Vietnam Vacation: Week One

9 04 2012

Tim and I have recently finished the first week of our vacation in Vietnam. We’ve been skipping from place to place rather quickly, in hopes of seeing as much of the country as possible in our 18-day visit. In the first week we managed to see three different towns: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Dalat and Nha Trang. During this leg of the trip, there were four of us traveling together, but one of our fellow volunteers is heading back to Cambodia for Khmer New Year so now we’re down to three.

We’ll post more about our impressions later. There is much to say about the ways in which Cambodia and Vietnam differ and about what it’s like to be in Vietnam as an American. For now though, here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve been up to.

Ho Chi Minh City

Population: 7.4 million

Fun Fact: There are 4 million motorbikes within the city limits at any given time

What we did: Tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels created by the Viet Cong during the “American War;” the War Remnants Museum; the night market

Loved: Seeing an old propaganda video at the tunnels and, more generally, seeing how Vietnam presents information on the war; fresh spring rolls; things like garbage trucks, public parks and separate moto lanes (We’ve been in Cambodia for a long time, okay?)

Pictures: Click here

Bustling street in HCMC

Just doin' guy stuff


Population: 206,000

Fun Fact: Often referred to as the “French Alps” of Vietnam

What we did: Rode a cable car through the mountains; visited a pagoda; sampled Dalat’s wine; rode on swan-shaped paddle boats; visited the so-called “Crazy House”

Loved: The views from the hills; the giant tulips and windmills; the availability of produce such as strawberries, mulberries, avocados, artichokes and asparagus; the crisp, cool morning air; the Jacuzzi in our hotel

Pictures: Click here and here

The view from the top

Giant tulips, of course!


Nha Trang

Population: 300,000

Fun Fact: Home to the Miss Universe 2008 competition

What we did: Took a day trip to Cam Ranh Bay, where Tim’s dad was stationed during the war; met up with some fellow PCVs for a couple of meals; visited the Long Son Pagoda

Loved: The microbrewery(!!); gelato; exploring the secluded beaches en route to Cam Ranh Bay

Pictures: Click here and here


Big Buddha at Long Son Pagoda

Near Cam Ranh Bay

The beach

More to come!




4 responses

13 04 2012

Perhaps you can give us a few hints as we head North from Saigon on our travels…

Q1: What’s a good amount of time to stay in Dalat… A few nights?
Q2: Whereabouts is the microbrewery?

13 04 2012

We stayed in Dalat for three days and two nights, and that felt about right for us. If you like to linger a little longer when you travel, you could easily spend another day or two without getting too bored. The microbrewery in Nha Trang is right on the water on the south end of the tourist area. You can’t miss it: The Louisiane Brewhouse.

13 04 2012

Thanks! Happy travels…

31 12 2012
Celebrating the Highlights of 2012 « TimKat's Travels

[…] Khmer New Year in April, Tim and I headed off to Vietnam for three weeks of vacation. We made our way from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, stopping along the way to see […]

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