Vietnam is a very popular country for backpackers in South East Asia, often combined with a trip to Thailand, Laos or Cambodia.
Vietnam is a very photogenic country. Or maybe my boyfriend is just a great photographer. Anyway, we really enjoyed our stay in Vietnam. We explored the north, starting in Hanoi. Hanoi is a nice city to walk around in and just eat where your nose takes you.
Great street food is a banh-mi sandwich (we had ours from a small stand on
P Hang Bo in the old quarter), a ‘baguette’ filled with either pork or chicken en sliced vegetables like carrot and cucumber.
For dinner just stroll around the old quarter and sit down on small stools on the sidewalk where the locals eat. Go somewhere busy, not only is there a bigger change of good food, it also means that there’s less chance of bacteria.
If you’re looking for a cute place for a cup of coffee and some banana pancakes: Nola Cafe has you covered. The best thing about Nola might be the umbrella ceiling.
In Hanoi we booked a 2 day tour to Halong Bay with Vega Travel. Their prices are not too expensive but also not so cheap that it becomes dodgy. Halong Bay is a magnificent place and we were lucky that our guide from Vega Travel spoke very good English. All the meals on board are great. One night we even made our own spring rolls.
From Hanoi we took the night train to Sapa, our friendly guide from Vega Travel arranged the tickets for us while we were relaxing on the boat of our Halong Bay tour. Sapa is a town in the North, close to the Chinese border. It’s known for its magnificent nature. The rice fields on the mountains might be one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
We’ve rented scooters, which you can do at every street corner for just a couple of dollars, and just cruised around. The sights are beautiful and because you’re not hiking like the other tourists, you really get amongst the locals.
If you arrive back in Hanoi with the night train and you’re looking for a place that’s open early for breakfast, go to Puku. A New Zealand style restaurant with great sandwiches. Admitted, they’re a bit pricy but the brunch is great, they’re near to the train station and they’re open 24 hours a day.
Below is a video from our week in Vietnam in just 1 minute.
You’ll need a visa to enter Vietnam. If you live in the Netherlands you can arrange your visa online via visumbuitenland.nl.
Click here to arrange your Vietnam visa.
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