While Thailand has my heart, Vietnam touched my soul. It was a country that hit me in a different way. It was grittier, rougher around the edges, harder work and definitely threw my some curveballs.

In light of this, I also found it one of the most rewarding countries I’ve been to. Travelling across the length of the country in just a few weeks. It’s a place I will definitely return to in future to explore the places I missed.

Favourite places in Vietnam

Favourite stops had to include Hanoi and Halong Bay. The first places I saw of Vietnam and a fantastic welcome to the country. Outstanding natural beauty at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. I spent a few days and nights sleeping on an old fashioned junk boat. We cruised around the bay, kayaked at sunrise, clambered through caves and watched the moon and stars. Plus don’t forget the awesome experience of canyoning in Da Lat.

City life in Hanoi

Hanoi was a beautiful but crazy busy city – super intense and definitely threw me in at the deep end. I loved it! It was vibrant and crazy, full of amazing sights, buildings dating back hundreds of years and that rich, vibrant culture that washes over you at every turn. The food blew me away and I loved shopping in the tiny streets, and walking around the lake in the centre talking to the local students who wanted to practise their English.

The delights of Hanoi

Hoi An was just the prettiest little city on the river and I loved spending a few days here exploring. The heritage and history here was fascinating and I loved meeting the local people and visiting them at their homes to find out about their families dating back generations and throughout the Vietnam War. Also a fantastic place to get clothes made for you and I couldn’t resist getting some pieces made that I still have, wear and love today!

For more on the places I visited – check out the blog posts in this section. Read my post on how to hit the highlights in Vietnam in 2.5 weeks. And here’s one on how to apply for the Vietnam e-Visa.