Expedition to Vietnam 2012
All travel reports are translated electronically although minor improvements are sometimes made.
Expedition to Vietnam 2012 – travel report
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Cu Chi Tunnels, Cao Dai Temple, Mekong Delta, Mui Ne, Dalat, Nha Trang, Hoi An, My Son, Marble Mountains, DaNang, Hue, Perfume Pagoda , Halong Bay (and the dark side of Halong Bay), Sapa (and practical information about the trip).
The characteristics of Vietnam
Vietnamese women dress in their national costumes closely associated with the Vietnamese culture, that is, in silk trousers and richly decorated long silk ankle shirts, and straw-shaped hats. Ho Chi Minh T-shirts and green caps with a red star are also popular. Communist clothes are also very popular.
►I noticed that throughout Vietnam people were rather nice except Hanoi and north. This area was once the main force of the Communist guerrilla army of Viet Cong. It is not dangerous, but rudeness in the north of Vietnam goes from generation to generation.
► Anti-Americanism has a cultural and ideological background in Vietnam. I observed this in the form of repainted old planes and tanks “decorating” many parks in Vietnam. Popular are the inscriptions next, such as “this plane was taken to American imperialism during the fight in ……”. Many museums and tourist trains telling the story from the point of view of Vietnam are dedicated to America’s dislike.
► Vietnam is a country of mopeds . The car is only about 2m but the mopeds are about 20m. By 2020 it is supposed to be 36 million and many of them are also potential taxi. I Vietnam drove on a moped without a driver’s license.
► going through the streets in Vietnam is an art. Let us remember that Vietnam is a country of mopeds and crazy mopeds, which we will surely find in Hanoi and Saigon. Crossing the road should be very slow without impulsive movements. Vietnamese on motorbikes will not slow down, but they will still see you and try not to drive you. A motorbike is usually stronger than a man.
Cambodian border with Vietnam ran very fast. However, I noticed a huge difference between Bavet (Cambodia border) and Moc Bai (Vietnam border). In Bavet I saw figures showing the cultural richness of Angkor’s temples, while the Vietnamese border was communist. When I was exactly in the same place in 2004, there was only a desert and barricade with a chameleon policeman with an asterisk on his cap. In 2012 there was a vulgar building from the Khrushchev epoch, which was flown by the Vietnamese flag, red with a yellow star in the middle.
The ride to Saigon from the border took us about 2h.
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
(Description of the city, landmarks, traffic in the city, million mopeds, art, bazaars and Vietnamese cuisine.) The report on Saigon is an introduction to the whole story of Vietnam)
Despite the official renaming of the city on May 1, 1975 from Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City, most people still use the old name. Saigon gives a sense of city character and I see in it an element of adventure, while the new name mostly uses uniform. Saigon is today the largest city in Vietnam, the cultural and economic center of the country and the city with the main airport. The capital is located in the north of Hanoi.
My base in Saigon was in the Pham Ngu Lao district, which is in the tourist section of the city where there are the most affordable guest houses and tourist agencies. Besides, I lived here eight years ago and it was exactly in the same narrow street. For a room with a bathroom I only paid $ 8. On the same day I picked up Monica from the airport and returned with my suitcases on mopeds home. It was raining so it was drenched but still it was a good adventure to start. In the evening we went to the park opposite where the Vietnamese practiced and played badminton, and then we were at our first Vietnamese dinner near Ben Thanh bazaar.
On the next day, the day began. So I rented a moped and all day we rode Saigon’s noisy and exhausting. I also say that I do not have a driving license, but it did not bother me in riding a moped in Asia. Of course, it was also a day of relaxation so we stopped at Vietnamese restaurants for exotic meals. On this day we saw the following places not far from each other:
► Norte Dame Cathedral ; Built between 1877 and 1883 by the French. It is a classic French sacred brick structure that is built in exactly the same style as the original. In Hanoi is similar, French cathedral.
► Mariamman Hindu temple ; It was built in the 19th century and devoted to the goddess Mariamman. This object is typical of Hindu culture and presents colorful figures of saints.
► The main mail building in Saigon ; I think one of the nicest buildings in the whole city. It was built in the early 20th century during the French Indochina, in Gothic style. In the middle there is still mail, but its sophisticated interior, shops and centuries-old picture of Ho Chi Minh make this property today a tourist attraction.
► War Museum ; is the saddest place in Saigon as it tells the story of the brutal history of the war between Vietnam and the United States. There are paintings from the battlefield showing American soldiers with Vietnamese remains, roasted rice fields and all the horrors of war. The images that most remembered me were those that were born with birth defects caused by chemical weapons thrown over by America. There are also prison cages for torture, weapons and grenades, and airplanes, helicopters and armored vehicles “confiscated by American imperialism”. As if the horror was not enough there are also people playing flutes, born without limbs and deformed due to chemical weapons orange agent.
In my opinion the entire museum was very tragic and I recommend them as much as possible. I do not justify America but do not deceive that this museum is also a communist propaganda. The Communists are presented in a positive way and Ho Chi Minh, who himself murdered the Vietnamese, is the father of the nation. To make this museum more valuable, the list of communist victims should also be included here.Traveling in Vietnam, like in any other country, I have never seen so many anti-Americanism so far here. All over Vietnam is full of exposures of old tanks and airplanes with the signature of hate America. Perhaps I qualify Vietnam to second place after my trip to Iran?
► Presidential Palace ; Notre Dame Cathedral is less than a mile away, or the Palace of the Union is one of the most important landmarks in Saigon. This does not mean, however, that this communist body completed in 1966 is the most interesting or worth recommending. I just mean that it is another building in Vietnam where we can see a tank, a portrait of Ho Chi Minh and decorated conference rooms. In addition there are red flags with yellow stars in the middle, a fountain and a large lawn. The stay here bored me because it had nothing to do with the beautiful culture of Vietnam, but with communism which is just as harmful as the orange agent.
► Park with Taoist pagoda ; Unfortunately, no one was able to tell me the name of the park, but far from Pham Ngu Lao there is a nice park with cacti and a small playground for children. There is also a pagoda decorated with tigers and pitchers with incense, built in a very attractive way for this culture.
On this day we were touring Saigon until nightfall while crossing the city on a moped and it was only evening when we returned to Pham Ngu Lao to our accommodation. After a shower we went for a full body massage and then sat down for dinner near Ben Thanh bazaar. Vietnamese cuisine is very good and healthy, and the hard working people served us seafood in delicious sauce, and of course rice. Also Saigon beer and sugar cane juice. We came back through the park where people usually practice and play badminton. Besides, Vietnam is well organized in terms of parking mopeds. The only thing that is really ugly here are the high voltage cables hanging over the city.
The next day I hired a moped for $ 5 per day because despite the noise, exhaust and other mopeds driving on us, it is still the best way to get around Saigon. We set off in the morning and it was another very tiring day. Firstly we went again for:
– Ben Thanh bazaar where I bought a shirt from Ho Chi Minh and a green cap for souvenir, and then walked around the roundabout with the monument of a horseman riding. I would say it is a very busy place where traffic is quite dangerous, but the bazaar itself offers many interesting souvenirs. I’m haggling !!!
“Then we went to the temple in the Chinese district of Cho Lon , where I was in 2004. It was the Tien Hau Temple built in the 19th century by the Chinese community. This temple is built in the traditional sacral style of ancient China, while the center features Vietnamese elements. I took this place as a studio of art, because there were many bas-reliefs and people painting furniture and figurines. First of all, interesting architecture and colorful tiles are thrown here, but also a jar with simple incense and incense in the shape of circles hanging from the ceiling. Outside, there is a swimming pool with turtles. This temple is dedicated to the rich sea named Tien Hau.
Then we stood near the city office with a nice garden and cut trees. Before the office there was a monumentdepicting Ho Chi Minh holding the child . Then we went to the Museum of Art , which is not far from Tien Hau Temple. Many paintings and sculptures refer here to the American Vietnam War, which made me take the place as a museum of propaganda art in a rough measure. There were, of course, works on another subject, but since I have been traveling across this country, I have noticed that war is present here at every turn. After a short meal consisting mainly of rice we went to the zoo, near which there are some other interesting objects. I parked my moped at the Vietnam History Museum , where as its name implies items from the Vietnam uprising, or rather from the time of the first settlers in the Vietnamese lands up to the present. There are no pictures, old tools and of course another bust Ho Chi Mnha. Walking is easy with English subtitles. The museum is located right next to the zoo and has a roof resembling Chinese temples from the Summer Garden near Beijing. On the other side of the street there is a sugar cane juice stand, which helps to win the tropical heat, and before the Ho Chi Minh Museum (Revolutionary Museum) . It is a typical museum praising communism and Ho Chi Minh’s struggle for power. There are a lot of posters and photos from Ho Chi Minh, a few weapons and repainted planes outside. At the central point is also the red curtain and the “Uncle Ho” coffin bust. This kind of place is very much in Vietnam because this propaganda is very good here. Then we crossed the street to the Zoo and Botanic Gardens . This Zoo has many interesting animals like predatory cats and herpetarium. The zoo’s garden in Saigon is also a botanical garden full of exotic plants and beautifully trimmed bonsai trees. The whole zoo is very interesting and beautiful. I highly recommend them.
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) was our base for the first few days. We left for a few trips, and the time we spent in Saigon itself was a time of no rush. We visited many Catholic churches because Catholicism is very popular in southern Vietnam and we are also Catholics themselves. We were in many bazaar restaurants where we were served delicatessen Vietnamese cuisine and in interesting taistory temples. The rainy season in Saigon was a kind of salvation from the smog floating above the city and it was always easier to breathe after the rain. Noise and traffic were tiresome in this city, and one of the hallmarks of Saigon was the high voltage wires let down a few meters above the street. In Saigon there are many interesting shops with Vietnamese art, with painted plates, a series of wooden paintings “Tin Tin Adventures in Vietnam” and art photographs showing the life of Vietnam. Choosing the streets of Saigon is huge and I think that to enjoy art, choose the right souvenirs and try local dishes you can not limit yourself to viewing the same objects. I also noticed that the Vietnamese can do business even with their communism. There are a lot of propaganda posters on the red background in Ho Chi Minh City, and you can buy t-shirts from Ho Chi Minh City or red shirts and hats on the stalls. If anyone wants to become a communist, you can buy all the uniforms with a red star on your forehead and take a photo of yourself against the background of red flags.The revolution here is ideologically still very alive. Women often wear their traditional dresses, long dresses, and round, pointed hats. Another adventure related to Saigon is the places and activities associated with the moped. In the country of many millions of mopeds there are many workshops, repairs and parts to be repaired. Parking is well organized and refueling is a painful, noisy ritual.
Driving through the crowded streets of Saigon, we have reached two more:
► The pink Catholic church (I do not know the street) impressed me. There was a decent mass, a statue of Jesus and a shop with paintings of Mary and Jesus. The Catholic Church in South Vietnam is doing a great deal. Catholics make up 7% of the population of Vietnam.
► Emperor Jade Pagoda ; is a Chinese temple built in 1909, which is today the largest treasure of skeleton structures in Saigon. There are many Taoist monuments covered with the mystery of the gods, a water area with turtles and pitchers with sand from which burn incense. However, this place is small and dark. Inside the temples there is not much light, which gives a specific effect. I would recommend.
In my opinion, Saigon should be an important place to get acquainted and usually is the beginning of any expedition after Vietnam. I advise you to watch the traffic and not pay for the moped more than $ 5 per day.Going to Saigon requires skill and cold blood though I do not even have a driving license. Fortunately, the police never stopped me.
One day trip from Saigon to Cu Chi Tunnels and Cao Dai Temple
Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh
Caodaism is a new religion because it was founded in 1926 in Vietnam. It is an indulgent religious Indo-Chinese originated in the combination of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, Islam and all spiritualism. Caodaism is the religion headed by a leader like the Pope and his main message is to deep study all religions in order to understand that all people come from one creator and that all should live in harmony. Caodaism has begun to purge something of every religion and build up its temples in such a way that the style is started from every religion. This is to live in harmony with all religions. In my opinion, every temple is built in the style of the far east, with colorful tiles, profiled roofs and dragons swirling around the pillars. The front is decorated with two towers in the style of Notre Dame Cathedral, which is a clear motif started with Christianity. The next tower comes from Islam and another from Buddhism. Among the saints of Caodaism are such figures as Jesus Christ, Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed, Joanna Darc, Julius Caesar and Victor Hugo. There are many rules of Caodaism and I recommend reading here because my reportage is intended to provide only basic information. Different data give different information about the number of faithful, but it is from about 3ml to 6ml. There is also the belief that Caodaism is a nationalist political movement. In any case, the architecture and the whole tour is worth recommending even without getting into the specifics of this religion. I would recommend.
Cu Chi tunnels
(The clever ways of the Vietnamese to kill Americans)
On the same trip I deepened my knowledge of the Vietnam-US War, so I went to Cu Chi Tunnels about 65km behind Saigon. Cu Chi tunnels were built in the 40s against the French, but in the 1960s they were expanded to Viet Cong and due to the war with America. The tunnels were so big that they buried themselves on the Cambodian border and they were home to 10,000 Viet Congu partisans. There were small meeting rooms, dining rooms and small hospitals. The tunnels were located in the woods and the doors to them were very well covered with earth and leaves. But the entrance was so narrow that no American would not even get there even if he discovered the tunnel. When I entered the ground and passed a small piece, I felt very bad because all the time I had to go all over and push through the narrow tunnel. It was a very dirty and claustrophobic experience but it allowed me to feel on my own skin as it was crawling in such cracks a few meters below the ground. The only difference is that during the war the Vietamans fled to the tunnels when the Americans were bombing and now it was quiet. I also went to the underground kitchen where there was a table in the middle and there was a kitchen with a chimney. I drank tea but went out quickly because there was nothing to breathe. Other attractions also offered. I was told that during the war the whole Vietnamese nation was a very well organized, guerrilla army and that is true. I saw very cleverly invented traps, mostly made of metal, nails and bamboo, which acted as levers. It was a very clever way to eliminate an opponent, especially since the traps were underground, in the jungle or in water, and were always so hidden that the American soldiers did not expect the threat. Many of the sharp parts of the bamboo were also poisonous snakes. No wonder the Americans were tortured. They fought in foreign land and fell into trapped jungle. Cu Chi tunnels also included a shooting range where you could shoot from the real AK-47. From the designated positions, I shot the target with sharp cartridges.This is a really nice weapon, but it just gently drove me back. Many souvenirs were sold outside and some of them were very original. I think Vietnamese vodka with dead cobra in the middle and local spices, but there are many other nice souvenirs as well, such as images of rural life in Vietnam. These are always simple drawings of farmers in rice fields, plowing fields with buffalo or people in their characteristic, pointed hats. Cu Chi tunnels also had several meter craters after bomb blasts. Now they are planted with bamboo, but I only note that the big pits are not a natural terrain. In addition, there was a huge tank on which you could enter and take pictures, and the exposition of “Ho Chi Minh sandals”. These were sandals made of old tires but in such a way that the rear of the sandals was wider than the front. Thanks to that, Americans who found traces of sandals thought Viet Cong was going the other way. The ingenuity of the Vietnamese was admirable. My mentor was an older man who took part in the war and used to run to the trenches through American bombing. With his words and facial expressions, it was obvious that when he talked about the Americans he hated them.
The next morning I went to one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam, the Mekong Delta. This is a great area because it occupies about 60000 km². Here Mekong forms a labyrinth of river roads from which small islands rise. On these small sections of land people mainly deal with fisheries and rice cultivation, although there are also vegetable gardens and bazaars and sugar cane fields. Sailing here I watched the life of the local people, which, despite the achievements of the present, has not changed much. Compared to 2004, when I was here for the last time, there are more brick houses and several churches, although some people still live in wooden huts on the banks of the river. The life of these people is closely related to the aquatic environment and every part of their lives depends on the river. The bazaars are organized on small islands but also on water. Just like in Thailand on the “river bazaar”, the same people here make up a group of boats on the water and thus trade. Everything they sell comes from their surroundings as the sugar cane grows near the houses and the rods are thrown from the terraces over the water, so you can eat without even going out of the house to shop. There are also cages where fish are kept. There are a few small towns such as My Tho or Can Tho where there are some bustling bazaars and beautiful views, but I liked the small tropical islands that I got by boat. With the rest, another transport is impossible here. Every time it was beautiful because I always flowed through narrow canals bypassing palm trees rising from the water and people living on the shore waved and sometimes wanted to sell something. As I mentioned before, I did not have to leave the boat because every local boat was a potential stall. During my beautiful trip I reached my little canoe to one of the many islands where palm leaf roof was a factory where handmade coconut and banana sweets were made and all were always wrapped in banana leaves. Other souvenirs were also sold and one of them was Vietnamese vodka with a cobra in the middle. We were also taken to a singing show typical of South Vietnamese culture. In another place was a beautiful, about two meters long tiger python, bred as a domestic pet by the owners of the sweet factory. I took him out of the cage and took my neck, which made me feel even better, even though the other tourists were afraid. I was also on a large vegetable market where Vietnamese in traditional pointed hats kept on the floor their bags of rice and whole branches of bananas. I think that in every part of Asia where I have been so far, the bazaar is always something interesting and noteworthy for me, although on the other hand it is so commonplace. It was just a rainy season and it was raining that day, but the trip was good too. .
Transport from Saigon to Mui Ne
Sleeping bus for $ 5 at about 4.5h.
(Description of beach mast, sand dunes, monuments and the procedure of killing reptiles on skin and meat)
Mui Ne is a well known holiday resort in Vietnam with the best beaches closest to Saigon. It is
A very quiet, pleasant place where you can relax, go for a delicious grilled fish and visit many local attractions. Mui Ne is also called the Sahara of Vietnam because of extensive sand dunes. I also noticed that many Russians settled here. They have their own shops and pharmacies.
On the first day we were only on the beach to take a bath. I also ran because fortunately it was not hot.Contrary to what we usually hear the rainy season is very pleasant for me because it is easier to breathe. In Mui Ne we had a nice en suite room for $ 8 and for the last night I only paid $ 6. Overall I would not advise to pay more for rooms than just $ 8. Every evening we walked on the road by the sea and watched souvenirs at great prices. Former coconut capsules, shell necklaces and many other medium-sized things.
The next day I rented a moped for $ 6 and drove with my blonde to the White Sand Dune , about 45km from Mui Ne. On the way we went several times on the beach, took pictures, got stuck in the sand and of course we had to refill. Coming on a moped through the natural beauty of Vietnam, we also reached the Taoist Temple near the dunes. The dunes themselves lie on a lake and represent an extraordinary experience compared to the rest of Vietnam. The dunes are not as high as the Gobi desert in Mongolia but are more extensive. You can also ride on off-road vehicles, or just as I duck with the sand dunes into the sand. White sand dunes and the transport to them and the surrounding area is a beautiful adventure. I did not even dare to ride on the ostriches . For only 40,000 Vietnamese dong I got on it and made one circle around the farm. It’s also recommended. I also realized that until now I have not only been riding a wild pig, because camels, horses, elephants and even ostriches have already been processed. Then we returned to Mui Ne, but the first time I stopped with my blonde at Red Sand Dunes (a few kilometers before Mui Ne).There were no lakes or off-road cars here, but instead there were dunes that were actually red, and children who rented shields on which the tourists drove off the dunes. It was a pleasant walk, but here we were a bit tired of the sun and the ride. In the evening we were still on a delicious fish and then we went to sleep. Our first day in Mui Ne proved to be very successful. I also noticed one thing I do not like in Vietnam.Now there are sharks, frogs and turtles that are meant to eat. Also poor snakes that are one of my favorite animals are preserved in Vietnamese alcohols. There are also restaurants and death shops where you can buy luggage and crocodile goods. I think it has a cultural background but the other reason is the poverty of Vietnam. Of course, no one cares here because the only thing that counts for the Vietnamese is the business.
On the next day I did not want to pay for the moped, so after breakfast we boarded the bus and drove 5km from our guest house to Fairy Stream (Suoi Tien) , a shallow, slow-flowing stream that is a red canyon, interesting rock formations and surrounded by exotic vegetation. . We also went here for a coconut cut straight from the palm trees above us, but the most important here was the close contact with the unnatural nature. Especially the brook in the canyon I recommend the most. We then returned 5km to the hotel and drove 8km towards Phan Thiet to Po Shanu Cham Tower . There are a group of brick towers with chapels built in the 8th century during the Kingdom of Champa. In total there are three towers that have been dedicated to Shivie, which means that the buildings were heavily influenced by India. For me it was a nice trip, especially since the towers are located on a hill overlooking the coast and Phan Thiet. The rest of the day we spent swimming and walking on the beach and in the evening we went for grilled fish. All the wonderful places I described above are worth the stay here. On the way to Central Vietnam Mui Ne should be a compulsory stop.
Transportation from Mui Ne to Dalat
Our trip started early in the morning and we were driving 4 hours by a small uncomfortable bus. It cost me $ 5,5, that is once again I tasted myself.
Dalat is located at an altitude of 1475 meters, which guarantees escape from the hot climate. Here there is no half rice and sunshine but strawberry fields, lakes, flowers and a pleasant spring climate. Many buildings are built in French style rather than socialist, because in French Indochina, French people chose Dalat as one of their bases because of the climate. At this point I am reminded of exactly the same situation on my journey to Burma. Mandalay is very hot, so the British colonists chose the small town of Pyin Oo Lwin as a base for cooler weather.
Our old bus arrived at the hotel early in the morning. The room with breakfast wanted us $ 10 and they also wanted to keep our passports for 1 day for viewing the militia. Officially for our assurance and I do not say that it was in this case otherwise, because other tourists have met with this and got their passports.However, I did not like this idea so I found a hotel room next door for $ 6. First we slept 2h and then went out to the city. The small streets of Dalat led us first to a local Vietnamese pub where we had a good dinner for 30,000 dong (small money). Then we went through the central park full of plants and flowers, on the right side having a tower similar to the Eiffel Tower , and we reached the lake Xuan Huong . There was also a small promenade in the middle, food stalls and swan-shaped water bikes. There was also a night bazaar on which art, baguettes were sold, and where we always went for dinner. It was a nice place, full of bumbling bargains and giving the opportunity to observe local people. Dalat has many small, winding streets on many levels and I think that the good indication of where we are is Xuan Huong Lake and the Eiffel Tower. On the same day we went to Hang Nga Crazy House , a home of crazy architecture, full of labyrinths, dangerous bridges on many levels and fairytale rooms where hobbits could live. You can spend the night in one of the strangest rooms, but it costs a lot of money (about $ 50- $ 100 per night). The entrance cost me only 12000 dong.
The next day we took a one day trip for $ 11 (until about 4-5 pm) and saw the following places:
► Bao Dai Summer Palace ; which in my opinion does not deserve the name of the palace. This is a large villa built in 1933 and painted in yellow, which has lost its sunny color over the years. Both the outside and the inside are beaten with greed, dirt and old age and the garden, which is certainly better than the “palace” itself, does not take breath in the chest. I was here in 2012 and I think if in the next few years the Vietnamese will invest some money here will be a nice place, but for now it is nothing special.
► cable car ; This is an attraction I would recommend. There are beautiful jams on Dalat and the whole colony in refreshing air. The price is 50.000 dong for 15 minutes driving.
► Monk’s Zen Truc Lam and Dalat Meditation Center ; It is one of the most attractive places in Dalat built in the sacral style of the far east. There are Buddhist temples and pagodas, meditation halls and a beautiful garden. There is a lack of profiled roofs with colorful tiles and bonsai trees in red pots. There is also a Buddha with a lotus flower in his hand, a swastika as a symbol of happiness and a library. The entire meditation center is located on Tuyen Lam Lake and is located on a protected forest area of 23.2 hectares, of which the built-up area is 2 hectares. This monastery is a very quiet place where you can relax from the noise of the city. I would recommend.
► Tuyen Lam Lake ; is the largest lake located 5km from Dalat, which has an area of 320 hectares. Tuyen Lam is a popular spot for kayaking and elephant trekking. This attraction requires a longer stay in Dalat. I saw a lake from the Truc Lam Meditation Center.
► Datan Waterfalls ; is another interesting place where you can enjoy attractive nature. For the entrance I paid 5000 dong but there is also the option of driving a small vehicle on rails suspended above the ground.There are many waterfalls throughout the area and most require a guide and climbing equipment. We just went down to the first waterfall, and if anyone wants to go all out and make a one-day trip then this can be a good challenge.
► Valley of love ; is another lake park where there is a flower garden and animal monuments. There is also a big heart in the flowers on which the couples in love can take a picture. They can also take a picture on a ponytail. There is a very pretty nature around.
► Dalat Flower Forest ; is a shop with flowers and fine art where you can see the coniferous forest through the glass window. Exhibitions are so busy that you can spend 20 minutes here. I just missed tea, because the sight and smell of flowers with a cup of tea make it possible to stay here longer.
► Dragon Pagoda ; is a Buddhist temple with attractive equipment. There are monuments of dragons, big golden Buddha and many bonsai trees in attractive pots. The part intended for prayers is also nice but the impression made on me was the dragons and trees.
► Old train station ;It is a very attractive building in orange and red, built in 1932 by the French. Dalat station was designed in art deco style, with distinctive multi-colored glazed windows. For most of its itnienia station was not used because of the war and the train service from the 90s was very limited. This railway was also the object of sabotage and bombings by the communist Viet Cong. Today it is a tourist attraction where there are several souvenir shops and a pair of old cars and the locomotive, which is a beautiful journey into the past. One of these old trains offers visitors 8km service to another village.
Around five o’clock in the evening we left the bus near the lake and went to the night bazaar. Our entire stay in Dalat was very enjoyable and I would recommend “central highlands’ most. I advise you to be careful, however, where the tour guide takes the group for a meal because they always take the most expensive restaurant and have this percent. But I went to the pub next door where we ate exactly the same as in an expensive place, only for the buck.
It is interesting to add that in Dalat is a factory of milk and yogurt, and are among the best I’ve tasted.
Transport from Dalat to Nha Trang
Little utobus $ 6 per person. Horse stably 5h, from 7 am to 12 noon. After leaving the hills of Dalat immediately we felt a higher temperature.
Nha Trang is the best and napopularniejszy seaside resort of Vietnam and therefore we spent here until four days. There is a nice beach and warm, pleasantly floating sea, very good kitchen, cheap hotels and several attractive temples. There are also organized trips to exotic island is interesting muzum oceanographic, Cham towers and unfortunately the traffic. In Nha Trang, we had a very good room with private bathroom for $ 7 in the tourism of the center. Only the first day we walked along the beach and bathe in the sea. It was very nice and made a great impression on me as artistically trimmed trees near the street. They are in many different shapes and have different sizes. The symbol of the city is located near the beach tower Tran HuongAnd on the opposite side of the street there is a political and cultural center of Nha Trang called Khanh Hoa Province . Before him waving Vietnamese flag, the yellow star on a red background, and next door is also usually koministyczny propaganda poster. In the evening we went for dinner on the night bazaar and I must admit that Vietnamese cuisine is very good. It is mainly a lot of seafood and fish dishes and the basis is usually rice or rice noodles. Typically, they serve dishes with vegetables, often with bamboo and also with soy sauce. The beach itself was, of course, the place to which every day we came back and Nha Trang has a very pleasant waves.
The next day I rented a moped for $ 5, then stuck his blonde in the back seat and went to explore the area. We circled a little town full of mopeds, but compared to riding in Saigon Nha Trang is a luxury. First we went to Long Son Pagoda . It is a beautiful Buddhist temple with attractive roofs, with many statues of dragons and colorful tiles. To draw attention also deserves an elaborate robot tiled and glass, which presents a mosaic of dragons. Then going to reach the top of the lying Buddha, and on top of the mountain is great sitting Buddhathe lotus flower. Long Son Pagoda was built in the nineteenth century and still has a few monks living there. There is no shortage are also collecting postcards and sellers to “sacrifice” for themselves. Then przedarliśmy through the city on a motorbike and arrived at the Cai River, where the mountain top are towers of Cham called Po Nagar. I admit that this is one of the most attractive places in Nha Trang and the towers and the views are better than in Mui Ne. Po Nagar towers are brick buildings from the chapels, which are very well preserved and surrounded by nice vegetation. At the top there is also a small exhibition of sculptures, and when I was here was with his traveling companion was also a folk music and manual production of carpets. Beautiful is also a top view of the turquoise bay, the colorful fishing boats and small islands. It is also one of a very small island consisting of only a few rocks on which the house is built. After all, we went for a drink to a small diner under a bridge. There was a small row of tables and chairs where we had a nice time. After all, we returned to the area of the guest house to bathe in the sea and enjoy another wonderful dinner with seafood.
The next day we went on a day boat trip on four islands. It turned out, of course, another great idea and this day will go is the best ever. They took us in the morning by boat and then swam boat on a turquoise sea. They gave us too exotic fruits and good food for us and played drums and guitar. So we had a feast during a concert in the beautiful landscape of the sea. In addition, we swam in the sea and collected shells. On one of the islands is the aquarium which can be accessed for a fee.
Our next day in Nha Trang were first on the beach and then went on a motorbike to the Oceanographic Museum , away from the tower Tran Huong about 6km. It was very interesting because there was a lot of large pools with sharks, sea turtles and many other species of creatures from the coast of Nha Trang. However, there was also a dark exposition of the exhibition. Well, there were also dead fish in formalin and huge fish harvested, dried on metal balls. In the Full sense, it was a rather depressing museum of death, but thankfully alive espozycja was so interesting that saved the honor of the museum. Input costs 15,000 dong. Then we went on to the place where the cable car Vinpearl. I wanted to do this because the 15 minute ride would allow us to see Nha Trang with a better perspective, but I did not know in advance the cost. You can not just take the same train. It must be purchased at a local amusement park on an island called Vinpearl Land. There is a water park and amusement park, but the whole cost up to 450,000 dong because I forgave myself. Vietnam probably invested a lot in this park but now it is too greedy and therefore often goes empty queue. I would add only that the rope is suspended queue on the thumbnails Eiffel towers, giving the impression that the Vietnamese feel affection for their former colonialists. Our last day was spent mostly at the seaside but also invited his blonde to a restaurant for a delicious tofu.
Transportation from Nha Trang to Hoi An
The ticket price was high because even $ 17, but I paid $ 11 per person. We rode the night sleeping bus which took us 10h. To Hoi An, we arrived at about 6am.
Hoi An is a popular town in Vietnam because of the old architecture and nice location on the river. Hoi An was one of the main commercial ports of Vietnam still in the seventeenth century and therefore preserved here ancient sacred and secular architecture and art coming from China, Japan and Europe. In the evening, the river orange walls of small houses take on other colors by the light of paper lanterns. The hosts setting up their markets and set your chair and let go candles in the lanterns on the river. Many tourists traverses the old town on a bike, but I think that in the case of Hoi An in this way too much to lose. Hoi An deserves the full two days the exact sightseeing and for trips outside the city to several places of interest. Besides, there is also a beach, which meant that we were up to 5 days.The bad part of Hoi An is just that hotels here are even doubly expensive than in other places in Vietnam. Me for the two of us were able to pay $ 12 with private bathroom and air conditioning, but all the others were more expensive.
The old town of Hoi An is on the Unesco list of world culture and access to its territory costs 75,000 dong. Sometimes you can avoid paying, and then you can walk the streets of the Old Town, but you can not come to the most interesting objects. So I advise you to pay. That day I saw a lot of objects that make up the beautiful whole, because in my coverage, I will describe a few.
The symbol of the Old Town and the first building at the entrance of the Japanese Bridge, the built in 1593. The bridge is built in the traditional style of the Far East, as it has a characteristic roof with many decorations mounted on red flarach. In part it is even built a small temple. Unfortunately, as so important object you’d have it in better condition. Immediately after the bridge is Phung Hung Old House , which is another very special object. Phung Hung is a private, two-level house with a lantern czerownymi zazwieszonymi from the roof. It was built in 1780 with Chinese influences, and today serves as an art gallery. It is also worth mentioning Tan Ky HouseIt built in the nineteenth century, which like the rest of the house, is also a gift shop and a small art. Yes Ky was built in chńskim and Japanese styles. The entrance is not attractive, but in the middle of Rooute antique, decorated with furniture, paintings and carved pillars. Another point is the Museum of Ceramic where you can buy pottery from the period of the Dai Viet. The museum is housed in a wooden, single-story house with a balcony and red lanterns. In the middle is approximately 430 different ceramic throughout Asia. The house itself is very characteristic of the architecture of the Vietnamese mid-nineteenth century and for a very interesting, and mosaics and ceramics are the full complement of colors. The next building is the old house on the street 103 Tran PhuWhich is built in the same style as the rest but offers made on the spot, silk lanterns, although there are many other items for sale such as shampoos. The entrance to the house is drewaniane with wooden shutters. Despite this, sometimes they can not discern because the entire house is hung with lanterns.
My lubionym object of all was a temple called Fujian Assembly Hall . This was not the beginning and the temple was built in the seventeenth century by a Chinese family. Although the old name is still in use today, this temple is also called Phuc Kien Pagodaand is dedicated to the Chinese goddess of the sea Thien Hau. The entrance to the temple is a gate from the roof storey Chinese-style and leads to the alley drzewjami planted in small pots of bonsai. Then, after crossing the gate there are many trees and fancifully profiled interesting paintings and bas-reliefs on the walls. This temple is a temple for me many elaborately made details, such as for instance small windows on the roofs of dragons, colorful tiles, carved fountain and of course the garden with Chinese trees. According to me is the most beautiful building in all of Hoi An.
In Hoi An’s many temples and all are alike as each is built in the same style, although there are slight differences. Usually these are differences in the size of the yard, laying the vegetation and bas-reliefs on the walls. Temple Quan Cong is typical of this culture pagoda with red pillars and numerous sacred monuments. I liked it here a small pond obszadzony decorated with plants and rocks, and many details. It is another object worth knowing.
Our time in Hoi An, passed very well and calmly. Every day, in the evening we came also to the Old Town to watch the lanterns lit bazaars and houses on the river. In the evening, the old town of Hoi An, gives the opportunity to explore the same places again, with plastic tables and a cup of green tea.
5km from Hoi An is also a beach Cua Dai Beach , which stretches all the way to Da Nang. The beach offers swimming in addition to the well-organized bicycle parking, sea food and sweets. I would recommend.
Trip to My Son
A trip to the My Son Hoi An organized for only $ 7. We went there by bus and then returned by boat.
My Son is one of the most important, though nienajlepiej preserved temples of the ancient Cham Kingdom period. All facilities and wonderful sculptures in the area belong to the Unesco world cultural riches. Many guides says that the ruins at My Son are the most calculating and are situated in the most beautiful natural setting. True, My Son is nice and interesting, but definitely preferred the Cham temples in Nha Trang. These objects are typical for this period brick temples and chapels with statues. The advantage is also the nature in the form of trees, mountains and a stream. Our return trip to Hoi An lasted less than an hour, and on the way we stopped in a village craft. This time, wooden sculptures were nicely done and household utensils. Soon we reached the Old Town of Hoi An.
Marble Mountains and Da Nang
Both places are located in the same direction, so I rented a moped for $ 5 and went on a day trip.
Marble Mountains (Near Nang Da) is one of the least advertised but the most beautiful places of Vietnam. Marble Mountains is a group of five marble and limestone cliffs which are a popular tourist destination because of its Buddhist and Hindu temples, sculptures of dragons, caves, statues of Buddha and religious shrines. In addition, the 156 stairs leading to the top of Thuy Son from where a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and other marble. As I mentioned earlier there are many sculptures, caves and religious mosaic dragons. One of the Buddhist hillock, which recommend this Tham Tai built in 1825. There is also a tower of Pho Dong, Huyen Khong cave with Buddha and a host of many other very interesting cultural objects. At the bottom there are also workshops where the marble on the site are manufactured big and small sculptures. Overall this is a very interesting place,which I highly recommend. There are those who have the entire route of Hoi overcome on bicycles.
Da Nang is one of the largest cities of Vietnam, which is an economic boost to the treasures of the state. Da Nang is also the place where he first landed, including American soldiers in this way to the conflict, which escalated into a war. In my opinion, Da Nang, is a very promising city with a very nice promenade along the river, adorned with marble sculptures, most likely from the nearby Marble Mountains. Although this is one of the major cities of Vietnam did not feel it as much as in Saigon and then in Hanoi. Da Nang offers good food, nice beach where we spent the whole evening, and the Cham Sculpture Museum which is the biggest attraction of the city. For most tourists Da Nang is only as a transit point where you stop in the aforementioned museum,which has the largest and best preserved collection of Cham sculptures from the period around the world. I really recommend it and that it is worth coming here for this one museum. Besides, we ate dinner on the street and spent the evening on Cua Dai Beach, which was also very pleasant.
I think that Da Nang is one of those cities that deserves a chance from the tourists. I am sure that there is also an attractive nightlife. Moped is essential.
After dark we returned to our motorbike to Hoi An. This time, however, we drove along the beach from time to time passing luxury hotels and factories marble sculptures. It was another very successful day traveler and his blonde.
Transport from Hoi An to Hue
The bus trip only lasted 4 hours (from 8 am to 12 noon) and, of course, led by the Da Nang. In Hue, we disembarked at the same hotel. The whole trip cost us only $ 5.
Hue was the capital of Vietnam from 1802 until 1945 under the Nguyen Dynasty rulers 13. Today, Hue is the cultural center of Vietnam and has many magnificent temples, tombs and citadel full atycznych objects. They are all spread along the river perfume. Hue is so compact city with enormous potential cultural and architectural, and each pagoda temple and a tomb built impressively has a story, a legend or poetic tale. Popular here are fruit stalls with food on the river, with art shops and river cruises on a boat in the shape of dragons. Citadel while the wealth belongs to the Unesco world culture.
In Hue we had a room for only $ 7 a night in the tourist center near the river. On the first day we rented bicycles and drove to the famous citadel. Citadel (Kinh Thanh) was built between 1804 and 1945 before the Nguyen dynasty and is surrounded by a 10-meter-thick wall of 2 meters high and 6 meters high.Around the walls of the citadel is also the moat which was irrigated by the perfume river flowing through Hue. Inside the walls of the citadel there are many classic for Vietnamese culture objects, as well as gardens, sculpture and art salon. The whole was created for nearly 150 years, or the end of the reign of the last ruler of Vietnam. Throughout all these years were added new walls, moats, royal palace and a number of other facilities of up to 100 rooms. Inside the Imperial City is the Purple Forbidden City , which refers to the Forbidden City in Beijing. The Citadel was also very turbulent, and in 1968, for example, Viet Cong had stolen the Citadel, destroying most of its historical architecture. The Americans, of course, were there, and they brought this great object to ruin. Today, all the damage has already been repaired and there are further plans for general restaurant work, although some of the walls have traces of bullets. As usual in this kind of antique oriental city, most of the buildings have red pillars, colorful tiles carefully laid on profiled roofs and beautiful gardens. There are also rows of bonsai trees planted in front of the buildings, in shallow rectangular pots. Two objects that need to be replaced right after entering the main gate: Thai Hoa Temple and slightly deeper in the citadel of The Mieu Temple. Worth noting is the massive main gate and the mast with the Vietnamese flag on it. Nearby there is an attractive temple, and as always in Vietnam an American airplane display with the signature: “This plane was taken to American imperialism during the attack on Hue.” I have never seen such a hatred for Americans as in Vietnam, but reading history cards is hardly a surprise.
The next day we went on a boat trip in the shape of two dragons. It was a very pleasant tour of the perfumery river, which allowed us to see the most interesting temples and tombs. We were also given a good dinner and fruit and we enjoyed the nice views and occasionally got off the water to see the new facilities. It was also interesting to observe people. At the service with a smile in Vietnam can not count, but it was not the most important, Vietnamese men were sitting in front of the boat and smoked cigarettes and served us pregnant women. Based on this experience and many others throughout Asia, I think that feminists in Europe are unaware of their happiness. On this day we saw the following objects:
-Thien Mu Pagoda is a 1601 pagoda and temple complex built by the Nguyen dynasty. Thien Mu is an informal symbol of the ancient city of Hue, and the Phuoc Duyen tower is the tallest pagoda in Vietnam, as it has 7 floors. Take note of the turtle monument and two guards in front of the entrance to the temple and gardens. Thien Mu pagoda is about 4km from the Citadel on the banks of the Song Huong River.
Khai Dinh is built on a hill, making a great impression of the object. Khai Dinh consists of many wonderful objects and sculptures, and the whole is dark gray color, especially in the rainy season gives this place a dark effect. There are tombs, monuments of elephants, dragons and soldiers, and at the top is the main object where the richly decorated chamber contains the corpse of the ruler, several of his paintings and sculpture. The tomb on Chau Chu hill is not great, but uncontrollable ruler of Khai Dinh made the completion of all the objects took 11 years. Construction lasted from 1920 until 1931, and the tomb itself is a mixture of oriental and European styles, which most likely inspired Khai Dinh after his visit to France. I add that the set of all the objects themselves is wonderful and completely different than the rest, but the ruler himself was disliked. He imposed high taxes on his people and, according to his opinion, worked for the colonial government of France.
Minh Mang is one of the most extensive areas of ancient Hue, with magnificent buildings, ponds and sculptures. The whole area is 18 hectares and is 12km from the center of Hue. There are 40 beautiful buildings, including pavilions, decorated gates, sculptures, monuments of the world and palaces. The great advantage of the red temples is that there are garden places with water bodies on either side of the stone bridges. Minh Mang is a place where magnificent architeture meets beautiful nature. The guide who guided me through the facility told me that one of the rulers slept one night with six women, five of whom were pregnant. Another ruler had many wives but had only one child because he was a homosexual, and this one child “helped” to make his wife one of his subjects. Grave Minh Manh is a very quiet, quiet place.
In my reportage I described only a few tombs and temples, but I assume that there are many and not all can be accommodated during one trip. The thing is that some objects are very similar to each other, so the guide gave us the choice of what to see. In my opinion, the three objects I mentioned above and the Citadel are a must. However, if someone wants to dig deeper into art and history, I recommend the Tu Ductomb, the Hon Chen temples, the Bao Quoc pagoda, and the very secluded Tu Muoi pagoda. I also recommend a boat trip with a dragon, even though many temples and tombs can be reached on a bike.Hue, next to Hoi An is undoubtedly the most valuable cultural place in Vietnam, to which I strongly urge visit.
Transportation from Hue to Hanoi
Night, sleeping bus, 10h for $ 15 per person.
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the second largest metropolis in the country after Saigon. Hanoi is a city of mopeds where modernity blends with the ancient art and culture of Vietnam, but also with the communist image of the country. Hanoi is a good place to relax in the old quarter near Hoan Kiem lake, try a good pasta dish and chicken and feel every aspect of this very interesting city. For me, Hanoi was a base for about a week, because apart from visiting the city, I organized trips to many other interesting places. In Hanoi, there are pearls of Vietnamese culture like Temple of Literature or the Ethnographic Educational Museum, although there are also very dark glows like the Ho Chi Minh Museum and Mausoleum or the War Museum on Lenin Park. Anyway it is a great adventure and Hanoi is the most recommended. The Hanoi people, however, are different than in the south or in the center of Vietnam. In Hanoi and in the north, they are definitely more homeless and have to get used to it. But let’s not rate the Vietnamese at midnight.
I lived in the Old Quarter , near Lake Hoan Kiem. We had a room with a private bathroom and breakfast for $ 10 a night. When I was here in 2004 I only paid $ 5 for myself, so in fact much has not changed. The Old Quarter is a Hanoi tourist base where most of the budget hotels are located and is quite close to all tourist attractions. In the Old Quarter there are also many galleries of paintings and artistic photographs. From here, take a rickshaw ride to Ho Chi Minh City and dine at local delicatessen in cheap streets on small plastic chairs. This is a very interesting place where there are also many ancient temples, portable fruit stalls on bicycles, and of course the lake itself.
In Starej Quarter I saw the following objects:
Hoan Kiem Lake is the heart of the Old Quarter and a good landmark. This place is also associated with the legend of the great golden turtle and the magic sword, thanks to which the ancient prince thrust the Chinese from Vietnam. The lake itself is a good place for social gatherings and a place where you can also have your shoes glued and posed to the image. Many times I have come here and circled this lake around.In the evening the promenade around the lake turns into a race track because the Vietnamese run and practice. There is also a small island called Thap Rua (Turtle Tower). In the evening, the whole area is also illuminated.
In the northern part of Hoan Kiem Lake, there is also a small island, where the Ngoc Son temple is built. This 18th-century building is a classic example of oriental architecture, with its characteristic profiled roofs, incense sticks and monuments of far-eastern saints. There are also many exotic plants, a turtle monument and a nice view of Hoan Kiem lake.
A little further from the lake, in one of the Old Quarter’s streets, between the cheap pubs and rambutan vendors in pointed hats, there is the Memorial House . This is a very interesting, antique house built in Chinese style. The entrance costs 5000 dong and sometimes nice Vietnamese people can also have tea.The whole house gives a very good insight into how the Chinese merchants of the century lived. There is also the oldest temple in Hanoi, called Bach Ma . This temple is another typical of Far Eastern culture, with many incense sticks, statues of saints and colored tiles. This place is obviously associated with a magic legend, and the character of this place adds to the bazaar life outside of Vietnam.
Across the street from Hoan Kiem lake is also the Ly Thai To monument , the ancient ruler of Vietnam and the founder of the Ly dynasty. This ruler ruled from 1009 to 1028, and the square near the monument is today a meeting place for families and a good track for roller skates and skateboards.
Also worth seeing are the cathedral of St. Joseph was built by the French in 1886, which is typical of the sacral architecture of France. It has two square towers and large stained glass windows. Its design resembles the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and its copy of the same name in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).
Besides, in the Old Quarter in Hanoi I recommend primarily bazarowe life, rickshaws, art shops and to some time also the next city of Vietnam mopeds. I advise you to eat each time in other pubs to have a glimpse of the food, although the food will be so similar. For me, the biggest impression was chicken soup with noodles and chicken for 30,000 dong. Soups in Vietnam are definitely more popular than in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries.
I was also in the local bank to cancel traveler’s checks and learned a lot about the complete absurdity and ignorance in the Vietnamese offices. In Nepal or Thailand this operation was a quick formality, while in Vietnam I was dealing with idiots. One check made me four Vietnamese and so they made three mistakes and had to repeat. One of them kept a check in hand, the other looked at the computer, the third watched and the fourth took cash. In the end, they wrote the wrong bill and made a mistake. The exchange of one check took 20 minutes. Let’s not get too carried away good education of northern Vietnamese. The fruit seller is nice only as long as they do not get the money, and after the business ends they wave to the tourist and swear under the nose. About the legendary Vietnamese rugby I also met at the train station.When I went to buy a ticket to Sapy, they first sent me to various windows and then ignored me. Finally I hatched the whole station, shook the panes and sold my ticket. Vietnam is also a country of computer idiots. In all countries where I have been (and have traveled most of Asia) I have never had a problem with viruses. However, in Vietnam I do not advise to insert SD card or other memory cards to computers because we will certainly get the virus. Together in Vietnam I had to remove the virus from all my cards many times. When I traveled to Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia, I never had that problem. The Vietnamese do not even understand what a virus is and they do not know what an antivirus program is.
The next series of facilities was Ho Chi Minh’s complex . These are notable objects of strong communist character. This was obviously a very interesting experience, somewhat similar to the objects in Beijing around the Tiananmen Square. For many Vietnamese, this is one of the most important places in the country because they can see their leader through a glass coffin. The first object was Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum , which is treated with great respect and to follow a specially arranged route in the established order. In the mausoleum you can see the corpse of Ho Chi Minh in a glass coffin without air, but you can not spend too much time here. The government of the people is walking the middle of the coffin, so that it can be seen from all sides, but not too long. The whole takes about two, three minutes. The mausoleum was built between 1973 and 1975, and “Uncle Ho” was embalmed here against his will. I also recall that taking photos is strictly forbidden and I would rather not know what the punishment is. From outside, the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum looks like a typical communist mass, located on a large square. For those who like this place, I recommend the embalmed body of Mao Tsetung in Beijing. Next to it is the Ho Chi Minh Museum , which as its name implies is a monument to communism in which Ho Chi Minh is shown in the best light. At its central point is its monument and each exhibit has a peaceful name. On the one hand I understand why Ho Chi Minh is considered the father of the Vietnamese nation, although I think his cult is exaggerated. Ho Chi Minh defeated the French, the Japanese and the Americans, and then united Vietnam. On the other hand, Ho Chi Minh transformed Vietnam into a brutal communist country where millions of people were murdered. Even after his death, the communist doctrine was still in force and the murders still took place.As you can see, the propaganda of present-day Vietnam tells us only one side of Ho Chi Minh’s life, and quite the same in China with Mao Tsetung. There is a pleasant object or pagoda on one pillar . It is an ancient building representing the lotus flower, a symbol of purity that brings out the sea of suffering.Nearby, there is also a park with a small pond and vegetation and shops selling souvenirs related to Ho Chi Minh City and Lenin. There is a great Presidential Palace dating from 1906 and built as the seat of the governor of Indochina. This palace is painted on canary color and in front of it is a fountain and a few exotic plants. In the same area, on the pond, there is also a famous wooden house on the pillars . It is reportedly Ho Chi Minh had his office and bedroom, which he used between 1958 and 1969. I admit that he chose a very nice, secluded place.
It’s not the Ho Chi Minh City, but in a sense similarly there are two other objects. The first one is the Lenin Park and the Lenin Monument . The park itself is nothing special and Lenin’s monument is very good if one wants to make fun of him, posing for a photo in the same position as our balding companion. Across the street is one of the many in Vietnam War Museum , full of wrecks of American planes and tanks. Some of them are even planted on the nose, as if they were just facing the ground. The museum itself is a magnificent wreck, and in the center there is a tower that you can visit and see wrecks from above. I think it is one of the better museums, partly in buildings and partly in the outdoors. On the other hand, one must realize that this is a propaganda museum.
Hanoi also offers many other attractions, a bit further from the Old Quarter. One of them is, in my opinion, mandatory Temple of Literature . Temple of Literature is the pearl of the 11th century Vietnamese architecture, which was also the first university in Vietnam. The whole complex consists of five squares, ponds, monumental gates covered with red tiles, and of course some beautiful temples. All the objects are built in the same classic for antique Vietnam style. In addition, the Temple of Literature is decorated with huge bonsai trees, in large but very shallow pots. There is also a show of classic Vietnamese music and a shop with amber and souvenirs. Another museum I recommend is the Ethnographic Museum , which very well shows the life of native inhabitants from several centuries. The museum shows the art of making hats and clothes, as well as how to make wicker baskets. On the other hand there is an open air museum, which in my opinion is the most interesting part of the museum. There are houses of varying lengths and heights covered with thatched roofs and preserving cultural heritage. The houses were wooden, had mosaic floors and were full of tools and many chambers. This museum is my favorite in Vietnam, as you can learn about the culture of the country. There is also an exhibition on various cultures, such as the Hmong I had to see in Sapa. There is also an amusement park with a pond , which is a popular place for exercise. Hanoi Ethnographic Museum is located about 7km from the city center. The motorbike from Ho Chi Minh Complex took about 20 minutes.
Once you have seen everything in Hanoi what would you recommend to Water Park Hanoi , where there are several swimming pools and high slides. I was and for 50,000 dong I was driving down the neck. Super fun. The water park is located 5km from Hoan Kiem lake on the western lake Ho Tay and I recommend to go there in a big way, ie rickshaw. You have to be careful because the russians are very deceitful. They usually punish themselves by getting off Ho Tay and the water park is on the other side, a few kilometers away. So insist that you reach the gate.
I also went to Hanoi Zoo which is always a nice place to visit, but compared to the Saigon Zoo it is not special. There was also a total lack of culture and common sense in the Wietnakski, because they gave the monkeys cigarettes.
When I was alone in Hanoi I lived in a dorm room for $ 5 a night on the same street where the cathedral is located. Joseph.
From Hanoi I have organized three more tours: to Sapa, Perfumery Pagoda and of course to Halong Bay.Besides, I accompanied my traveling companion to the airport and the next day I flew to Singapore.
Perfume Pagoda is one of the popular tours from Hanoi. This is a trip that combines a boat trip on the river between the mountains, although a great asset are primarily the oriental temples embedded in the limestone rocks. There is also a cave with many pagodas and statues of saints that can be reached either by the stairs or the cable car. I chose the line up the road (30,000 dong) and walk down, which meant that in the heat and humidity I was so sweaty. This trip cost $ 17, although there were those who paid up to $ 30, and included a bus service (60km one way) and a good meal and boat trip. It was funny and puzzling that women paddled all the way and men played cards on the shore and smoked cigarettes. Anyway the cruise in the rain and the cave and all the temples were beautiful and definitely worth $ 17. At the end I also went swimming in the perfumery river.
Perfume Pagoda is another secluded, magical place of Vietnam, which I highly recommend because of close contact with the beautiful nature and culture of this beautiful country.
Halong Bay is a natural phenomenon and one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam and all over Asia. In translation it is “the place where the dragon enters the sea” and the bay itself has been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage. About two and a half thousand square kilometers there are about two thousand mountainous islands of various sizes and shapes. They form beautiful landscape because they are narrow, quite high and scattered in irregular distances from each other. The fjords in Norway, although specific vegetation, turquoise water and exotics testify to the difference of the Halong Bay. In addition, many islands do not even have their name and many are uninhabited, because many would be difficult to live on because of the terrain. Some of them are also spectacular caves and caves, which are open to tourists. You can also enjoy coral reef and mangrove forest. As it turned out, in fact the place is even more beautiful and there are a lot of other attractive things that tourist offices do not specify very well. The beauty of the natural gulf of Halong and the wonderful adventure that accompanies this, in my opinion, is a mandatory point of any expedition after northern Vietnam. Halong bay is not only a place for tourism. There are many Vietnamese who live in this area. There are floating shops and fishing villages with networks allowing fish to swim freely. The Vietnamese government has offered these homes to dry land but prefer to keep their traditions and live on the sea. Sailing on a boat I saw many Vietnamese as they hook their small boats into our boat and try to sell the fruits and fish and crabs to tourists. The cruise was a great adventure and gave me a good opportunity to watch the lives of Vietnamese fishermen in their pointed hats, with boats full of fish. One of the attractions was Moon Moon Cave , which is very well lit and very attractive in terms of natural beauty.
Inside there are huge caves with stalactites and stalagmites, sometimes with a small water body dug by drops falling from the ceiling. After a day of pleasant cruises and meals on board we reached the island of Cat Ba where we spent the night. Cat Island is a very nice town where there are several hotels, restaurants, hairdressers and many, many real brothels. There is also a very nice beach below the beautiful cliff where I spent many hours swimming in turquoise water. I was also in the Cat Ba National Park where I climbed the peak. It was hard, sometimes very steep climb in the heat and humidity, but on the other side the view from the top was impressive and the only way to get there was a feat. I advise you to wear good shoes. In general, Cat Ba Island offers many traction and it is nice to spend more days here than just a trip. Half the island of Cat Ba is a nature reserve with magnificent views and conditions for extreme sports. It is warm, very pleasant and cheap, and the local cuisine offers real seafood delights. The second night we spent on the boat in the cabin and it was very nice too. When we ran out of water in the morning we jumped into the sea from the roof of the boat. My trip to Halong Bay lasted 3 days and 2 nights and cost only $ 53 per person. It was very nice and very cheap, and I would warmly recommend it.
The dark side of Halong Bay
As I mentioned before, Halong Bay itself was beautiful but the Vietnamese turned out to be disgusting, so I want to point out that the natural and cultural beauty of Vietnam is one thing, and the Vietnamese themselves is a completely different and less pleasant affair.
I paid $ 53, but there were also those who paid the same $ 80, $ 100 and even 100 euros. The brochures show different cabins, different hotels and attractions for different prices, but once paid they are all packed into the same ship but for different money.
►The conductor was so chubby that everyone in turn was arguing with him and then the whole tour bus together. I had to be extremely unhappy to get a tea bag to a jug of hot water for which I already paid. On ships there is also a continuous “breakdown” of water, because you can bathe in the sea for free. Those who have paid triple too.
► Cat Ba is very nice in itself, but Vietnamese are disgusting. They do not want to point the way to the beach to take the typhoon instead for a $ 50 cruise. Cat Ba is also full of brothels. Interested, I can say that the price is 300,000 dong.
The Halong Bay is the only form of income for the disgusting Vietnamese nation, therefore the tourist is not a guest here and is often not a customer. The tourist is someone who must be deceived and who should be hated because he has more money.
►Unfortunately, I find that the handling of ships in Halong Bay is just idiots. They have been working with tourists for years and can not speak English, but their attitude towards tourists provokes a fight.
In the fishing villages, local fishermen are also impatient and aggressive. They figured they were not allowed to swim in the sea and when I jumped one started up to me with a paddle.
When I was in Halong Bay in 2004, there were still red sail boats here, while today red sails are only on advertisements. After arriving in Halong, tourists are waiting for a job.
My final advice: I recommend Vietnam as a great tourist destination. It is a country of beautiful nature and an interesting ancient culture, but Vietnamese people should not be allowed into Europe because they are generally a terrible nation. But I say that in the south and in the center people are much nicer, while in the north they are extremely hideous.
Transport from Hanoi to Sapy and back (and some practical information)
From Hanoi we took a night train to Lao Cai transport town for 355,000 dongs, and from there we drove to Sapa with a small bus. On our way back to Hanoi we drove a sleeping bus for $ 15. Onsite accommodations cost from $ 6 with breakfast up to $ 10 with all meals if you book a trip. There are many reasons why I recommend to go to the travel agencies around Lake Hoan Kiem. In my experience it is best to buy the transport itself and to make room for yourself. I also advise avoiding the train station because there is extreme rudeness and ignorance in the style of the communist revolution.
Lao Cai is located 38km from Sapa and the train arrives usually early in the morning. There are a lot of cheap hotels, cafes, showers and cars going to Sapa. Many of them are already booked by organized tours but the choice is so great.
Sapa is the most popular and probably the most beautiful mountain station in Vietnam. The main attractions here are magnificent views of the mountain terraces, wooden houses near the rice fields and several buffalos. Sapa is clean air and restaurants with mountain food, clean rivers and wide passes. The Hmong ethnic minority is also a great attraction. What do the men of the Hmong group do not know? They probably play cards and smoke cigarettes, but women have their bazaars with handmade bags, combs of buffalo horns and sandalwood (I bought one in Burma), socks and many other unheard of things. Of course there are tablespoons and whole tableware made of palm and coconut. Being in Sapa I stayed in a good hotel with a nice view where the price was included three meals and tours. Once I went for a day-long trek in the area to watch the misty rice terraces, buffalo and guinea pigs. It was raining and there were leeches, but the price was included dinner over the river and a very interesting observation of the lives of these poor people. For example, we were in the wilderness at school and went through the villages where the kids were trying to sell cords for wire phones. On the trip we were accompanied by Hmong women who deserve admiration. They walked in the mud flaps, had a baby in front and a bamboo basket on the back with the goods for sale. This is how the very poor, hard-working women look.
The next day I rented a moped and took my blonde on a trip. First we went to the beautiful, multi-level waterfall Thac Bac , and then we entered the park where one of the trails lead to the highest peak of Vietnam, Fansipan (3143m asl) . This trip should be prepared because climbing takes a couple of days.
Sapa was one of my favorite places throughout Vietnam, both because of the natural beauty and the cultural difference of Hmong. Here people were normal, not like the chamois of Hanoi and Halong Bay.
Summary of Vietnam
Vietnam to another great adventure in south-east Asia. I think there is everything a tourist needs: beautiful views, interesting culture left in the forefront, good food and adventure itself. There are of course and bad sides but for tourists it is still a good country to travel for little money. But I think that Vietnam should not be judged only after seeing the south or the north. Vietnam needs at least one month to understand how it looks and to have a better understanding of all the good and bad things. We will be happy, for example, in Nha Trang, Mui Ne and Sapa. Big cities like Saigon or Hanoi will make us feel mixed because of the tiring traffic but still worth it. There are also beautiful places like Halong Bay, which unfortunately has the worst people and places beautiful cultural and historical as Hue or Hoi An. Vietnam has many faces. Vietnam always teaches us that we have to hate America and falsify its own history for the sake of communism.Anyway for the tourists Vietnam is a rich experience and experience.
- American crimes in Vietnam
- American-Vietnamese war
- Buddhism in Vietnam
- Cao Dai temple
- Cat Ba Island
- communism in Vietnam
- Cu Chi tunnels
- Dalat Eiffel tower
- Halong Bay
- Hanoi Vietnam Capital
- Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
- Ho Chi Minh sandals
- Hoan Kiem Lake
- Hoi An Japanese Bridge
- Hoi An Old City
- Khai Dinh Tomb
- Kinh Thanh Citadel
- Marble Mountains
- Mekong Delta
- Minh Mang Tomb
- Moonlit Heaven Cave
- Mui Ne sand dunes
- Nha Trang beaches
- Perfume Pagoda
- Saigon War Museum
- Sapa Mountain Station
- Thien Mu Pagoda
- Vietnamese chicken soup
- Vietnamese Dong