietnam is a country that surprised us in every way, and we can’t wait for you to experience its flavors and sounds and warmth for yourself.

Before you travel to Vietnam

  1. Get a visa http://www.vietnambotschaft.org/konsularische-informationen/einreise-in-vietnam/

  2. Travel insurance -easy, but important. Especially if you want to travel by motorbike.

Travel Route

Frankfurt- Dubai- Ho Chi Minh- Hanoi- Sa Pa- Hanoi- Halong Bay- Hoi An- Ho Chi Minh


Hanoi –  
2-3 days

Things to do in Hanoi:

  1. Try all kind of food: Trust me, Hoi an is known for its amazing street food, and the best bites we had were from unassuming shops with plastic chairs.

  1. Go to the night food markets

  2. Visit the Turtle Lake

  3. Visit the Downtown Night Market

  4. Take a walking tour

What to eat in Hanoi: Bun Cha. Originally from Hanoi, this dish consists of grilled pork patties and noodles served with lettuce, herbs and a dipping sauce. The Boys really liked it. But even as a vegetarian it was really easy to get a meal with vegetables or Pho Bo without meat or fish. I always ate the vietnams summer rolls. They are the best!!

How to get to the city from the airport: It was really easy to take a airport shuttle to the city centre. The International Airport (HAN) is just about 30 km away from the main city center. The shuttle is 40,000 VND ($2 USD) and takes about 40-60 minutes depending on the traffic. The last option is to take a taxi, but they normally charge $35 USD one way.

Sa Pa – 
2 days

Honestly, the 6 hours train ride was one of the worst thing I have ever did in my life so far.  But after arriving in Sa Pa I knew it was only worth. We spent 2 days in Sapa and stayed at a typical homestay! It was a really lovely experience to live with the locals. Sometimes it gets so foggy you can’t see your hand in front of your face. But once when the sun comes out the view in Sa Pa is just incredible. The rice terraces are stunning.

What to do in Sa Pa: The most popular thing to do in Sapa is to go on a trekking tour. You can also do a homestay and get to spend some nights in their house and eat local vietnamese meals with them. We found a little bar where we went to with our group. It was pretty cool in the middle of nowhere.

DCIM102GOPRO


Halong Bay- 
2 days

One of the most iconic destinations within Vietnam is the lush island cliffs rising from the still waters of Ha Long Bay. Choosing from the numerous boat cruises is a tough task, especially when there are a lot of scams scattered on the Internet. Make sure to look at reviews and ratings before paying for your trip. It’s a bit of a splurge, but the landscape is incredible and you can’t miss this nature wonder. There’s a boat tour style for every traveler. We knew that it would be really touristy but it was worth it. We were cruising around, we did kayaking, visited caves and had lovey dinner with our tour group. On the last day we visited the little oyster farm that was quite interesting and colorful.

Hoi An
- 7 days


Where to stay: We lived in this beautiful hostel called under the coconut tree (http://underthecoconuttreehoian.com) and is located at the An Bang Beach. This place was so romantic, cozy and relaxing.  Actually we wanted to stay for 2 nights because our travel trip was just 14 days. It was so beautiful that we’ve decided to stay there for a whole week.  There are bicycles and motorbikes you can hire to go to town or ride along the beach. We had a beautiful BBQ and a bonfire on the beach.

What to eat in Hoi An: One of the cheapest and tastiest street foods in Vietnam is a Bánh mì baguette sandwich. Also don’t forget to try the famous cao lầu (noodle soup) in the local market. The noodles in cao lầu are made using a secret recipe by a local family and Hoi An is the only place you can taste the real stuff. Another ubiquitous dish in this city is the Hoi An White Rose, which is a delicate dumpling filled with meat, shrimp or vegetables.

Things To Do:

  1. Relax at the An Bang Beach

  2. Get something tailor made: Kimmy Tailors is famous in Hoi An. The guys just got a really nice suits

  3. Visit the local market and enjoy a nice lunch!

  4. Hoi An is famous for cao lầu (noodle dish) because Hoi An is the only place you can order it. The fresh noodles are made using water from a special well in the city that gives them the unique taste. The dish is delicious and the best place to try it is at the local market. Sit down at any of the stalls and order a bowl for yourself, just make sure you know the price before you order.

  5. Explore downtown by night: This town really comes alive at night. The streets fill up with food stalls, plastic chairs and hungry travelers. Sit by the Thu Bồn River and watch as people stroll by. Be stunned by the beauty of the four-century old Japanese covered bridge. Interact with other travelers and locals, and take in the sights, sounds and smells of this historic city.

  6. Head across the river to Why Not Bar- It’s a lot of fun!

Our Motorbike Tour and Sundowner at the Coconut Waters. It was aaaamazing!!

DCIM102GOPRO


Saigon/ Ho Chi Minh  – 2 days

What to do in Saigon:

  1. Bùi Viện Street comes alive at night when bar owners begin spreading out plastic stools for patrons to drink beer out in the street. Once the sun sets, this is the place to be any night of the week.

  1. There are plenty of other things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, but we just didn’t have time. We considered going to the Củ Chi tunnels, but the American War Museum was emotional enough and our time was running short, so we decided against it.

  1. Lunch Lady Noodles . The menu changes each day of the week and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. On the day we visited, we got a bowl of slippery noodle seafood soup and it was one of the best meals we had in all of Vietnam. The best part is it only cost 40,000 VND ($1.79 USD) per bowl.

Lunch Lady

Vietnam, it was lovely to meet you 🙂

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