I’ve been in Vietnam for two weeks now, and we are just an hour away from flying back home. It’s been an amazing journey, we’ve seen and experienced a lot of wonderful things we now can treasure as memories. But here are some things I think people need to know:
– The distances between destinations and places-to-see are crazy, not in kilometers but a 200km journey can easily take you 6h because of traffic and ferries etc. Many times you have to wait for the ferry up to three hours, we were lucky having to wait only 20min.
– Vietnam is a very beautiful country, but also has a lot of temperature changes so be sure to check where and when you are going to pack accordingly.
– Some things here you might not want to see, and in certain cases maybe turn your look the other way. I saw child abuse, animal cruelty, dead rats on the street, violence, drug trafficking and heard more disturbing things than I shouldn’t have heard, like who is really poaching the animals in a natural reserve.
– The natural reserve was an amazing experience, but be sure to get leech-protectors, these thick fabric socks with some stuff on that leeches don’t like. They come through your normal socks, trust me, I had 5 bites.
– Do not use tactics or scooters as taxis, and if you are not a very extremely experienced driver, do not rent one either. I heard that most tourists die in scooter accidents.
– Everyone said people are super friendly here. I didn’t see any extraordinary friendliness but everyone was nice, so don’t expect too much.
– The vietnamese food is delicious, wonderful and yummy. (Still in the end it felt like I was a giant spring roll and was craving for anything else!)
– The honking and hustle and bustle on the streets, even in smaller cities are deafening, so make sure you have a room facing the other way.
– My top favorite things to see was the Mekong Delta (my tops being the rice popcorn factory, floating market and trying grilled snake!), taking yoga and cooking classes in Nha Trang and enjoying amazing food at 3T and Quan an Ngon restaurant.
– It is silly cheap in Vietnam, when you step outside of the hotel. In Nha Trang at a local bar we paid around 1 euro per beer and 2 euros for cigarettes.
– Fabrics are super cheap, around 7 times cheaper than in Finland, so go to the market in the centre of Saigon and get some!
I’ll post some pictures later and update if things come to mind, please comment if you have any extra tips and to dos!