There is so much more to Vietnam than Halong bay. It is a place where you will find the best coffee and food in the world. (According to us anyway) A place that will take your breath away. A place where people instantly become your friends. Vietnam is a country that you have to experience for yourself. If you ever wondered if you should go, we hope these photos will make you buy that plane ticket.
Here’s our top ten photos that will make you fall in love with Vietnam:
(Ok, so it’s more than ten photos but we couldn’t help it!)
1. Motorbiking through the highlands
The highlands is the place to be if you want to go off the beaten track. You can travel for miles without seeing another person or any sign of life for that matter. It’s a strange feeling especially if you just came from a busy city like Saigon. You will experience the open road and get that taste of freedom that you have been craving. Make sure to stop regularly at the viewpoints and soak up the breathtaking view! The locals, that you meet at the side of the road, are very friendly and always willing to help if you get stuck somewhere.
2. The city streets
The streets in the big cities are always filled with people selling stuff. You can buy anything from corn to flip flops. This guy was selling local Vietnamese hats and other souvenirs for tourists.
3. Halong Bay
Halong Bay is a Unesco World heritage site and is home to around 1600 islands. These limestone rock formations makes you feel like you jumped straight into an Avatar movie. Make sure you check the weather before you go as we ended up spending our time in the rain and mist. Unfortunately it is not the most “romantic” place to visit as the bay get’s packed with junk boats, but it is still an amazing site to see. If you plan a visit and don’t like crowds, try to go further into the bay as there are also three day tours.
Vietnam is filled with little hidden gems like the Linh Phuoc Pagoda. This pagoda is situated just outside Dalat. I mean look at this picture! Isn’t it just stunning! The main feature of this pagoda is the dragon and it’s beautifully decorated in broken pieces of glass and crockery. There is also a main temple area and a bell tower. Even if you are not someone for visiting temples, you will still leave in awe after you have seen the architecture and sculptures of this amazing place.
5. Riding like a local
The one thing that blew my mind, when visiting Vietnam, was how friendly everyone is. You can easily stop at the side of the road and meet locals. They will help you with everything! Fix your motorbike, help you with directions, show you how they prepare coffee beans or welcome you into their village. The best way to see Vietnam is to travel like a local, on a motorbike! (I even ate more watermelon on the motorbike as we were driving!)
6. Fishing villages
Vietnam is filled with little fishing villages. (Did we mention that Vietnam has the best food in the world?) The local fishing boats are painted in red and blue so that they are easily recognizable. Even though these fishing villages smell, well, quite fishy, it’s really fun to see what the big “catch of the day” was or watch the boats come in and out of the harbor.
7. The bigger cities
Saigon and Hanoi are the two biggest cities in Vietnam. It’s organized chaos at it’s best! The local transport is motorbikes and apparently Saigon alone is home to over 4 million of them! It’s the place to be if you are looking into buying a cheap second hand bike to ride through the country. Despite the crazy traffic there are plenty of other things to do. You can visit local markets, sample the cuisine, walk in the beautiful parks and catch up on some history.
8. The food
Ok, so we know that there are plenty of places in the world with great food, but Vietnam is definitely in the top! The food is absolutely mouth watering! If you are a coffee fanatic, like us, prepare to have your mind blown! Vietnam has some of the best food that we have ever tasted! Hot pots, fresh fruit, bah mi, Phở, spring rolls, coffee, coffee and more coffee! Try to eat where the locals eat, they usually have the best dishes on offer!
We had no idea that you could find perfect snorkeling spots in Vietnam! (Apologies for the low photo quality!) As we stayed in Nha Trang for a couple of days, we headed out on a snorkeling tour to Mun island. This is definitely money well spent! Mun island is home to a diverse group of marine species. The visibility was excellent and we saw plenty of fish, starfish and corals.
We have so many photos that we would love to share with you! So we made a little photo gallery that you can take a look at over here.
All we know that is that Vietnam crept into our hearts. We met people that are still our friends today. This journey completely changed our outlook on life and we are thankful for all the amazing adventures we had. We will see you soon Vietnam! Very soon!