7 Best Apps for Travel in Vietnam

smart phone apps


              With just a few apps on your smartphone, traveling is easier than ever.  Unlimited amount of information can be found and actions like booking a hotel, calling a taxi, and translating a phrase can be done in minutes.  Whether you are exploring the city or off the beaten path, these 7 apps will help you experience Vietnam with ease and get the most out of your travels. 

Top 7 Things to Do in Hoi An

art gallery hoi an vietnam


              Hoi An has become a favorite destination for tourists to Vietnam; many of them making it a must see stop on their trip north or south.  The Ancient Town is packed with sights to see, old world architecture, and delicious food.  The canary yellow painted buildings with ropes of silk lanterns swooping across the tree covered roads, and all located along a slow-moving river make it an ideal location for a tourist getaway.  Not to mention that it is often touted as the ‘tailor capitol’ of Vietnam. 

Discovering Southern Vietnam

city hall saigon ho chi minh city vietnam


              After one month in Vietnam we had, for the most part, finished exploring the northern part of the country and were moving on.  My cousin and her boyfriend (who she has since married) were going to be arriving in Ho Chi Minh City in two days and we had promised to meet them there.  So, we jumped on a train in Ninh Binh and made the 32-hour train ride all the way down to Ho Chi Minh City.  

Elephants of Yok Don

elephants yok don national park vietnam


              Yok Don National Park makes history by releasing its elephants and creating the first elephant conscious tours in Vietnam.  They have created an eco-tourism initiative that replaces chains and cruel rides with observation and learning. 

5 Reasons to Visit Nha Trung (And Everything Else You Need to Know)

nha trang beach


Nha Trang isn’t your typical seaside town.  Combining high-rise resorts and a laid-back backpacker scene, this city caters to absolutely everyone.  Nha Trang has a beautiful turquoise bay wrapped in a crescent shaped beach of white sand and palm trees, backed by a cosmopolitan city and a ring of mountains.  No matter where you stay you are never more than a 15-minute walk from the beach.  Whether you are into visiting historic temples and learning about the local culture or having a relaxing day on the beach sipping cocktails, want to explore the local markets or looking for a relaxing wellness retreat to get away from noise and stress, Nha Trang has a bit of everything.

Mui Ne

mui ne harbor vietnam


              If your looking for a break from the chaos of Ho Chi Minh City, think about Mui Ne.  Located just a five-hour drive from the big city, Mui Ne is a world away.  Mui Ne is a favorite destination for many Saigonese and Russian travelers looking to get out into nature or enjoy the beach.  Mui Ne is home to some breathtaking landscapes and unique scenery you won’t find anywhere else in Vietnam.  Apart from that, it has an abundance of delicious, fresh, and cheap seafood.

Phu Quoc

sao beach phu quoc vietnam


              Phu Quoc is considered the top beach destination in Vietnam and it is no wonder why.  Wrapped in white sandy beaches, you can easily find a spot to take in the sun and views.  The popular spots, like Long Beach lined with beach bars and Sao Beach with its resorts, see most of the islands tourists, but one can easily get away from it all by exploring outside of these two areas. 

Mekong Delta

mekong delta vietnam


              A trip to Vietnam would not be complete without a trip to the Mekong Delta. This iconic Vietnamese destination is well known for its famous for its floating markets, stilted wooden houses on the river’s edge, and seemingly endless rice paddies.  The countless rivers and streams criss-cross the landscape like arteries; where their muddy brown waters carry fruit-laden boats to nearby floating markets and provide nourishment to bountiful rice paddies.

Living an Unconventional Life

mui ne bay vietnam


When I turned 15 and boarded my first flight out of the country, everyone told me to “travel while I’m young because once I settle down, I won’t be able to.”  Here I am, 10 years and 34 countries later and still I hear the same words time and time again.  I think there are two reasons for this:

Cu Chi Tunnels: A Travel Guide

tunnel ben duoc cu chi tunnels vietnam


              If you are in Ho Chi Minh City and looking for a day trip, then look no further than the Cu Chi Tunnels.  They are one of Ho Chi Minh City’s most iconic attractions and well worth the visit.  Coupled with a visit to the War Remnant Museum and you’ll be well on your way to a memorable history lesson about the Vietnam War.  

Ho Chi Minh City: A Travel Guide

city hall saigon ho chi minh vietnam


              Ho Chi Minh City is a mixture of old and new.  Elegant buildings of French Colonialism sit between high rises and hotels.  With a booming economy and a growing middle class, the people of this city are eating artisanal foods and sipping craft beer.  Tourist may come to visit the articles of the past, but the city is moving forward, and fast.

Unrivaled Destinations: My Tour of Northern Vietnam

flag tower hanoi vietnam


              Northern Vietnam has been one of my favorite areas to visit during my travels throughout Southeast Asia.  The mountainous terrain makes for some of the most stunning scenery you will ever witness and creates truly remarkable outdoors experiences.  On top of this, the food is simply amazing in northern Vietnam.  Though many of the dishes are similar to other parts of the country, their style of cooking sets them far part.  All of this added to the fact that the people are genuinely friendly, remarkable, and helpful, makes this area of Vietnam extremely traveler friendly and, for those willing to step onto the road less traveled, creates a genuine Vietnamese experience.  


Ninh Binh: The Gem of Vietnam

overview bai dinh pagoda ninh binh vietnam


Ninh Binh is a town which lies to the southeast of Hanoi and is a lesser-known gem of Northern Vietnam.  It is commonly referred to as ‘Halong Bay on Land’ for its similar landscape, but is far less touristy and untouched.  Ninh Binh is surrounded by hundreds of limestone mountains topped by dense greenery that tower from the ground, scattered with serpentine rivers flowing through and around them, while lush green rice fields shoot up from their muddy banks.  If the scenery itself is not enough for you, the area is dotted with some of the best pagodas and temples in the area and one of Vietnam’s ancient capital cities.

Perfume Pagoda

perfume pagoda thien tru vietnam


              The Perfume Pagoda is located 60 kilometers southwest of Hanoi where the karst limestone mountains jut out of the rice fields below.  The Perfume Pagoda is a very revered and sacred site featuring a maze of Buddhist pagodas built into the limestone cliffs of the mountain.  It is northern Vietnam’s most famous pilgrimage site and one of Hanoi’s most visited tourist day trips.  

History is More Than the Textbooks

khe sanh combat base dmz vietnam
            
            My least favorite class in school was history.  Every day, I would do the bare minimum I needed to get an “A” which often meant glazing over a chapter of my textbook and paying close attention to the bolded terms and their definitions so that I would pass the inevitable “pop quiz” the following morning.  The school year wasn’t long enough to really dive into a topic and since I wasn’t really passionate about history, I didn’t spend any of my spare time trying to actually process the information that I had committed to memory.

Sapa

aerial view amitabha buddha statue fanispan sapa vietnam


Sapa is a small town located in the heart of northwestern Vietnam.  Located above a deep valley flanked by cascading rice terraces and surrounded by high mountains, Sapa is a sight to be seen.  Though heavy mists often roll through the mountains, the vibrant colors of its rice fields, temples, and people shine through in a vibrant display.  

Ba Be: A Mixed Story

boat ba be lake national park vietnam


              Continuing on tour of Northern Vietnam, we decided to head across to Ba Be.  The trip was long and had us on two different buses, a motorcycle with all of our bags, and a boat, but we finally made it.  Not knowing we exactly what we wanted to do in Ba Be, we settled down, got a beer and some great food, and looked at the brochure that our guest house had provided us with.  Ba Be National Park is supposed to be the ‘outdoors capital’ of Northern Vietnam, but we weren’t really feeling the whole hiking/biking thing after having hiked for two full days and a full day of traveling.  

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