After a snowy February 2015 we decided that we needed to get away somewhere warmer for a chunk of February 2016. We eventually settled on a trip back to southeast Asia, this time to Vietnam. Our first impulse was to also include nearby Angkor Wat in Cambodia, but we eventually decided to take it easier on ourselves this trip and focus on one country.
Our travels took us through a portion of coastal central Vietnam including the towns of Hoi An and Hue, then onto the capital of Hanoi and a sidetrip to the famous Halong Bay.
This was one of the rare trips where we checked a bag going to our destination, and of course that meant our bag was lost for 30 hours. Thankfully we also brought one carry-on that had a few days of clothes AND we were in the same town for a few days at the start of the trip!
Since our trip was about two weeks we decided to get a data plan for Leandra’s phone to help with maps and other searches as we were traveling. A 10GB ‘unlimited’ plan was available at the airport for 200k (~$9) and the employee set everything up for us. Overall we found good coverage and speed on the Viettel network.
Other miscellaneous notes from our trip:
- Nearly everyone in Vietnam had trouble with Leandra’s three syllable name, and often shortened it to one or two syllables
- every hotel offered a welcome drink, fruit and towel (cool or hot depending on time of day / outside temperature)
- fresh passion fruit was available almost everywhere, much to our delight!
- ATMs were plentiful, though you were limited to 2M of the local currency (~$90) per transaction
- We were rather unlucky to have grey skies for our entire trip – we were told that October and November often have better weather
Overall, we’re glad we focused exclusively on Vietnam, as it has a lot to offer, and there are many more places we’d love to explore in the future.