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Julie visits Vietnam
Julie visits Vietnam
Posted at: 5:03pm , 17 Jan 2018 By James Eacott

Julie visits Vietnam

Last year, Julie travelled from Bath to Hanoi to explore ever-popular Vietnam. She flew with Emirates via Dubai which provided the high level of service we take for granted these days. Her blog starts with her first couple of days in Hanoi...

Days 2 and 3
I spent two nights in buzzing Hanoi, staying in the Sofitel Legend Metropole - a fantastic 5 star hotel in the centre of the City, near the beautiful lake. This area is a traffic free zone on a weekend which makes it an ideal place to explore without the chaotic traffic typical of South East Asia! Our stay included a trip to the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, a tuk tuk ride and a street food tour to sample the local dish Pho Gha (chicken and noodle soup). The next day, we took a walking trip around the local markets with a Vietnamese egg coffee to finish.

Day 4
After an early start, it was a 3-hour drive to Halong Bay to board the Heritage Line Jasmine Cruise. We had lunch aboard whilst cruising down Halong Bay with the most spectacular scenery I've ever set eyes on.

Day 5
Today we took a morning swim in the bay before heading back to the ship for breakfast and the beautiful return journey back along Halong Bay to disembark. It was then a short flight from to Danang where I stayed for two nights in the Four Seasons Hoi An in a 1-bedroomed villa right on the beach. 'Luxurious' doesn't cover it, and the service was first class. It's well-priced, too, and is ideal for families with 2, 3, 4 and 5-bedroom villas, along with one of the best kid's clubs I've ever seen.

Day 6
Following a sumptuous buffet breakfast, we took a half-day walking tour of Hoi An to see the local market stalls, souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants, with personal tailor fittings for amazing dresses and suits, made in hours. Dinner was at a local restaurant in town which was lit up at night with hundreds of lanterns and a great holiday atmosphere.

Day 7
It was back to the airport today for a short flight to Saigon. We were met on arrival and driven to the Park Hyatt for our 2-nights of busy, crazy traffic and chaos! Saigon is a fascinating city at the least. We started with a trip to the War Museum which is an amazing experience, thought quite graphic. I'd still recommend it, though, to gain an insight into the history of the war. Tonight, we dined in a local restaurant with super food. 

Day 8
It was a 1-hour drive from Saigon to the Mekong Delta where we enjoyed a river boat trip to see traditional coconut products being made. Lunch was at a local restaurant in the jungle with a mixture of the local cuisine, and we ended with a peaceful rowing trip back up the delta before returning to Saigon for dinner.

Day 9
Another early departure today saw us visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, around a 2-hour drive away. A short film before a guided tour explained the importance of the tunnels, and we went underground to experience what life was like in the living quarters where the hospitals were situated, and where the Vietnamese were protected from French Air Strikes. After a tour through the jungle, witnessing the horrific traps and torture devices used in the war, it was back to Saigon Airport.

Our return flight was via Dubia with Emirates and, again, the service was impeccable.

In summary, I loved my trip. Vietnam works really well for people of all ages looking for something a little bit different. My itinerary was, of course, rather hectic as I tried to cover as much as possible, but you could easily spend two weeks in the country. You could also reverse the direction of my trip depending on the time of year, as the climate is very different from North to South.

I felt very safe in each destination and the local people were extremely friendly wherever we went. It's one of the most fascinating places I've ever been lucky enough to visit, and I'll be back for sure.

A huge thanks goes to Carrier for looking after me so well.

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