Hi friends! Courtney here from over at Alkeks Abroad. Today I am going to talk about one my favorite countries- Vietnam.
We spent nine days making our way from north to south of the country last month and absolutely fell in love. So I am here to tell you why you should add Vietnam to your bucket list.
The People: We had to opportunity to meet various Vietnamese people throughout our travels, and we fell in love with each and every one of them. They were kind, generous and genuinely interested in talking and sharing their lives with us.
Diversity: Whether you are looking for beautiful beaches, bustling cities or tiny villages- you can find it in Vietnam. We braved the crazy streets of Saigon and Hanoi, scuba dived and snorkled off Cham Island by Hoi An, cruised through Halong Bay and rowed down the Mekong Delta with a local villager and yet we barely scratched the surface. Our plans for our next trip? Check out the rice terraces in Sapa and the highlands and lakes of Da Lat.
Day 18 was spent on the Mekong Delta. One more day to go and we fly back to Brisbane tonight. Oh what a journey it has been! #vietnamdiaries #alkeksinasia #mekongdelta #travlovesthehats A photo posted by Courtney Alkek (@courtneyalkek) on
The Food: That’s probably self explanatory but seriously the food in Vietnam is delicious. With street vendors on every corner offering everything from Pho to Banh Mis, you can’t go wrong. Each region has their own specialities that you must try out.
The Coffee: Tied with food is the coffee. Vietnam is the second largest exporter of coffee and they know what they are doing. Coffee comes with a silver strainer contraption on top and condensed milk at the bottom. Let it drip, mix it up and drink it over ice. It’s perfection. Sipping on a glass while perched on a tiny stool people watching is the perfect way to start the day.
Authenticity: Vietnam has only become a large tourist destination is the past decade or so. Compared to other places we have visited (ahem Thailand) it did not feel overly touristy at all. Walking around busy Hanoi, we could go for a while before spotting one or maybe two fellow tourists. Locals still stared at us and even took secret pictures. We felt like we were still seeing their authentic culture instead of what they were selling or putting on a show just for the tourists.
The Culture and History: Vietnam has a unique and beautiful culture that is inspired architecturally by the former French rule and religiously by the Chinese. Whether you are visiting pagodas during prayers or browsing at the many outdoor markets, you will get to experience it for yourself.
Even with its tumultuous history the people of the country are smiling and friendly. I feel like Americans often shy away from visiting Vietnam because of a war that happened forty years ago. I hope that it does not deter anyone from seeing this wonderful country. Even visiting the somewhat confronting (and anti-American) War Remnants museum we never felt any hostility towards us from the locals.
Hopefully if you hadn’t considered visiting Vietnam I have changed your mind today. If you have been, what was your favorite part of the country?
Keep up with our journey through Vietnam right here– I have only just began to recap our perfect week and a half. Happy Travel Tuesday!