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Category: Vietnam

Behind The Blog

Behind The Blog

As our three months in Asia nears a close, it seems it’s about time for another behind the scenes peek at life on the road. 49 blogs and 6 countries later, the second leg of our trip is about in the books, and it’s mindboggling to think we’ve been gone for over six months now! Let us now take a moment to celebrate our successes by sharing some of our [not so] finer moments:   Some of our lavish transportation…

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Fast Facts: Vietnam

Fast Facts: Vietnam

WHAT WE DID: Spent three and a half weeks at guesthouses, aside from a 3-day caving tour: Ho Chi Minh City (5 days) Transit – traveled by bus from HCMC to Dalat (1 day) Dalat (2 days) Transit – bus to Nha Trong; overnight train to Danang (1 day) Danang (1 day) Transit – traveled by train from Danang to Hue (1/2 day) Hue (3 days) Transit – traveled by bus from Hue to Phong Nha National Park (1/2 day)…

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Penny & Me

Penny & Me

The penny thoroughly enjoyed swimming through caves in central Vietnam, and was an integral part of my birthday celebration in Ha Long Bay:

Birthday on the Bay

Birthday on the Bay

Another must-see for us in Vietnam was Ha Long Bay, a world heritage site about 180 km east of Hanoi. The resplendent waters of Ha Long Bay burst with some 1,969 limestone islets, some barren and craggy, many others draped with lush greenery. In Vietnamese, the name Ha Long means ‘descending dragon.’ And while there are countless twists on the legend of Ha Long Bay, it is largely believed that centuries ago, the ruling emperor sent a dragon to help…

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Hanoi

Hanoi

Our evening arrival in Hanoi was somewhat less than stellar, as we checked into our guesthouse to find the room barely larger than a closet (I had reviewed photos online, and it had also received excellent reviews). Now, we’ve stayed in some pretty tiny rooms during this trip, but this one topped them all. After placing our bags on the floor, one of us had to be in the bed at all times, since we could not both stand simultaneously…

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Amongst the Caves

Amongst the Caves

Long before we embarked on our [potentially] year-long adventure, Jenn had stumbled across a company called Oxalis Adventure Tours that does caving expeditions in Vietnam’s Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Oxalis has an exclusive license to operate in a number of caves in the area and runs small group sizes, ensuring a more private and personal experience. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park protects one of the largest and oldest limestone karst regions in the world, containing over 300 caves and…

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Huế

Huế

We looked over our remaining days left in Vietnam, and determined that we were either going to have to skip visiting one of the cities we had originally planned, or our last couple weeks were going to turn into a hurried bout of one-day city tours, punctuated by late night bus rides. In attempt to give more time to the places we wanted to visit, we decided to skip Hoi An and head straight to the city of Huế, Vietnam’s…

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Da Nang

Da Nang

To travel through a large swath of Vietnam, we opted for the country’s affordable and scenic rail transit. We took Vietnam Railway’s Reunification Express from the southern town of Nha Trong, all the way north to Hanoi, stopping at several cities along the way. Vietnam’s principal rail system, the route was completed by the French in 1936, but was cut in 1954 when the country was split into North and South Vietnam. The line remained closed until the end of…

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Da Lat

Da Lat

Nestled within the central highlands of the Da Lat Plateau, 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) above sea level, is the former French hillside retreat of Da Lat. Boasting a mild climate year-round, average temperatures range from a perfect 70–77°F, crowning Da Lat as the ‘city of eternal spring.’ Not only does the appealing weather draw many locals to escape the oppressive summer heat, but it also provides ideal conditions for growing a variety of crops. The combination of consistent temperatures and…

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Cu Chi

Cu Chi

As an excursion from Ho Chi Minh City, we went to visit the Cu Chi district. Starting with the war against the French in the 1940s, tunnels were dug in Cu Chi to help local fighters survive airstrikes and other attacks on the territory. When the Vietnam war began in earnest, the old tunnels were excavated and expanded, far beyond the original district, eventually linking important military bases, supply points and villages up to 250 kilometers apart. These tunnels were…

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