Simi explores Vietnam and is pleasantly surprised at her discoveries…
Throughout the years, I have been travelling to many places within the Far East, including Thailand, Malaysia and Bali. However, it wasn’t until my sister who mentioned Vietnam that sparked an interest. Originally, it hadn’t been my cup of tea to visit the country, until I did further research and found out how cultural it actually is. I love visiting places where I can come home knowing that I had learnt something new and, from this point onwards, there was no harm in trying out this new adventure.
I first landed in the Capital, Hanoi. It’s a very busy and eccentric city where the first attractions you’ll notice are the roads filled with motor bikes and with no traffic lights. In fact, a travel agent stated that if you’re trying to cross from the middle of the road, don’t be surprised if you’re still standing there 24 hours later as nobody stops for pedestrians. Although this may seem dangerous, the Vietnamese actually care about those surrounding them. Road accidents are extremely rare in Vietnam, and generally move away from pedestrians on the road.
Besides the roads, it has been commonly said you haven’t visited Hanoi if you haven’t seen the Long Bien Bridge. It’s a steel bridge which crosses the famous Red River, and is a historical relic in Vietnam due to its damage constructed by the Vietnamese war. Additionally, it’s a famous place for the Vietnamese to have their wedding pictures taken which I commonly saw.
As famously seen in the James Bond films, I couldn’t visit Vietnam without taking a cruise to Halong Bay. A geographical area, consisting of monolithic islands, the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. I opted to take on a 2 night cruise, where I had the luxury of kayaking through the Islands.
From Hanoi, I took a three hour flight to Danang where I spent the rest of my time in Vietnam. From the far distance of my hotel room, I could see a large statue on a tall mountain, however I couldn’t classify what it was. I soon found out that it was the statue of the Lady Buddha, with a temple built beneath it. From hearing this, I knew it was a landmark to visit. As it was roughly a 10 minute drive from the hotel, I took a straight taxi and was mind blown on how pristine and eloquently designed the 72 meter high figure of Lady Buddha is. As I approached the temple, I could definitely feel a peaceful aura, something which I cannot get back due to a hectic lifestyle. I wanted to stay there all day, and explore everything properly. As it was situated on a tall mountain, it overlooked the sea and other parts of Danang. Unlike the sea in England, it was clear blue which would make any avid swimmer want to dive in and thoroughly explore the sea.
I also took a trip to Marble Mountain, which was great fun. It was interesting to hear that it was made up of a cluster of five marble and limestone hills which are named after five elements; metal, water, wood, fire and earth. Exploring from one end to another, I was ready to get my torch out and discover its numerous Buddhist and Hindu sanctuaries.
If you’re a keen traveller, I definitely advise travelling to Vietnam. Personally, I don’t know many people who have visited the country and, now that I have been, I have automatically interested my close friends and family to go. The people of Vietnam are extremely friendly, and it will be a holiday worth its while.