A 12 day Journey Through Vietnam: Exploring the Riches from North to South

I spent 12 days in Vietnam travelling from the North to the South. Read below to find out what I got up to!

VIETNAM

5/1/20244 min read

HANOI - Days 1 - 2

The first official day of the tour, I arrived in the evening and went straight out for dinner trying traditional Vietnamese food, a great first impression! Following this my group headed to a rooftop bar, the highest floor in Hanoi to enjoy some drinks before heading to bed to charge up for the rest of the trip.

On the second day we immersed ourselves into the hustle and bustle of city life in Hanoi, exploring the area on Rickshaws being cycles around, exploring local markets and streets with a fruit tasting experience from one of the local vendors, sampling new and familiar fruits - all of which were delicious!

To finish off my second day in Vietnam, we went out for dinner at another local restaurant and took a trip to beer street for some drinks in the evening. Before going back to the hotel a trip to the famous train street was a must with shops and cafes lined up along the railway line.

HA LONG BAY - Day 3

On my third day we travelled from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay, to stay on an overnight boat. The stay started off with a lunch of fresh seafood and more and relaxation after a small travel day. We then took off to go kayaking through caves and coves of the bay exploring through the lush scenery, before enjoying sunset on the boat.

NINH BINH - Days 4 - 5

Arriving in Ninh Binh at night was an experience! Our homestay was out the way in a secluded area down bumpy tight roads, getting there safely due to our amazing driver navigating this in the darkness. On arrival we enjoyed dinner cooked by the lovely hosts of the homestay we were at.

The following day included cycling through the rice paddies watching the locals at work harvesting their fields. We cycled to another hostel where we had lunch after enjoying being rowed through local river and cave systems. After lunch we hiked the famous Dragon mountain viewpoint, many steep steps and sheer drops but a result worthwhile doing.

HOI AN - Days 6 - 8

After taking an Overnight train near Ninh Binh we arrived in Hoi An - an area most famous for its ancient towns of Vietnam and UNESCO world heritage sites. Lots of shopping here to do and enjoy wandering around the streets, get clothes, shoes, bags and more tailored if you wish or try Banh Mi for the first time, a Vietnamese sandwich full of interesting and unique combinations.

Day 7 of the trip in Hoi An and we enjoyed a local fisherman boat tour on coconut boats - a circular bamboo boat that takes a tour through a coconut forest, including crab fishing on the way to a Vietnamese cooking class. Enjoy lots of music and shows on the way there!

Our last day in Hoi An I took part in a lantern making class, a memory not to forget and a souvenir to take home. It makes you appreciate just how talented some people are that make these! After this my group took a trip to a beach club nearby for lunch.

HO CHI MINH CITY - Day 9

Today we arrived at Ho Chi Minh City, otherwise known as Saigon. After a short plane journey, today was about resting and enjoying nearby surroundings before another busy few days.

MEKONG DELTA - Day 10

Travelling from Ho Chi Ming city and after taking a ferry over the Mekong Delta river to a small island we arrived at our second homestay in the Mekong Delta. Here we really immersed ourselves into the culture of many vietnamese people kindly shown by our hosts. We took part in mud fishing

CU CHI TUNNELS - Day 11

A Historical day today with a visit to the Chu Chi Tunnels and Vietnamese war areas. A tour explaining the history and methods used in this warfare focussing on the Vietcong side. And of course a walk through the famous Chu Chi Tunnels used by the Vietcong, which have actually been widened for tourist use…

Today was our last full day of the tour so after this day we freshened up, took a trip to a VIP karaoke lounge and headed to the famous party street in Ho Chi Minh City.

HO CHI MINH CITY - Day 12

After farewells with most of my group, I spent my last day in Vietnam exploring the city streets more, with a visit to the Vietnam War Museum, very sad to see but extremely educational. I also got the time to try Pho for the first time before I headed back to the airport to fly back home.