Daily life in Hanoi never stops. Hanoi was the first place I visited in Vietnam and I absolutely fell in love with it. We arrived at our hotel at 6am and decided to go have a walk around. The city was waking up and the people came out to buy bread (a relic of French colonialism...fresh-baked baguettes!) and fruit and head off to work on their bikes. The workers ate their pho (soup with noodles, vegetables, and meat) and the humidity and heat grew by the second.
Hanoi is a friendly city...local vendors will eagerly offer you a lychee to try if they see you looking with curiosity. Many of the streets and colonial buildings are in bad shape but they still give the city a romantic aura. It's a merchant city as well so you'll find shops all over and the oldest neighborhoods in the city are still divided by guilds.
It's a place to spend 2-3 hours a day just walking around and watching the daily life of Hanoi pass by.
During our tour of Vietnam, one of our stops was Hội An. What a surprise! We had only planned to stop there since it's close to one of Vietnam's main silk factories, but we were amazed. It's a very romantic and bohemian city that has charm in spades.
You have to explore the main street; it's full of charming shops, traditional homes, and artists. The city was experiencing some flooding when we visited but it didn't stop us from enjoying ourselves. We hired a man with a boat and he gave us a tour of the town.
If you’re interested in silks, the ones here are beautiful. They even make bespoke dresses overnight. There are also stalls in the market where they'll make custom shoes in only a matter of hours. You choose the style, fabric, and color and then bingo!
Don't miss it!
Nha Trang is a coastal city in the south of Vietnam. As for the hotel, think about choosing a hotel in Nha Trang beforehand or one on an island in the bay, because the hotels in the city are mostly in downtown. The city, however, is not the only thing you can visit; you can also explore the islands and beaches. Water sports are very economical here, and you can do things like ride a banana boat, para-ski, jetski, and more. Do not be surprised when the Vietnamese go swimming fully clothed.
Can Tho is the perfect place to set up "camp" to discover the Mekong Delta, an area with fishing villages and floating markets and one of the most interesting of Vietnam. If this city is your 1st first stop you will be surprised with communist flags hanging from every post, and the large number of bikes at all hours that causes traffic to collapse, not to mention those that are parked or "run" on the sidewalks.This is shocking, but soon you will realize that it is a feature of the country. Here children are born with 2 wheels under their arm! Can Tho is a big city, lively, and there is a big market where it is very fun and you can go bartering for goods like leaping frogs, a delicacy! A few meters from the market is the pier, where you can take a trip to the Cai Rang floating market, about 6 kilometers from the city, where every morning the locals buy and sell all kinds of products, mainly fruits and vegetables. Staying in Can Tho is no problem: the offers are plenty and there are prices to suit all budgets. For reference, I paid 4 dollars for a double room (no single) with bathroom, television and perfectly clean. For lunch or dinner, we return to the river area. On the promenade that runs parallel to the Mekong's many venues for all budgets. If your intention is to buy rice with prawns to eat at your leisure at the foot of the great statue of Ho Chi Minh, you will find it in every corner, but if you prefer to dine in a restaurant, the possibilities are also multiple. Can Tho was my first contact with the Vietnamese people, and the truth is I was delighted. Personally notice much difference in treatment to the "tourist" in the north or in the south of the country, and I think Can Tho was where I felt most at home, only behind Sapa.
Even after going on a search and finding my phone after a long day, Da Lat was one of the coolest cities I've seen in South East Asia and the views driving on motor bikes my friend and rented were nothing short of spectacular.