VIETNAM

My Itineraries in Vietnam…

  • Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)
  • Dalat
  • Boun Ma Thout
  • Kon Tum (and surround villages)
  • Da Nang
  • Hoi An
  • Hue

 

So far 4 months in Southeast Asia…

I spend more than 4 months in Southeast Asia so far.

Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, South Thailand and Bangkok, Cambodia… I had different experiences. So many things to share, too many things to write and tell.

I want to stop for a while and digest what I have experienced in my voyage. Definitely I will do it. But I had 3 countries more to explore; Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos…

 

Coming to Vietnam…  A big country of a determination…

After lovely swimming days in South Cambodia Islands Koh Rong Somloem and Koh Tongsay (Rabbit Island) I decided to start my Vietnam exploration.

In the beginning of my trip, a Chinese origin Malay man who lives in Bangkok had told me in Kuala Lumpur that “Vietnam is different from all the countries that you will travel. More Chinese effected”. It was the time to observe it.

Border Crossing from Cambodia…

I bought sleeper bus ticket to Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam from Kep (a small town in South Cambodia). A minibus (or so can be called “Van”) took us from Kep bus station to the border. The driver who takes us to border did not leave us. During passport formalities and later when we got in Vietnam, he was with us. He waited for Vietnam shuttle that will take us to the “Sleeper Bus” to “Ho Chi Minh City”, with its former name “Saigon”.

Sleeper Buses of Vietnam…

My first experience about Vietnam was a sleeper bus from the border to Ho Chi Minh City. It looks ok for modest height people but if you are really tall it is not that comfortable. That’s why I went the the far back of the bus which is comparatively convenient for me. I stretched myself and was more relax than normal places (seat) in these buses.

After so many days, weeks and months of sun Vietnam welcome me with rain and a bit cold weather in this first trip. The roads we were passing gave me the feeling of a periodically organized towns and road that repeat itself gain and again. Shops and houses in two sides of the road, the river on the left is parallel to the road the canals on the right perpendicular. This went on like an autistic song for more than 100 km or more.

NO ENGLISH ZONE and Difficulty in Communication…

In the break when we try to eat something but it was so hard to tell and understand each other. OK, I immediately understand that we were in the “No English Zone” in Vietnam and It was really hard to communicate. Lots of people have translation applications in their smart mobiles. The bus driver was showing his mobile before we left the bus for break that translate his wish to us to come bus on time.

More or less I can say it is the same for all Vietnam in this travel. Except you find some touristic agencies or a very intellectual guy who speaks English. But for 2018, English does not help (especially) in rural Vietnam. As you may find everywhere in the world saucy tourism representatives will welcome you with the fake face of globalism but if you get in rural, ready to learn some Vietnamese if your tongue permits and if your ears hear and understand.

Anyway at last We were in Ho Chi Minh with my lovely Japanese looking Brazilian friend Mitsui. It was rainy, I had no reservation we went his hostel. There was no room in Mitsui’s place and I found another one nearby to move tomorrow “One Day” hostel.

 

 

HO CHI MINH CITY – HCMC…

Basically and short, “I did not enjoy Ho Chi Minh City” in my first experience.

There was something wrong between us. We were ready to fight. I had two big tensions in this city with people. If I would just stay in Ho Chi Minh and did not go highland Vietnam, I could stay with some unpleasant experiences about this lovely country. There was something wrong with this city for me. Maybe I fed up some big cities in Asia, maybe the weather, maybe my mood, anyway this is travel. Maybe next time I may have some good moments, friends and better memories.

 

Crazy Bike Traffic in Vietnam (especially in HCMC) 

I can tell this as river of bikes. You have to see it. Like a flood they are coming from the streets, junctions, interstate ways, highways everywhere… You can not imagine how dense bike traffic it is. If you go Vietnam you will see it. I was thinking Bali was really dense but the traffic in Vietnam is something beyond imagination. In this chaotic environment they have an order. In later days I used bike in Kon Tum. But it was a small highland city. Anyway one day I may drive a bike in HCMC.

 

Travel Tip –

GRAB is working very well in HCMC. I grab so many Grab-bike which is quite cheap. They were 1/3 or 1/4 of Grab-taxi or car price.

 

I did not want to make so many things in HCMC. That’s why I followed the friends in the hostel for some touristic activities. Especially Philippians were so nice and joyful. 

Touristic Mekong River Tour…

It is a one day tour. It gives you the idea of the Mekong. Well organised. very touristic. Forcing you to shop and buy things. Showing you lots of things in a very high pace. Very cheap, 10 USD. This includes nearly 1,5 bus drive and return, ferry on the Mekong river, a lunch, some small visits to local attractions, a temple. But it is touristic. I enjoyed but not my type of trip. Anyway with friends we had so much fun. 

New year was approaching and HCMC was not to place that I wanted to stay longer. I followed my Russian friends (Krill and Lily) recommendation and directly headed to Dalat. To my lovely Dalat…

DALAT…

Ohh my Dalat! I love this big town.

Dalat was the beginning of highland of Vietnam for me. At the end of December the weather was chilly in the mornings and night but not cold , sunny during the day. The city is not big but not small. There was a smell of peace in Dalat. I had beautiful days here. Even now still I can not decide if I was about to be robbed or not by a motorbike grabbing my daily backpack which is the only suspicious thing in my 5 year of travel experience, I remember Dalat with peace and happily.

 

There are various activities in Dalat. Sure they become touristic. A day trip package to rural areas was nice despite the annoying guide.

The only memory of Dalat, here is being the city of flowers and silent life. Except motorbikes. Motorbike traffic in Vietnam was so remarkable as chaotic. I love this city. One big memory to mention about is “Pretty Backpacker Hostel”…

“Pretty Backpacker Hostel”…

Pretty Backpacker Hostel and their owners were really great people. The hostel was really cheap, very clean and great human relations makes this place an heaven for everyone. We celebrate new year here. It was one of the memorable time in my life as well. I felt so comfortable with all people from different places. We had joy, we had fun. Dances from Balkan states, musics from South America and dance songs from western world. We enjoyed so much. Pretty Backpacker Hostel is a special place.

Dalat Museum…

I did not read enough about Vietnam before coming here. That’s why I visit Museums first in these circumstances. Dalat museum gave a quite a lot information about Vietnam.

KARAOKE in Asia and in Vietnam…

Karaoke is a madness in Southeast Asia. Vietnam is one of the significant place for it in my perspective. So far I could not listen so many beautiful examples. Mostly they can be used as a mean of torture. 🙂

 

BOUN MA THOUT...

The place has not much attractions but I had wonderful three friends there. They made my days in Boun Ma Thout. As they say there exists Coffee plantations in highland Vietnam, but I just saw them from the windows of my bus trips. With my friends we ate much, drink enough and taste their coffee. Thank you guys.

 

KON TUM…

Another beautiful place in my Vietnam memories is Kon Tum. As we are talking with my British traveler friends in Boun Ma Thout, they advise me to go Evacafe in Kon Tum to see dear Mr Ann. That’s why Evacafe was the first place I’ve been in Kon Tum. We have some hort but controvertial talks with Mr Ann and he introduced me his friend Du’c to host me. I was in a peaceful garden 4 days together his dear aunt Sueng.

After 6 months on the roads I understood that I was tired but again it was a big pleasure to be in Kon Tum. Especially highland Vietnam provided me so many minority village experience and the second and safe bike drives.

Outstanding “RONG”s and Minority Villages…

This is another chapter about Vietnam. I have to write maybe another post about these. It was an amazing experience to meet them, to watch their meetings in Rong of the Village. I was lucky that there was a meeting over there. I had the chance to address them. They asked about my idea about Tourism. Vietnam is in the high pace in learning unfortunate global tourism. That is one way road and I don’t know yet to cope with it or a rebellion act for a new world. Anyway I am so lucky to observe this planet’s cultural and traditional differences.

 

There are some more places I visited to write in Vietnam such as Da Nang, Hoi An and Hue… For the sake of publishing pace of my blog I keep these places to write in a further date.

I will be happy with your comments and questions. Thanks for reading.