Recently, I did a quick trip to Vietnam in a cruise ship for 4 days with my wife and my in-lows, who were visiting us during two weeks in February.
It has been my first visit there although I think it won’t be the last, since it is really accessible from Hong Kong and I liked a lot what I’ve seen.
I had never been there before, though I knew about it pretty well, since we used to hang out with a Vietnamese couple when we were in France. In fact, Vietnam was a French colony for a long time and there are still remaining bonds between both countries, so you find many Vietnamese students throughout France and many people in Vietnam speak French.
First, we visited Ha Long Bay, a Unesco World Heritage site. In a few words, it’s a bay formed by thousands of limestone islands in various sizes and spectacular shapes. We took a boat that gave us a tour around some islands. However, it wasn’t our lucky day because a dense fog prevented us from completely enjoy the views. Anyway, only for visiting this site the whole trip was worthy, and we may come back.
In addition, the guide took us to a floating fishing town (see picture) and to a famous cave, called Thien Cung grotto (see picture). The cave was beautiful and well prepared with colorful lights around the walls.
The next port of call was Danang, a city well known by the Americans because it was home of a major air base of US troops, and the last battles of the Vietnam war in 1972 happened there. Although it is not a beautiful city in a standard point of view, the beauty of this kind of cities resides in the contrast between them and the cities we are used to know. Personally, I love walking the streets among the local people, seeing how they live. The city was vibrant, with many people on the streets and hundreds of scooters all over the place, many with more than two and even more than three people riding them (see picture for yourself). Believe me, crossing a street was a real challenge.
Finally, we spend almost a day visiting a town called Hoi An. In contrast with Danang, this town seems to be a touristic place with plenty of western people, tourist shops, and so on. Anyway, the town is beautiful with several interesting places to visit.
About the country, it surprised me the enormous number of Vietnamese and communist flags, and also the signs of Communism everywhere. Although the country is evolving to a new ways of Communism it still seem to be one step back of China communism. For example, according to our guide, they still don’t have the right to own land, as Chinese do.
Photo set of Vietman trip here in my Flickr page.