Finally came the time to visit Vietnam and to reunite with our beloved family after 5 long months travelling!!
We were spoilt by my parents and uncle for 2 whole weeks
Cam Tho in the Mekong Delta was our first destination, a 2-hour bus ride from Ho Chi Minh city – what a great introduction to South East Asia for the new comers.
The men impersonating the local culture .
To mess a bit more the jet lag, we had a 5am morning start to visit the floating markets.
Sunrise from the boat
Stopping for a morning pho and some banana rice crackers
Our local captain who kept on surprising us with little hand made leaf origamis
The floating markets turned out to be quite disappointing but we had a lovely boat journey through the cannals.
After Cam Tho it was time to chill and recover from all the sleepless hours. We found the perfect place in An Binh, a serene and picturesque island where lush greenery paths and waving children on bicycles awaited us.
Cycling through the narrow lanes of An Binh.
There wasn’t much to do other than cycling around and relaxing on a hammok.
We stayed on a family-run homestay that cooked great local food for us. Kiss kiss kiss!
After the Mekong Delta, it was time for some beach bum in Phu Quoc! But before that we had a whole day to kill in HCMC where the TET new year festives had already began…
Everywhere we looked we could see flowers and decorations…
and women on beautiful colourful costumes!
We made the most out of that day!
Saigon Notre Dame replica
We spent the next week on Phuo Quoc island enjoying the sun, the sea, the beach and the cocktails!!
The first of many happy hours
White sand beaches with clear blue waters
Always looking forward to the next meal – the food in Vietnam was without a doubt one of the best in SEA!
More beautiful sunsets
And more white sand beaches
On our last day we rented out a boat and did some island hopping.
Waiting for our ride
We did some snorkelling
And even some fishing…
But all we caught was some tiny fish 😦
We spent Tet in Hoi-An which was an unique experience. Tet is the annual Lunar New Year festival and the most important celebration in Vietnam. The streets were decorated with lanterns, there were dragon figures and lights by the river, offering tables and flower decorations on every corner. The atsmosphere was vivid and animated with traditional games, shows and the biggest fireworks we had ever seen!
Happy New Lunar Year 2018!
Beautiful colonial buildings on the riverfront
View from the bridge
All the colourful decorations around old town
Exploring the surroundings!
As we were off exploring Hoi An on our bicycles we were invited to a local’s house to celebrate new year with their family. This was indeed a true cultural experience.
They made us down at least 5 beers in about 10 min – and it was only 11am!!
Before we left we burned some incense for the family’s deceased grandfather.
After 2 amazing weeks we sadly said good-bye to my parents and continued our adventure along Vietnam with my uncle.
Our next stop was Hanoi!
We met Carlos’ old friend from Uni, Viet, and his wife An who invited us to celebrate TET with their family. What a lovely evening!
From Hanoi, we took a bus all the way to Sa Pa, a beautiful mountainous town close to the Chinese border.
Beautiful valleys with dried rice terraces
Exploring the surroundings
Blck Hmong man – one of the many ethnic minorities in Sa Pa.
Breathtaking views throughout our day trekking
Delicious local lunch
From Sa Pa we went to Bai Tu Long Bay – Halong Bay’s less crowded sister – where we hopped on an overnight cruise!
Despite the extra pounds, the trip was well worth it!!
We were given a cabin with big windows and this amazing view!
After a 6 course lunch we set off for a kayaking tour
We were astonished by this beautiful limestone scenery
It was a gorgeous 3 hour ride with a stop at the beach
The brave ones had a dip in the cold waters
The following day we went to Cat Ba in Halong Bay
This time we decided to go on a solo adventure, kayaking across Halong Bay
Fishing Village – a floating labirinth, it took us an hour to find the way out
It was exhausting but rewarding!
Stay tuned for the last post on Cambodja!! See you soon!