You can’t visit Vietnam and not learn about the Vietnam War – it’s a key part of history and the region’s current identity and conflicts. Vietnam had been a French colony since the 1880s. The Vietnamese had been fighting the French for independence for a long time before the Japanese came in during WWII. After Japan left, the Vietnamese took over what was left and kicked out the French. The country was split into communist North Vietnam and non-communist South Vietnam. The Vietnam War was fought between North Vietnam (supported by China and the Soviet Union) and South Vietnam (supported by the US and allies to defeat communism), and it was nearly 20 years from 1955 – 1975. North Vietnam ended up winning, but the country still seems very divided. For example, people in the southern city of Ho Chi Minh City still call the city Saigon (the name of the city before the south lost).
In lighter news, my favorite part about Vietnam was the food. Yummmmm, the food! What you need to make sure you eat:
Hoi An is known for tailors. You can get anything you want custom made for you, and there are hundreds to choose from. Colin and I got matching outfits:
Hanoi means “land inside the river.” You definitely can’t skip Hanoi if you’re visiting Vietnam. Come for the food, history, and bars.
Halong Bay means descending dragon bay. It is known for its emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands topped by rainforests. There are about 2,000 islands in about 1,500 square kilometers. We took a 2 day cruise around the bay through Rosa Cruise for $235 (total for both of us). We spent another $55 on drinks, and another $10 for tip. Total was $300 for the 2 days for 2 people.
Overall, I don’t think it was worth it. I mean, it may have been if it had been sunny, but the weather didn’t totally cooperate. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t bright and perfect either. See our video of the bay here to see what I’m talking about.
Hi, I'm Sara Monica Patton. I love animals, traveling, and eating. Read more about me in my first blog post here.