From Vietnam’s culture and cuisine to its incredible history and idyllic landscapes, Val Wex discovered that this fascinating country has a way of energising weary of travellers…
“After three months overseas, by the time we were on the plane to Kuala Lumpur on our way to Hanoi I honestly felt sorry that we were doing the Vietnam trip, as I wanted to come home. But as is often the case, when you don’t want to do something it turns out being the best thing ever.
We arrived in Hanoi and met our Intrepid tour leaders and our fellow travellers. There were only six of us and my husband Dennis was the only bloke. Our tour guide Cong and his offsider Tuyen, a trainee, helped Dennis feel more at ease. Right from the word go we all clicked.
Halong Bay unfortunately decided to show us what an early morning storm really was, but its beauty was enhanced. Then by train to Hue with all of us packing into a train cabin, playing cards, drinking red wine and beer, eating and laughing, but regrettably not sleeping. Then in Hue spending a day tripping around on the back of motor bikes and cruising down the Perfume River, before we went to the best place – Hoi An!
How I want to go back there! Hoi An isn’t a huge, bustling city, but it has everything – great markets, lovely beach, fantastic restaurants, tailors, shoe makers, river cruises, bike hire (we did 15kms one day on the bike) and just so relaxing in the pool after a hot day touring.
A couple more train rides saw us visit Nha Trang and then finish off in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Spoilt beyond belief with several boat cruises, snorkeling, island relaxation, massages, manicures and pedicures, delicious fresh food, wonderful Vietnamese people and nearly mastering Vietnam traffic. Such a brilliant trip. This is the second Intrepid tour we have done, the other being Thailand three years ago, and both were just ten out of ten. I so want to do more!
So we very unwillingly farwelled Vietnam and the wonderful people we met on the tour, all promising to keep in touch and our new UK friends vowing to come down under to us next year.”
To find out more about travelling with Intrepid and for your chance to WIN a trip in every edition, subscribe to Intrepid Express, our free e-newsletter. Plus you can become a fan of our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!
* photo Val and Dennis Wex