Update from the Antipodeans Vietnam Vacation
Since we last spoke we spent our day in Ho Chi Minh city exploring the local markets after having a delicious lunch at Phò 2000 that Bill Clinton attended during his presidency. We then went to a street food market that offered a diverse range of options for all of us to choose to have for dinner. After dinner we all headed back to the hostel and had a well deserved rest.
After waking up in Ho Chi Minh we headed back to the markets to practice our bartering skills and score some good purchases. After we were all shopped out, we headed to Starbucks to celebrate Peaty’s birthday whilst overlooking a busy roundabout in the centre of Ho Chi Minh. After a very tiring day, we packed our bags up and headed to the train station to board an 18 hour train journey. We were split into rooms which we nicknamed the ‘cabbage’ to be our home for the 18 hour journey.
We arrived at Da Nang station and travelled by mini van to our accommodation in Hoi An. After settling into our hostel we crossed the street to Cafe 41 for dinner and were spoilt for choice with a large menu and incredible service. Upon waking up in Hoi An we were greeted by the beginning of a monsoon filling the streets with water almost up to our knees in places. The rain didn’t dampen our spirits and we waited for a break in the weather and then ventured out to a lantern making class where we were taught how to make lanterns from scratch. Later that day we had a brief explore of Hoi An’s old town and the lanterns that filled the streets and lit up the shops.
The next day we travelled by mini van to Huê for 4 hours. We searched for accommodation and found everyone’s favourite place to eat the ‘Nook’ which coincidentally had an Australian owner. Waking up in Hue we embarked on a Buddhist history tour including a traditional tea ceremony, a Buddhist pagoda, and a climb to a lady Buddhist monument on top of a hill. Our last stop of the tour was at another Buddhist pagoda where nuns lived and meditated everyday. We were taught meditation techniques and were served a beautiful spread for lunch. We caught another overnight train to Hanoi that lasted 12 hours and we all slept for the majority of it!
Once arriving in Hanoi we settled into our accommodation and had some noodles for lunch. We explored the streets of Hanoi at night, visiting some shops along the way that were open.
The next morning we headed to Mai Châu where we would be doing our trek. We had a delicious lunch and then started our journey to our first homestay. Due to the rainfall in the days prior, the trail was slippery, however we all made it to the homestay with smiles on our faces, and only partially covered in mud. The next day was our first full day trek which was more challenging but the views were outstanding and it felt rewarding making it through the day. Our night was filled with songs around the bonfire and games. Day 3 trekking was easier than the day before as it was more flat walking through the rice fields. We also were able to stop at a waterfall and swim in a little section before trekking the last 15 minutes to the homestay. When we arrived we saw some children playing soccer so some of the team decided to join in and soon the locals joined for a full game of soccer. The next day was our last trekking day and we trekked for about two hours to the bus where we were able to go back to Mai Châu to collect our other bags and have some lunch. Once arriving back in Hanoi we ate some mouthwatering foods and went to a night market where we spent most of the night.
The trip is almost over but we are making the best of the last few days left and we are singing our way to Halong Bay by bus.
Love the Tramily (travelling family)