Backpacking Vietnam: Road trip from Hanoi to Ha Tien
2 weeks | January 2013 (high season)| backpacking | with friend
travel guide: rough guide Vietnam
Be careful of the happy new year celebration days: Vietnam is traveling! Many locations are not opened these days.
Backpacking Vietnam: Hanoi
A bit messy and filthy city, be careful, when you cross the streets because there are maaaany motorbikes. I would recommend spending maximum three nights in the city.
Things to do in Hanoi
# Water puppet theater you don’t need a reservation just buy a ticket at the ticker shop of the theater
# Phủ Tây Hồ: Walk around and visit the museum with the super scary tortoise (died in January 2016)
# Hanoi old city: walk around but be careful of motorbikes and not to get lost in the crowds – all the streets that looking all the same. We got lost once and asked a taxi driver to help us.
# Botanic garden: Bach Thao Park a nice place to rest and see some special trees and flowers, not a must go but nice if you have enough time.
Backpacking Vietnam: Province Thái Bình
We had the chance to spend some time with the locals because we got an invitation from Vietnamese fiends we know from Berlin. We drove for hours from Hanoi to the Province Thai Binh. Our car driver –a friend from the couple we knew- was a famous artist like “the voice” winner of Vietnam, maybe you know him:
Things to do in the village
# Visit a local market and try local food
# Walk around: Join the local new years‘ eve in a temple, its amazing
Local food: if you spend time in a small village follow the route to beware to get sick. On the new years‘ eve they offer you fresh pig blood, this can be dangerous for your health so don’t drink it!
Be careful which driver you take, driving in a taxi is dangerous and the distances are very long, cause of the bad street conditions. Distance example: Thai Binh to airport Hai Phong 2 hours driving. We spend 5 nights in the village, it was a great experience, thanks to our friends. Looking back I would spend three days I think.
Flight Hai Phong nach Ho-Chi- Minh City 2 hours with JetStar
Backpacking Vietnam: Ho-Chi- Minh City
We slept in the Ngoc Minh Hotel, a good located and not expensive, the best is the rooftop terrace you eat your breakfast!
Things to do in Ho-Chi-Minh City
# Reunification Palace: spend a few hours in the palace, join a tour: you don’t have to book in advanced
# walk around the city, try to find out if there are festivals: we had two flower festivals and a bonsai exhibition (which was fun)
# go to the Bitexo Financial Tower and take the elevator to the bar, have a drink and enjoy the stunning view- best on sunset! Then you just have to pay the drinks and no entrance fee for the sky deck 🙂
Bus to Vinh Long from HCMC: the trip is a few hours in a small climate bus.
Backpacking Vietnam: Vinh Long
Just walk around in the center, there are a few not expensive places.
Things to do in Vinh Long
# “Island” An Bình: hire a bike, which is possible in the city and the take the ferry which brings you in a few minutes to the other side of the river.
# just drive around and see the pineapples growing and the life of the locals in the villages
# hire a boat with a local guide, just ask at a tourist office in the main street of the village next to the river. You can drive around, see a floating market and eat some local food. For me it was nice just to talk with our guide about the life in Vietnam. Cause it’s less touristic its possible to have „deeper“ conversations there.
Bus nach Ha Tien: You can catch the local bus, but it is crowded and you don’t know which price you can expect. I recommend to arrange a privat taxi to Can Tho wheres are several bus terminals. Be careful to end up at the right you need for your next trip. We ended up in the local bus, where total lost in Can Tho, after hours we catch up the bus last minute…in the bus we -luckily-met a couple Vietnamese living in Germany, they invited us over to their family house near the boarder Ha Tien , cause we arrived late there, when it was dark already. They were so nice: we had dinner together, walked around in the area a bit.. we had a super own bedroom so we left there early after breakfast over the boarder, that was just 5 km away. Big thanks!!
Over the border to Cambodia go to my page „Cambodia“