I’m back and extremely excited to continue my Vietnam posts, I had so much lovely feedback on part one so I hope you enjoy part two just as much!
I’m not gonna write some long-winded introduction so let’s just get straight into the next couple of spots we visited.
To get to Ninh Binh we took a bus and our first train which actually wasn’t too bad and pretty comfortable however there was a moment when the train driver walked through the cabin smoking and myself and martin just looked at each other but we didn’t say anything, we just kinda knew we were both thinking ‘for fuck sake’. We were only on the train for two hours but after an overnight bus ride also we felt pretty gross so went to Go Ninh Binh Hostel for a shower and some breakfast … such a good feeling!
We of course rented another motorbike because it’s the absolute best way to get around and so much fun … when you’re sat on the back anyway. After a search online of the best places to go we travelled 30 minutes by bike to a place called Tran An where we paid to go on a tour of the caves and the place where King Kong was actually filmed. We sat in a normal rowing boat with two randoms behind us and a little Vietnamese lady who was rowing, now this gal wasn’t young so I honestly don’t know how she had the strength to row for so long ‘cos we were in that boat for almost three hours. I wish I could transport you all to this place because the views were unbelievable and we were just in awe of the whole place, the way the sun reflected on the water and the hills standing on either side was just WOW.
Our time in Ninh Binh was really brief as it was kinda just a pit stop along the way to break up our journey but it was so worth going.
Things to do – Boat Tours
– Climb the 500 steps to watch the Sunset
Duration of stay – 1 day
Weather – Sunny, warm
Phong Nha was one of my most favourite places on our whole adventure, i’m actually beaming from cheek to cheek as i’m writing this!! Firstly the hostel that we stayed at Easy Tiger was incredible, we had a double bed, bunked bed but somehow managed to have the room to ourselves for the whole stay which was great, the staff were really friendly, they served delicious Vietnamese coffee (I wish I could have it everyday), free beer at 6 until the kegs were empty … naughty, live music every night and just such a fun atmosphere, we met so many people from all over the world here!
We did so many activities in Phong Nha, we visited some huge caves where we went in by boat and got the chance to explore, I did something really outta my comfort zone and went zip-lining at the Dark Cave which was honestly the most exhilarating experience. We also visited the Botanical Gardens where I got lost and Martin thought i’d fallen down a cliff but we don’t talk about it … worst time of my life! Of course we hired another motorbike which broke down in the middle of nowhere, thankfully Martin is incredible and fixed it so we managed to get back to the hostel oh and we ended up at a Duck stop where we had our feet massaged/nibbled at by hundreds of ducks and nearly fell off our bike on the muddiest road i’ve ever seen. You might read some of that and think ‘what the heck, it sounds mad’ but I can’t stress to you enough just how wonderful all of these experiences were … except the botanical gardens, i’m never going back.
It’s so crazy to me that initially Phong Nha wasn’t even on our itinerary but we met a Canadian couple who told us about it so we decided to go really last minute and it turned out to be one of my most favourite places i’ve ever been.
Where we stayed – Easy Tiger
Things to do – Phong Nha Cave
Duration of stay – 3 days
Weather – Sunny, rainy, hot
Next stop was Hue where we arrived by a slightly smaller bus than what we were used to, luckily we were only on it for a few hours and stopped halfway at a really random shop that was playing some techno music. Hue was probably the place where it rained most for us while in Vietnam so we ended up buying these brightly coloured ponchos which felt like tissue paper haha but it was still warm so we didn’t mind. Martin wasn’t very well on our first day so we decided to stay in and relax which was actually really nice as we hadn’t had any down time yet, as much fun as travelling is you’re constantly on the move so I would definitely recommend having a day here and there to recuperate! Anyway we ended up starting a series on Netflix about Vietnam but after two episodes which were two hours long and very emotional we decided to watch American Horror Story for the rest of the day … as ya do.
The next day, Martin was feeling a lot better so we decided to sign up to a Motorbike tour … yes another bike. Because it was still raining it only ended up being myself, Martin, an Australian girl called Anna who we actually met in Phong Nha and the tour guide. The tour was pretty much an all day thing and was really great, we saw old army aircrafts and tanks from the war, an old fighting arena, a really creepy but amazing abandoned waterpark and lots of other attractions, we also stopped for a Vietnamese BBQ where I failed at using chopsticks, typical!
Where we stayed – Why Not? Hostel & Bar
Things to do – Motorbike Tour
– DMZ Tour
Duration of stay – 2 days
Weather – warm but raining
Right, that’s it for part two so again I really hope you enjoyed this post and are ready for the third and final part! If any of you have any questions regarding travelling Vietnam or similar then please feel free to leave a comment and I will answer if I can.