“Life should not be a journey to the grave with an intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body , but rather a skid in the sideways, chocolate in one hand, beer in the other, body thoroughly worn out and screaming WOO HOO!! What A Rides”
It had been 5 years 4 months 20 days since we had left out engineering college. After few frustrating years, struggles and now most of us fearing the holy bond of marriage we decided we needed ZNMD cum Hangover trip. After months of googling, trying to figure out the cheapest and best country to go on a trip we finally zeroed in on Vietnam. One year of planning , One moment of hysteria , four friends on a journey leaving themselves behind , expecting the unexpected, Unravelling the mysteries. As they say sometimes the most scenic roads in life are the detours you didn’t mean to take . From the temptation of Siagon to the charm of Hoi An, the liberation of Danang to the confusion of Hanoi, enchanted by Halong Bay, consumed by the hospitality .. It was a road trip , it was an adventure, it wasn’t like we had somewhere to go but everywhere to go.
We had a short trip for 10 days and I say short because 10 days ain’t enough to cover and explore a country like Vietnam. The first thing you’ll spot when you enter Vietnam is the smile on people’s faces. The people here are always smiling and they greet you with such enthusiasm. If really want to witness “अतिथि देवो भवः” then this is the country that truly captures its essence. This is surely one of the most hospitable country in the world and people literally treat the guests as god. So our first destination was Ho chi Min city
Ho Chi Min City
Our first destination, a high octane city with pulsating energy. A chaotic whirl, the city breathes life and vitality into all who settle here, and travellers cannot help but be hauled along for the ride. The best way to meet new people is of course staying at hostels. Every traveller you meet has a story and being an Indian you really admire these folks travelling from Europe and exploring different countries for months and some even quitting their jobs to settle in another country. We stayed in a wonderful hostel Hideout, and met some entertaining people. The best part about Ho chi Min is the night life , some amazing pubs and the ever smiling people there.
Must Visit places near Ho Chi Minh
War Museum and Cu Chi Tunnels
Da Nang & Hoi An
Graceful, historic Hoi An is Vietnam’s most atmospheric and delightful town. Once a major port, it boasts the grand architecture and beguiling riverside setting that befits its heritage, but the 21st-century curses of traffic and pollution are almost entirely absent . It’s a quiet city and people are very hospitable as in rest of Vietnam. We stayed with a local, a wonderful lady through AirBnb , she cooked us a delightful breakfast. The beaches here are very quiet and relaxing. We spent the whole day relaxing and then explored the old town in the night meeting lots of travellers along. The old town has that mystic feel to it, with that 18th century architecture and lively roads.
Just 30kms from Hoi An , there’s a stark difference in Danang , very modern great infrastructure and a noisier city . We hired a bike and explored the city. This is one place where I actually felt like a foreigner, the locals actually came to us to have their pictures taken with us.
Our last stop was Hanoi. This is the heartbeat of Vietnam , a crowded city brimming with energy. We stayed at a hostel Hanoi Rocks . it was an amazing hostel, with backpackers from all over the world. We booked a tour to Halong Bay with them and it was completely worth it. It is an absolute gem and we stayed at their private island and had an amazing party with the fellow backpackers (I wish I could reveal more here :P) . Halong Bay definitely has to be on your Bucket List.
Flight back to India was filled with melancholy, hoping we could have extended our vacation. But Vietnam is a backpacker’s heaven. Hope to go back there once again.