I was very excited to be asked to check out one of our new tour destinations for 2014, Vietnam. This 9 day tour is ideal for travellers pushed for time as it conveniently packs the country’s cultural highlights into a small timeframe. However, the organisation ensures the best possible experience at amazing value for money.
Our tour started in Saigon, also known as Ho Chi Minh, a bustling city full of character and history. We then cruised down the Mekong River and landed on Unicorn Island to enjoy the seasonal fruits and watch the traditional skills of noodle and sweet making.
Vibrant Can Tho’s Cai Rang floating market is a chaotic spectacle with negotiations in force for pineapples and potatoes, to name just a few. The colours and fragrances are something that will remain in my memory for years to come.
I loved Hanoi, with its atmospheric old quarter, lantern-fringed lake and an abundance of bustle and noise resonating from the local stalls and mopeds; it’s easy to spend a happy couple of days experiencing this vibrant Asian city.
At the end of the tour a particular highlight of mine was Halong Bay. The majestic natural wonder of limestone islands rising from the emerald waters is simply breath-taking. These tiny islands are dotted with beaches and grottoes created by the wind and waves.
Food is included and it’s a varied menu of rice, noodles, soups and fruit on most days. I learnt one phrase in Vietnamese: Oi Zoi Oi – (translates) Oh My God!
My tip is to wear flat closed shoes instead of flip flops as the boats can be slippery, take a hat and don’t forget your camera! I would personally love to go back and do it all again.