I landed this morning after a 10 day trip to Vietnam. As I got into the cab on my way home, it seemed like one long, beautiful dream, far, far away; so different from anything that I had fathomed, that it almost seemed unreal.
‘Exotic’ best describes this South East nation-the people, the food, the landscape, the victory over the Americans and the loyalty and respect the 93 million population have for 1 man who led the freedom struggle- the Late President Ho Chi Minh.
Little people buzzing around like bees, as busy as ants, had worked together to build the country after getting their freedom in 1975- 40 years ago!
Wide, clean roads, French architecture ( as they were also ruled by the French) amidst Vietnamese styled homes, shopping districts that come to life at night, local people sitting on low stools sharing a hot pot together on the streets and a deep-rooted sense of patriotism. The country is busy by day and by night -buzzing with restaurants, cafes, art galleries and massage parlors and markets selling branded items for a steal.
Then again, amidst all the development, this nation has retained it’s history, it’s rich culture- pagodas, mausoleums and dressing -ayo dai (is the long dress that the ladies wear, very similar to the Indian salwar kameez) and the unique vietnamese hat tops up the “exotic” quotient.
Vietnam won our hearts fair and square.The 10 days trip spanning the South ( Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh city), the Central ( Hoi An , Danang, Ba Na Hills, Hue) and the North ( Hanoi, Halong Bay) was a perfect way to end 2016 and welcome 2017. Varying topography, hot to cold climates, extremely safe and lots to explore and learn about is how I’d describe a holiday in Vietnam.
So, go ahead and start making your travel plans😊. I assure you, if you like history, adventure, exploring, experiencing new cultures and love sea- food then Vietnam surely will not let you down. Vegetarians and non-seafood lovers need not despair. We were served vegetables dishes with all our meals. Food is cooked in the healthiest way possible- steamed, boiled with absolutely no ‘masalas’ (something we Indians can’t live without). However, we survived by visiting the local Indian restaurants for dinner once in 2 days (it’s a little difficult to go healthy all of a sudden and ‘regression’ symptoms is what we were trying to avoid while on holiday 🙂
I will be writing a detailed post on our trip. If you’ll have any questions on the country or how you need to go about planning a trip to Vietnam, feel free to ask. I will be happy to answer.
P.S.: A trip to Vietnam has an added benefit. It does not burn your pockets. You can shop till you drop!
All pictures have been taken by my husband Sanjay Nair, who, through this trip has found his passion for photography.