Vietnam

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Saigon, Vietnam

We were expecting Saigon to be a lot like Hanoi, which is to say so busy that your personal countdown to explosion starts the minute you arrive.  We were pleasantly surprised.  The pace is crazy and the amount of commerce is intense, but unlike Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) was built for modern-sized human…

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Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang is one of the most developed beach towns in Vietnam, the kind of place we generally steer clear of.  It happens that it’s also a good way to break up a very long bus journey from Central Vietnam to Saigon and the Mekong Delta, so we disregarded our inner masochists and booked a…

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Hoi An

Getting here was quite and adventure.  All of the regular “open tour” buses that pick you up from your hotel were full.  The direct bus to Hoi An had already left by the time we got to the Hue bus station.  So we opted to head for Danang, the fourth largest city in Vietnam and…

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Hue, Vietnam

Hue, Vietnam was the royal capital for the Nguyen Lords, a fuedal dynasty that controlled all of Southern Vietnam between 1744 and 1802.  They were able to hold the capital until 1945, when the last emporor adbdicated and the Communist party was established and based in Hanoi. The Viet Cong took the city, which lies…

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Ninh Binh, Vietnam

After stopping briefly back in Hanoi to pick up our visas for Myanmar we got in a bus to Ninh Binh, Vietnam.  I’d seen this place before, from out the window of a bus, and thought that it looked beautiful.  The guidebook described it as “Ha Long Bay or rice paddies” – good enough for…

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Cat Ba Island, Vietnam

Leaving the frantic pace of Hanoi, we hop a bus to Vietnam’s third most populous city Hải Phòng (which doesn’t feel very busy by comparison). Arriving late in the evening we find cheap accommodations. “This place smells about right” Scotty declared upon detecting the familiar mildew smell that greeted us at the entrance, indeed! In…

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Hanoi, Vietnam

Just the name conjures up images and connotations.  The nicest bus we’ve ever taken brought us into the heart of the beast.  Traffic was insane, crossing the street seemed like more like a suicide tactic than a means of moving around.  Sights and smells attacked us from all directions.  You knew it was coming, and…

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