Vietnam: 3 amazing weeks of solo travelling!


In 2014 I went on my own for 3 weeks to Vietnam, to cross the country from south to north.

I know, most people do it the other way around, but I heard from other travelers that Hanoi is a nicer city than Saigon. So that's why I decided to end my trip there.

In this blog post I will share my highlights of Vietnam.

- Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City

- Mekong Delta & Vinh Trang Pagoda

- Cu Chi Tunnels & Cao Dai Temple

- Hoi An

- Hue

- Halong Bay

- Hanoi

Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City

I have visited the Chinese Temples and Pagodas in the area of Cholon. Depicted below is the Thien Hau Temple which was built in 1760.


710 Nguyễn Trãi, Phường 11, Quận 5

Temple in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

Temple in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

During my travels I have seen many traffic jams, but the ones in Saigon are the most impressive!

Traffic jam in Saigon Vietnam

What rush hour looks like in Saigon:



Mekong Delta & Vinh Trang Pagoda


I took a daytrip to the Mekong Delta. This is is such a big contrast when you compare it to the hustle and bustle of Saigon. Here people seem to live on a slower pace, and it is very quiet and peaceful.


Mekong Delta

Cargo boat in Mekong Delta

Mekong Delta Vietnam

Boats in Mekong Delta

In the afternoon I've visited the Vinh Trang Pagoda, a temple surrounded by 3 buddha's.

ấp Mỹ An, Phường 8, Thành phố Mỹ Tho, Tiền Giang


Vinh Trang Pagoda Vietnam

Vinh Trang Pagoda Vietnam

I've tried the snake wine with scorpion, but it was actually not my cup of tea...

Snake wine Vietnam

This group of students interviewed and filmed me for a schoolproject, it was really nice meeting them!

Lonnies Planet and students in Vietnam

Cu Chi Tunnels & Cao Dai Temple


The next day I went on a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels (from the Viet Cong), and the Cao Dai Temple.

I've booked a guided tour at the Cu Chi Tunnels to learn about what happened here during the war.


Đ. Tỉnh Lộ 15, Phú Hiệp


Cu Chi Tunnels Vietnam

At the Cao Dai Temple devotees worship the Devine Eye.


Phạm Hộ Pháp, Phường Long Hoa


Cao Dai Temple Vietnam

Devine eye Cao Dai Temple Vietnam

Cao Dai Temple building Vietnam

Hoi An

At first glance I found Hoi An too touristic, but after a closer look I have to admid that I really liked it, so I stayed for 5 nights.

Hoi An, Vietnam

I rented a bike for two days and while cycling through the old, small streets and between the rice paddies, I felt a littlebit like Elisabeth Gilbert from 'Eat Pray Love' ;-)

When you cycle out of town, you immediately find places like these where you can drink a fresh pineapple juice and enjoy the view in the meantime.

Vietnam

I totally fell in love with the food and look of Nu Eatery.

The restaurant is tucked away in a small street and not easy to find, but it was really worth looking for!

In the evening I sat outside at their cute little balcony/roofterrace.


The day after I went to the tea shop May Concept on the other side of the street. Here you can drink a good cup of tea (the iced lemongrass tea was very tasty) in their lush garden. The food you order here comes from Nu Eatery, and looks like this:

8 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai (CLOSED)


Nu Eatery in Hoi An, Vietnam

At Son Slow Cooking you get a whole lot of jumminess in a jar. I ordered the Asia Smoothie:

232 Cửa Đại, Cẩm Sơn


Son Slow Cooking outside Hot An, Vietnam

What can I say about Coco Box? I liked every single bit of it!

Café, juice bar and farm shop squeezed alltogether into a beautiful interior.

94 Lê Lợi


Coco Box in Hoi An, Vietnam

I really loved the small chats I had with the people I've met.

Lonnies Planet in Vietnam

Hoi An's landmark is the Japanese Bridge which was first build in 1590:

Lonnies Planet at Japanese Bridge in Hot An, Vietnam

My biggest recommendation in Hoi An is for sure Reaching out Teahouse.

This is such a wonderful place with a fantastic story. It started in 2000 with the vision of providing opportunities for people of disability to learn skills and gain meaningful employment. This social enterprise has now more than 70 employees, and has a stylish Arts & Crafts Shop and a Teahouse situated in a beautiful old wooden building.


103 Nguyễn Thái Học


I tried the Vietnamese Tea Tasting Set:

Reaching out Teahouse Hoi An Vietnam

Hoi An is crammed with beautiful temples:

Temple Hoi An, Vietnam

Hue

I took the train from Danag to Hue. It was a 2,5 hour beautiful trainride (mostly along the coast) to Hue. Here I stayed at Huenino Hotel, by far the cleanest hotel I stayed at in Vietnam. But I have to say, the hostels and guesthouses in Vietnam are much cleaner than anywhere else in Asia. For little money you can sleep very well.

This is my 360° shot from the Citadel where the Emperors lived in the old days:

Citadel Hue, Vietnam

Don't forget to pay a visit at Healing the Wounded Heart Shop of the Spiral Foundation.

The store is run by disabled artisans who create beautiful items from recycled materials. The money they raise gets donated to help fund heart surgeries for people who are born with a heart disease.

23 Võ Thị Sáu, Phú Hội


During one morning I visited all the different Tombes outside of town. They are build according to Feng Shui rules.

Lonnies Planet in Hue, Vietnam

Tombes in Hue, Vietnam

The Tu Duc Tombe was my favorite because it had a great atmosphere.

Lonnies Planet at Tu Duc Tombes Hue, Vietnam

At the end of the day I went to the Thien Mu Pagoda from where you have a fantastic view over the Perfume River.

Lonnies Planet at Perfume River in Hue Vietnam

In the city center I saw graffiti artist 1escv in full action:

Graffiti artist 1escv in Hue Vietnam

Halong Bay

I went to Halong Bay for 2 day's and booked a cabin on the Garden Bay ship, it was a great experience with amazing food. I will never forget waking up, opening the curtains and see the sweeping view over the bay and the mountains.

Halong Bay


Lonnies Planet at Halong Bay Vietnam

Halong Bay Vietnam

Sitting on the deck, writing in my diary, sipping on a cocktail.... Happy days!

At the deck of Garden Bay in Halong Bay

Hanoi

Indeed, Hanoi is a great city and I am happy to end my journey here.

I took the night train from Hue to get there, and booked my bed beforehand.

I stayed at the old quarter and enjoyed the chaotic streetlife. There is so much to see!

And, don't forget to look up every once in a while :-)

Old house in Hanoi, Vietnam

In the Hoan Kiem Lake you'll find a temple on a little "island" which is connected by a red Japanese bridge. On the templegrounds men are playing games in the afternoon sun. All of a sudden you encounter a little piece of quietness in the middle of the busy city.


Hoan Kiem Lake Hanoi

Men playing a board game in Hanoi, Vietnam

The Vietnamese Woman's Museum is worth a visit. This modern museum showcases women's role in Vietnamese past and current society.


36 Lý Thường Kiệt


Vietnamese Woman's Museum Hanoi

Poster at Vietnamese Woman's Museum Hanoi

Afterwards I've visited the Ho Chi Minh Complex.


19 Ngọc Hà, Đội Cấn


Ho Chi Minh Complex Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh Complex Hanoi, Vietnam

Next to the Temple of Literature there is a restaurant called KOTO where disadvantaged youth get the chance to get a job and run a good restaurant together.

The temple is dedicated to Confucius, sages and sholars.

And I was lucky, during my visit students were celebrating their graduation!

58 Quốc Tử Giám


Temple of Literature Hanoi, Vietnam

Please note: this post is not sponsored.


#Vietnam