In 2012 I took a trip with my university’s study abroad program to Vietnam and I had an amazing time and will definitely be going back to visit many more times. Before going, I had to submit paperwork to receive my tourist visa to the Vietnamese embassy in Washington. That process didn’t take very long, and was very straight forward. At that moment I felt a lot of excitement because my Vietnam tour was about to begin!
We left on a Wednesday night from Seattle, and then flew to Los Angeles. In LA, we switched planes to a huge plane to Ho Chi Minh City with a stop in Seoul. The flights, especially the one to Seoul was long, but the service and the food was great, and there was ample room to move around and stretch the legs. When we arrived into terminal 2, we were greeted by incredibly nice, hospitable people in a really modern air terminal.
Ho Chi Minh City is in the southern part of the country, where we spent the night and then left to travel to Nha Trang on the coast of the South China Sea. Nha Trang is a really popular tourist city, and they have a lot to offer. While there, we took scuba diving classes, stayed at a huge resort, and then rode a gondola over the sea to an amusement park on an island, which while not really on par with Six Flags parks, it was still fun. We spent a few days in Nha Trang to shake off the jet lag. Relaxing in amazingly clear water is a great way to relax.
A few days later, we traveled north to Hoi An in the central part of the country which is an amazingly preserved port city with buildings from the 1400s to the 1800s. While in Hoi An, we took a day trip to My Son which isn’t very far, and is the site of a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva which was began in the 4th century. It was amazing to see it, and learn about the building techniques.
From Hoi An we traveled north to Hanoi, which is the capital of Vietnam. We spent a few days there, and every morning we participated in what seemed like a city-wide Tai Chi exercise hour. It was awesome to see everyone, old and young do it all in unison and just get excited about the day. Shopping in Hanoi is great too! I bought lots of great shoes and purses for my family for fairly cheap prices, and in every shop, the owners take you in and offer you coffee while they show you their wares.
Travelling through South East Asia to Vietnam has been one of the most memorable experiences that I’ve had in my life. I highly recommend visiting Vietnam to anyone that will listen to me. The warm, friendly, and hospitable people, the great food (I love Pho Bo), and the experiences I had there are more than enough to bring me back in the future.
I booked my trip through the amazing Backyard Travel