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Tracy in Vietnam
Tracy in Vietnam
Posted at: 5:03pm , 10 Sep 2017 By James Eacott

Tracy in Vietnam

Well what can I say, I had a truly amazing time – lovely people, fascinating county with such a mix of sights & sounds.

After a 12 hour flight from Heathrow to Hanoi we arrived early morning to a warm muggy climate and our adventures began.

Hanoi – Northern Vietnam
A mass of scooters greet all visitors with good manner beeps and a few gasps from the newly arrived before you travel into the lovely city of Hanoi.

There is so much to see that you need a few days to take in the sights on offer such as:

  • Ngoc Son Temple which sits on a small island in the northern part of Hoan Kiem Lake and close to the Municipal Water Puppet Theatre where you will see an unusual art form which originated in northern Vietnam.
  • West of the Old Quarter you can enjoy a visit to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex where you can see the humble traditional stilt house he used intermittently as well as catch a view of the Presidential Palace among the botanical gardens with memorials and pagodas.
  • One of my favourite activities was Walking the Train Track with a local guide which allows you to see how people live in houses so close to the train line then crossing the river to return back to Hanoi by local train.

Halong Bay – Northern Vietnam
This World Heritage site is a beautiful area of towering limestone pillars and islands where you can still see/visit local caves and floating fishing villages on a 1 or 2 night cruise.

Hoi An – Central Vietnam
This was one of my favourite places to explore with such a mix of architecture which has been influenced over the years by the French, Japanese and Chinese in the Old Town area and then comes to life in the evening with hundreds of silk lanterns along the streets and by the river.

A couple of hours drive away from Hoi An you find the Cham remains at My Son which is set in a jungle valley over looked by  Cat’s Tooth Mountain this is one of the foremost Hindu Temple Sites where the Cham civilization ruled Central Vietnam from the 2nd to the 13th century.

From Hoi An you can enjoy a visit to the surrounding countryside in local fashion – on the back of a Vespa which is a unique experience and meet some local families who give you an insight to how they live and work whether it’s coffee making, mat making or the perfect bahn dap (rice cracker).

You can choose where you stay either close to the Old town/river or by the beautiful beach where you have views of the Cham Islands.

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) 
A chaotic city with so much to see and do…..a real blend of old and new.

The Cu Chi tunnels, a few hours’ drive from the city, became famous during the American War will  give an insight into the day to day life of the Vietcong and how they disguised entrances and booby traps that the American Forces never discovered.

Back in Ho Chi Minh City you can see the old and new blending together with classic European style landmarks such as the Opera House and the Central Post office not far from the Bitexco Financial Tower which is a modern 68 eight storey skyscraper where from the Saigon Sky deck on the 48th floor  you can enjoy a drink as well as the amazing views of the city.

For those you wish to understand more about the American War then for a brutal look on the effects on civilian victims a visit to the War Remnants Museum will give a very graphic insight with photos taken by some legendary war photographers. Definitely not for the faint hearted.

One of the most iconic moments associated with the end of the war is the tank being driven through the gates of the now named Reunification Palace and you can visit this government building which still has the original telecommunications centre, war room and warren of tunnels.

Our final trip was to the Mekong Delta where we took a boat to visit one of the islands and see local life now exists with bee keepers, coconut candy workshops and small restaurants/cafes.

For anyone wanting beautiful sights, amazing people, tasty food and unique experiences then Vietnam is for you.

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