Ho Chi Minh City: Exploring the Paris of the Orient

It was so hard for me to leave Hoi An, but the journey continues! Next stop is Ho Chi Minh City but I prefer calling it Saigon. It is probably the busiest out of all the places I visited in Vietnam. With a population of more than 8 million, just imagine the number of motorbikes in this city!

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Hoi An: Eternally Charming Town in Central Vietnam

 

Somewhere in Central Vietnam lies a lovely little town called Hoi An. If you’re following my Instagram, you will see how much I love this town. If only I did not have booked a flight to Ho Chi Minh, I could’ve stayed longer!

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Graceful, historic Hoi An is Vietnam’s most atmospheric and delightful town. Once a major port, it boasts the grand architecture and beguiling riverside setting that befits its heritage, but the 21st-century curses of traffic and pollution are almost entirely absent. (Source)

Hoi An is a well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port. Its buildings and streets reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site.

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Da Nang in less than 24 Hours

After wrapping up my trip in Hanoi, it’s time to explore Central Vietnam!  There are a lot of interesting places in this part of Vietnam, I only get to explore Da Nang and Hoi An unfortunately. First stop was Da Nang, which is somewhat like a pit stop before Hoi An. Da Nang is the third largest city in Vietnam in terms of population. It is a coastal city and known for its sandy beaches. Unlike Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang is pretty laid-back and friendly place. If you have a day to spare, you must check out this city and its sights!

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Places to visit in Central Vietnam (Source)

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Ha Long Bay: Endless Limestone Cliffs

Ha Long bay is a must-see when you are in Northern Vietnam. Ha Long bay literally means “descending dragon bay” and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is made up of thousands of limestone isles with emerald green waters. Imagine El Nido or Coron limestones but BIGGER! It is a 4-hour bus ride from Hanoi to the port heading to Ha Long bay. After spending a night in Hanoi, I booked a 2 days 1 night tour for Ha Long bay in my hostel. There are also options for a day-tour and 3 days 2 nights.

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Sunrise in Ha Long bay

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Hanoi: The Perfect Introduction to Vietnam

Where do I start? I fell in love with this bustling city in the North of Vietnam instantly. I was actually surprised that the weather was pretty cold during this time of the year. The plan was to spend a day in Hanoi and head to Halong bay and stay for 1 night and be back again and stay for 2 more days.

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Normal day in Old Quarter

The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is located North of the country. Hanoi is a great place to experience both traditional and modern Vietnamese culture. It offers an eye-popping introduction to Vietnam. From the narrow and busy streets of Old Quarter to the serene and peaceful atmosphere of Hoan Kiem Lake, there’s always something for everyone in Hanoi.

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Postcards: Hanoi

All photos came from my Sony Xperia M4 Aqua. I wasn’t able to purchase a decent camera before I left Manila because I wasn’t able to pay my credit card bill before the long weekend. But  I believe that it’s not the camera but it’s the photographer that makes the picture. Charot! (Excuses!) I’m planning to purchase one during this trip but for now my phone is doing a great job. 

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Entrance to the famous bright-red Huc Bridge in Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi

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