Not posted for a while. Been away on my travels.
We booked a trip for my 50th* to Vietnam via Hong Kong on the way out, and Dubai on the way back. Vietnam has been on my bucket list for years, and now I can tick it off, BUT I really would love to go back, it’s a fantastic country.
First stop was Hong Kong, which was initially a bit overwhelming, as there are masses of people everywhere. By the time we had to leave 3 days later, I was starting to get my head round it, and I want to go back. I think we had too short a stay and tried to cram a lot in, so it seemed a lot more hectic than it was, but it’s still one hell of a busy place.
Managed to squeeze in a trip to Macau as well.
Next stop was Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh city. Wow! Fantastic place. Very busy, but easier to handle than the crowds in Hong Kong. The traffic on the other hand! Red lights only seem to apply to cars. You get a green man to cross the road, and have to dodge the hundreds of scooters and mopeds for whom road rules don’t seem to apply.
Red light? I’ll ignore that.
One way street? I’ll ride against the flow unless it’s really busy, then I’ll ride on the pavement.
It’s all a bit nuts, but once you get your head round it and just accept that’s how it is, it’s not really a problem. When crossing the road, just keep walking, the bikes will go round the back of you, but don’t stop and don’t step back. That’s when you’ll have an accident.
The war museum is a must see. Some very harrowing photos from the war, and the Chu Chi tunnels which were used by the Vietcong, is another must visit.
For a great atmosphere, head to the backpacker area where you can eat and drink really cheaply, and if you fancy a fake Rolex, head to the market and start haggling. The watches look decent quality, and you can haggle down to about a third of the price if you’re determined.
On to Hoi An, and we got there in time to see the Full Moon lantern festival which was beautiful.
The town itself is easy enough to navigate, and if you get lost, taxis are easily available, all run on a meter, and are very cheap.
Look out for signs saying “fresh beer 5,000”. You can get a half pint of beer for 5,000VND (about £0.17) or you can splurge for a bottle of Tiger for about £1.00.
We ate mostly in the market, where there are lots of little kitchens with benched seating round them. Sit down, order, and minutes later you’re tucking in to some really excellent street food, at a fantastic price.
After Hoi An we had a couple of days just vegging out poolside in Dubai before heading home.
Finally, here’s a picture of the largest rubber duck I’ve ever seen. It’s in Macau.
(*I’m not 50 for a couple of months, but if we’d waited till then it would have been the rainy season)