Vietnam #1: It’s a Long Ass Flight to Vietnam
Vietnam #2: The Best Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam #3: A Lesson in History and Propaganda
Vietnam #4: The Streets of HCMC
Vietnam #5: Is the Mekong Delta Worth It?
Vietnam #6: My First Overseas Doctor Visit
Vietnam #7: Welcome to Central Vietnam
Vietnam #8: Two-Wheeling in Vietnam
Vietnam #9: Don’t Skip Hoi An
Vietnam #10: A Hot Day in Hue
Vietnam #11: Exploring Hanoi
Vietnam #12: Hanoi Hilton
Vietnam #13: The Best View in Hanoi
Vietnam #14: Sheraton Hanoi Hotel
Vietnam #15: Need a Reason to Go to Vietnam: Here it Is.
Vietnam #16: How to Pick a Ha Long Bay Cruise
Vietnam #17: Panorama Vietnam
1) Hoi An. I fell in love with the charming ancient town of Hoi An in central Vietnam and its many colorful lanterns. Before I started researching Vietnam, I never even heard of Hoi An. Now, I’m so glad I did.
2) Ha Long Bay. The beautiful limestone karsts of Ha Long Bay are one of the major reasons people come to Vietnam. And they lived up to their reputation. Our five-star luxury cruise was icing on the cake.
3) Cheap! Vietnam is dirty cheap. After Scotland, it was so nice to be able to enjoy the finer things in life without worrying what the bill was going to look like. Case in point: We took a three hour taxi ride from Danang to Hue, and it only cost us $50 for two people.
4) Vietnamese children. I have a bit of an obsession with taking pictures of children when I travel. The children in Vietnam were friendly and loved seeing their faces on my LCD screen. That’s what I call a win-win.
5) Hotels. Hotel points go far in Asia. Our amazing apartment suite in Ho Chi Minh City was only 25,000 IHG points a night. Our beach resort in Danang was only 12,000 Hyatt points a night. Living it up in the lap of luxury made our trip that much better.
6) Warm weather. I hate winter. I love summer. Vietnam was warm. End of story.
7) History. Vietnam is filled with history. It was fascinating to see the events I read about in high school and college up-close.
1) Hives. I’m not going to lie. Breaking out in random hives halfway around the globe was a bit worrisome. Thankfully, a painless trip to a local clinic helped tremendously.
2) Hue. The ancient capital of Hue is a must-hit in the tourist books, but Lisa and I were underwhelmed. It could have been an off-day, or the heat, but we both felt like we could have skipped it.
3) Working out. Or the lack thereof. Every vacation, I promise myself to use the hotel gym or make time for yoga. And every vacation i fail miserably.
4) Jet lag. As was to be expected, the jet leg on the return trip was a killer. Enough to make me swear off Asia for a while.
All in all, I loved Vietnam. Before we left, I read many blog posts about people hating Vietnam, especially in comparison to other southeast Asian countries. I loved Cambodia, but I can now also say that I loved Vietnam. I highly recommend it.