Vibrant Vietnam

Our first port of call was beautiful Halong Bay. Hanoi is a 3-4 hour drive away so naturally we stopped at a local market along the way. However, this one is operated for the disabled and is a wonderful experience.

In Hanoi we walked through the bustling streets avoiding hundreds of motorbikes. Then we visited Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum, his Presidential Palace and two of his residences. The brilliant and much travelled Ho Chi Minh (which means He Who Enlightens) lived in both the UK and Paris, and is revered in Vietnam. We also visited the Temple of Literature which is devoted to the works of Confucius.

On our second day we took a boat from the ship and sailed around the Bay. Unfortunately we were in heavy fog (or smog) and couldn't see much of its beauty. But we did visit the spectacular Dau Go Cave with its myriad coloured lights. And a highlight was a small boat chugging up alongside ours and a young woman with a baby in her arms, climbing aboard our boat to sell bananas.

DaNang is a most impressive city and we were each escorted in a Cyclo through the streets - a wonderful way to experience it. We then visited the Cham Museum which houses 1,000 year old sculptures from the original peoples of central Vietnam. And the tallest Buddha in Vietnam, at 67 metres, with its pagodas was certainly worth the visit.

By the time we reached Ho Chi Minh City the weather was really hotting up with temperatures in the mid 30s and high humidity. In the City we visited the crowded but fascinating History Museum and the Notre Dame Cathedral - similar in look to its namesake in Paris. Fortunately it was a Sunday so we were able to witness a service in progress - and in English. The Post Office has impressive architecture and the imposing Reunification Palace contains beautiful reception rooms that look out over manicured lawns.

Of course no trip to Vietnam is complete with temples and pagodas and the Thien Hau Temple, commemorating the Goddess of the Sea, has fantastic sculptured walls and enormous smoking incense coils hanging from the ceiling.


Around Hanoi

Vietnam's tallest Buddha and surrounds

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum

One of Ho Chi Minh's residences

Temple of Literature

Motorbikes in Hanoi

Halong Bay

Dau Go Cave

Selling bananas

Halong Bay


Dragon Bridge

Ho Chi Minh City
History Museum

Notre Dame Cathedral

Post Office

Reunification Palace

Thien Hau Temple


  1. Vietnam is on our 'to do' list. The floating market stall reminds me of the ones in HK in 1988, but these had gone and been replaced by luxury yachts by 2007. Halong Bay looks incredible.


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