If I only had one word to describe Vietnam, I would use the word Motorcycles. They are everywhere, swarming the streets like bee’s! When waiting at cross roads or junctions the bikes and scooters all collect in a big group at the edge of the street. Cars and all other vehicles are definitely a minority. You find all types of people riding them; young old and even children. The streets are crazy and loud. The noise of the scooters zooming around ad everyone beeping each other drowns out any other noise you could possibly hear. It makes you feel as if everyone is late all of the time. One of the things I was most amazed about was the fact that they have scooter uber!
In Ho Chi Min city also known as Saigon has a pretty grey sky most of the time. Although it is always hot and humid it poured down while we were there. However as you head north to the coast in the city of Hoi An it is sunny pretty much all of the time. Personally I thought it was much hotter than Ho Chi Min city.
While in Ho Chi Min city, we went on a trip to the Chu Chi Tunnels. It’s a network of tunnels that run through this forest. Vietnamese soldiers would use them to hide and live in during the Vietnam war. They run for miles and its crazy how narrow and small they are. There was an option to walk through a section of the tunnels but I didn’t fancy the risk of it collapsing on top of me.
Our trip in Hoi An was considerably different. We took a speed boat to visit two of the eight Cham Islands just off the coast. Lao Island was the first island we visited and the biggest out of the eight. It is inhabited with around 3000 people. As we walked around the island we saw how the locals lived. Apart from a local ship that brings some supplies everyday, most of the island is self sufficient. There is an immense amount of wildlife and plants around the whole of the Island not to mention the sea life. There were narrow paths that we followedaround the island but the plants and trees were so overgrown. One of the species of trees on the island is used by the locals to build and mend hammocks and is also believed to hold healing powers for back pain.
The second island seemed a lot more touristy compared to the first. We didn’t wonder around much but instead went snorkelling in crystal clear waters. There were big schools of fishes that would swim right underneath you. The sand was a bright white and when looking out to sea you could see a few of the other islands. We spent some time here and had a Vietnamese lunch.
A famous location in Hoi An is the Hoi An night market. There is a river that flows through middle where you can have boat rides up and down and a bridge that crosses over. On around the bridge gets very busy in the evening. The market is full of stalls selling gifts and trinkets much like Camden Market really only Vietnamese style. There are also lots of places to eat and oddly enough a few Irish pubs. The atmosphere is pretty incredible and sweaty to be honest. In the evening you can watch the sunset over the river and its so beautiful!
If it isn’t already, Vietnam should be a must on your Bucket List! There is so much to do and see and so many different places within Vietnam that you can go!