final thoughts – vietnam

must do:

  • saigon, hanoi, hoi an & ha long bay
  • custom tailors (yaly)
  • vietnamese coffee
  • pho pho pho pho and more pho
  • cu chi tunnel tour
  • war remnants museum 
  • overnight trains
  • ben thanh (or other big markets) 
  • negotiate everything
  • street food, street bars 
  • shaved coconuts
  • hoa lo prison (hanoi hilton)
  • mani/pedi & foot massages

can skip:

  • nha trang
  • overnight bus
  • hue
  • damp hotel rooms (anything below 3*)

the longer version…

streets and sidewalks are interchangeable for scooters and motorcycles. keep your head up.

vietnam is 1 of 5 communist countries (china, n. korea, cuba, laos, vietnam) and they are such because there is only one party to “vote for”. however, being there it isn’t what westerners think of communism. every citizen isn’t given an equal ration of goods/services and financial competition is real.

over 16k people lived underground in the cu chi tunnels. the VC also made sandals backwards so that american soldiers couldn’t follow their footsteps. interesting, but not a particularly happy note.

getting onto/off of a public bus while moving isn’t uncommon. don’t be scared.

the vietnamese must get cold easily bc they wear sweatshirts in ANY weather.

hanoi and saigon are similar in that they’re both big metropolitan cities but vastly different in many ways. go to both. people who say they don’t like big cities because they’re all the same are idiots.

skip thailand for custom clothing. go to hoi an. it’s cheaper, less shady and better quality.

pho is awesome and we’re sad it took going to vietnam to learn that fact. we will expect it to be a big part of our diet when we get home. pho real.

if you’re in hanoi and don’t go to Pho10 you should consider yourself a disgrace and the trip a waste.

don’t be afraid to eat and drink at the sidewalk restaurants. cheap and delicious

buy everything you have ever wanted in vietnam and negotiate everything. sneakers, backpacks, jewelry, watches, casual clothing are most likely all fake but look real enough and custom tailor suits and dresses are the bomb

church botique hotel. there’s a few in vietnam, we stayed in one in hanoi, cheap and beautiful.

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