Was I dreaming Vietnam?
Let me start by saying as we checked in to our flight we were informed we required a Visa... Got that sorted $$$... Then Maple (2.5) and Manning (11 months) didn't sleep for the entire nine hour flight... That is whole lot of wriggling, entertaining, singing and we ate the airline out of cheese and crackers! We were off to a testing start!
Leaving Melbourne Winter and arriving at Ho Chi Minh City, to mid thirties and humidity meant the first thing we did was undress and try not to get ripped off by a taxi driver. Which we totally did - we paid 750,000 dong for a taxi from the airport to the center of Ho Chi Minh City, we learnt that it should have cost 120,000 dong.
Vietnam is your typical Asian country, much like China, Bali and Thailand you have the usual worries about haggling, driving and water. Bathing the kids and drinks with ice in it had me paranoid, luckily in the end we were all unaffected. The locals and Chinese tourists LOVE kids! They stop you everywhere and ask for photos, some even touch the kids cheeks. In the beginning its funny, but towards the end of the trip it gets a little tiresome. In China I remember thinking it was Maples blonde hair and blue eyes, but they were just as taken with Manning and his dark hair and eyes... I can't explain it - If anyone knows why please let me know!!!
The Vietnamese people are incredibly kind, welcoming and helpful. It is a beautiful holiday destination, with the choice to do as little or as much as you would like. Our 'must do' would be a day trip to the Ba Na Hills in Da Nang. Our words and photos could not possibly do this fantasy land justice, think strange German theme park on top of a mountain, amongst the clouds.
We stayed for ten days. Four nights in Ho Chi Minh and six nights in Hoi An. We would have liked to see Hanoi, but would have rushed our 'relaxing' holiday. Ten days was the perfect amount of time to see everything on our list, while still having down time, in the two places we stayed. There is only three hours time difference from Melbourne so it was easily managed.
Ho Chi Minh City 'Silverland' https://www.silverlandhotels.com/silverland-hotel-spa.html short walk to the city center at a great price, with absolutely incredible service! The only down side is that many hotels in Ho Chi Minh City had a few stairs to get to the entrance, which meant having to lift the double stroller in and out. Price was very reasonable and included wifi and buffet breakfast.
If you are not on a budget I would recommend staying at the Hotel Continental. It looked absolutely fabulous!
Hoi An 'Allegro' http://www.littlehoiangroup.com/ Only six months old, it was beyond our expectations! The perfect place to stay with family! The staff again were incredible with the kids and very helpful.
THINGS TO DO
Ho Chi Mihn City
Cu Chi Tunnels
Lam Son Square
Wander Dong Khoi
Apartment of Cafes
Saigon Sky Deck for stunning 360 views
The zoo was an eye opener
An Bang Beach
Old Hoi An Town during the day (less tourists)
Old Hoi An Town at night with all the magical lanterns
Relax by the pool
Enjoy a $4 massage
Sun World (in Da Nang) Ba Na Hills - Everything from the longest and highest cable car ride in the world to the incredible buildings will have you feeling like you are dreaming!