You’ve probably grazed over its 2,000+islands in Condé Naste magazine, or been fixated by your Vietnam travel Pinterest as pictures of the serene bay load and take control of your entire screen. Maybe you’ve placed this seemingly floating mountainous landscape on your bucket list. Or, maybe you've never heard of Ha Long at all....
Ha Long Bay is a new wonder of the world (dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994), a hazy scattering of grotto and cave-filled limestone formations. Cruising around the "Bay of Descending Dragons' leads you past floating fishing villages, onto private beaches, and leaves you feeling absolutely dwarfed by the grandeur of the nature surrounding you.
Here is a video of our 3 day, 2 night Cruise leaving and returning from Hanoi :)
Music: Benjamin Leftwich Francis // Won't Back Down (Boehm Remix)
Stepping foot into Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)and the haze of 9 million souls is overwhelming to say the least. It is a complete sensory overload, but once you’ve crossed your first street, ate your first bowl of Pho, and tasted your first Saigon bia (beer) you will begin to appreciate the chaos, and even embrace it.
The Mekong Delta is a sprawling network of waterways, riverside villages, floating markets, and fascination. There are plenty of tours out of HCMC, but we wanted to a DIY DELTA trip.
Almost no one spoke English, and we ended up riding on the back of Vietnamese motorbikes, watching rats get their heads cut off, and pointing at anything we wanted to eat.... It was truly an authentic Vietnamese experience to say the least!
The town of Phong Nha encompasses only one main road with a scattering of hotels, guest- houses, and restaurants popping up as the tourism flame begins to catch fire. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National park was officially established just 15 years ago in 2001, and began to attract universal attention in 2003 after it was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage.
Don't skip this cavernous area which is home to over 300 caves and counting, beautiful local villages, and the coldest beer in Vietnam!
Music: Pictures (FlicFlac & Bearson Remix) // Benjamin Leftwich Francis
Whoa - Sa Pa is one of the most incredible mountain towns in Vietnam due to its stunning scenery, influence of the local H'mong culture, and charming downtown.
Sa Pa is incredibly popular with hikers, and is home to dozens of ancient H'mong villages lining the green terraced hillsides. Check out my blog (transient20s.com/) and specifically my Sa Pa post about what not to miss when traveling from Hanoi to the beautiful town of Sa Pa. It is a definite must-see while traveling in Vietnam :)